Saturday, February 22, 2014
Saturday, February 01, 2014
Miss Information finds that some people's anger is misplacedToday's snowy weather has put Miss Information in a festive mood. Specifically it has reminded her that Christmas was really annoying. The weekend before Christmas a massive ice storm wiped out power to a ridiculous number of people. Leaving one's house is a bad idea--kind of like most days, except fallen trees and downed wires have made it all kinds of treacherous.
Trying to get through the city is like navigating London during the Blitz. There are fallen branches everywhere, public transit is sketchy and hundreds of intersections are without working signals but she gets to the library. She gets a truly awesome parking spot, too--possibly because the city is paralyzed and the sensible people have stayed home. Still, it's a great spot. At the parking lot elevator, there's a sign about the ice storm. It's in Korean, except for the words "ice storm". Miss Information knows there's a Korean bank in the complex so she figures it's got something to do with them and continues on her way to the library through the eerily empty mall. Hm. Well it is Christmas Eve, people are probably home wrapping presents.
"Well," says the angry man. "When is the library opening? It's soon, right? Are you just going to make me stand outside until 9?"
Miss Information stops paying attention as the man reports the temperature and windchill factor.
Miss Information's colleague tells him that management doesn't know if or when the library is opening. It seems that most of the library staff actually phoned that hotline number and were told to redeploy to other branches. It's a big library and the minimum number of employees is 2 per department--18 or so people. Miss Information's arrival means that there are now 4 staff members on site. There's a long way to go until the branch can open. Still, the angry man is welcome to stand in the mall outside the library. He'll be able to keep warm at least.
The man changes tactics. "I need the washroom. What am I supposed to do? Is there a washroom in the mall?" Miss Information tells him that there's a washroom in the food court but mentions that it's in the part of the mall that's behind barricades. She isn't certain he can get there. Miss Information is starting to lose patience. In any event, the library wouldn't be open for 30 minutes and it's hardly her fault the mall washroom is out of commission.
The man seems to think Miss Information can do something about all this nonsense (which is largely the fault of the storm and not actually a library policy or something) and keeps insisting that they tell him exactly when the library is opening and when he can get in. Miss Information decides her best course of action is to ignore him and go hang up her coat.
Eventually the branch opens and it's busy until the 1 pm closing time. Miss Information feels good that her colleagues risked their lives to open the branch so people could stock up on DVDs for the Christmas break.
Monday, January 13, 2014
Miss Information is annoyed by the angry helpless peopleMiss Information thinks people should choose--do they want to be helpless or do they want to be angry? She can cope with either, but both is simply too much to ask. She encountered this woman on Friday.
Miss Information is restocking one of the new books displays when she hears a woman yelling at the circulation desk that there is no one to help her. The circulation staff member makes eye contact with Miss Information and suggests that the woman go and stand at the desk because the librarian is probably helping someone else.
Miss Information sighs and goes back to the desk. The woman is angry because she can't find her hold. Well, this is not anything to get mad about. Miss Information can usually help people find their holds. "Why do you make this so difficult?!?" the woman shouts.
Right. Numerical order can be a challenge. Miss Information refuses to lower herself to the woman's level and merely suggests that the hold may be misfiled and if they look together they will surely be able to find the item. She cheerfully marches off to the reserve shelf with the angry woman muttering the whole way.
It isn't far to the reserve shelf which Miss Information is grateful about. She is also happy she is not holding a pen because she would surely have stabbed the woman before they got there. This is a really unpleasant woman.
Still, they get to the shelf and lo and behold there is the woman's book. It's on the lower shelf. "How did you find that?" the angry woman snaps. "It was misfiled, wasn't it?"
Listen, Angry Lady, Miss Information usually lies to customers to make them feel less idiotic but not in your case. She will sleep well tonight even if she destroys your self-esteem. She tries. "Actually it was right in exactly the right place," she says.
The woman then snaps that the book should not have been on the lower shelf because she can't bend over. She's talked to the library before and they fixed it so her holds were always on the top shelf but now this hold is on the bottom. What has Miss Information got to say about that?
What Miss Information has to say is The Supervisor, this is Angry Lady. Angry Lady this is The Supervisor for this department. Why don't you ask her?
Miss Information let them go at it for awhile but this question remained. Why didn't the angry woman come to the desk and say: my hold's on a shelf I can't reach. Could you please help me? Because Miss Information could have done without all the drama. The "please" is even optional.
There are some patrons, some able bodied, some not who never pick up their own holds. The library is cool with it. Staff wants you to take out books and will help you do it if necessary.
It's true that sometimes holds are too high or too low for certain patrons to reach but that's the reality of numerical order. You might be on the top of the shelf today but tomorrow an influx of holds might have pushed you down to the bottom. In a big library with hundreds of reserves processed each day, you're not guaranteed the same shelf every time.
You are guaranteed that staff will help you get your hold if you can't get it yourself. After Angry Lady stomped away, Miss Information asked The Supervisor if she'd mentioned that to her. Of course she had. The Supervisor sighed: Angry Lady doesn't want to do that. She wants the library to change the entire mathematical system so her holds are always on the top shelf.
Miss Information hopes she isn't assigned to the "reorganize numbers" committee.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Miss Information's adventures in car ownershipMiss Information's car is 2 years old and a couple of weeks ago she took a day off to have it serviced. The service people assured her that everything was fine. Perfect, they said. They mentioned checking all the fluids and things and stuff and junk. Miss Information isn't clear on those sorts of things. Because it was suddenly teeming rain, she went right home.
The next day, she went to the gym. After that she had plans to drive on the highway for awhile, because she likes that sort of thing. Shortly after merging on to the highway, a warning light appeared on her dashboard--an exclamation point inside square brackets. Miss Information has seen this one before. Something is off with the tire pressure. She exits the highway and goes to a nearby parking lot where she looks at the tires. It is now pouring rain. They seem fine enough. Is that driver's side one kind of low? Hm. Maybe it is.
Miss Information drives to a gas station to check the air and put in more. (Miss Information does not have a working tire gauge but she's been driving around with a completely useless one for as long as she remembers. It's tradition.)
At the gas station, thanks to Miss Information's ridiculously literal interpretation of the car manual's picture showing where the location of the tire information sticker, she has no idea how much air should be in her tires. Not one to let a detail like that stop her, Miss Information puts a little air into the tire that seems low.
The next day she goes to a local garage that is open on Sundays to get them to check the tire, because, well, the tire was fine on Friday at the dealership, it must have a leak, right? The garage is busy and tell her to come back another time. She hates that place, why does she always go there?
Miss Information spends the rest of the day anxiously watching her tires. On Monday, she starts to think that one of the tires on the passenger side seems low. Because it's raining again, she goes to a gas station and puts a little air in that tire. Please note, Miss Information now has found the sticker that tells her how much air to put in the tires. Also note that the air hose at the gas station doesn't have a working gauge. Once again, Miss Information guesses. All the tires seem the right shape. Phew.
Miss Information decides to go shopping. She thinks about when she last saw the warning light. As she recalls, it was right before she took her car for its one year service. So, about a year ago. In fact, Miss Information remembers that it was exactly a year ago, practically to the day. She checks her records. She'd picked the car up at 3 pm on October 26, 2012. The warning light went off at exactly 1:15 on October 26, 2013. Miss Information clues in that warning light might be less of a report of an actual problem and more of an annual reminder.
Miss Information goes into the settings menu. It wants to know if her tires are ok. She says yeah. The warning light goes away.
Miss Information makes a note not to panic next year.
Saturday, November 09, 2013
Miss Information is nice to someone. See how that works out.The customer at the desk is looking for something. Specifically she is looking for the book she reserved. She tells Miss Information that after she'd taken it from the pick up shelf, she'd put it down somewhere and now it's missing. Miss Information is mighty impressed that the woman successful picked up her own hold because most people can't manage that. This woman must be a rocket scientist. Miss Information doesn't think finding the woman's hold will be brain surgery. How many places could it be?
The woman has already retraced her steps. She's even looked on the pick up shelf in case it may have found its way back there. Miss Information continues to be impressed with the patron's ability. She offers to check the circ desk in case the book has ended up there. It hasn't. She checks the bins of books being shipped to other branches just in case it wound up there. She also checks the pick up shelf, looks on the trucks the pages are shelving and asks around. The book cannot be found.
The woman takes the bad news philosophically. Miss Information marks the book missing, because well, the book is missing. She assures the woman that it will turn up and that the library will call her back. The patron thanks Miss Information and goes to the children's department.
In about ten minutes the woman returns, missing book in her hand. She explains that when she'd retraced her steps earlier she'd forgotten about going to the encyclopedias! Then she remembered and there was the book!
Miss Information is delighted. She hates mysteries. The woman starts to walk away. Then she stops and comes back. This time she doesn't seem so happy.
"You know," she says. "You've been nice to me. Really nice. And I'm an idiot. The public transit department treats everyone terribly. You should be more like them. You need to stop being nice. Stop it. Stop it right now!"
Miss Information chuckles but the woman glares at her. "I mean it!" she says. "Stop being so nice!"
Um. Ok, then. Miss Information will never be nice to anyone again. Frankly it's a big relief.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Miss Information is annoyed at work
Miss Information always finds that these situations give her a nice chance to bond with the patrons. When someone comes in to complain that they can't find the DVDs, Large Print, or Non-fiction, she is able to do her best version of Joan of Arc and complain that she "just came back from vacation and has no idea what's been going on!"
So everything was pleasant until Thursday when a woman came in looking for the "new DVDs". It was right after Miss Information had shelved a copy of The Great Gatsby which had been released about a month earlier and still looked pretty fresh to Miss Information. She pointed it out. The patron looked at her like she was an idiot and said, "I meant the new movies," enunciating each word carefully as if she were speaking to a 5 year old.
Listen lady, this is the drill. DVDs are released. The library gets them. The library puts them on the shelf. People who are nearby take them out within seconds. This happens for about a month or so until everyone has seen whatever movie is big right then and stops caring. Unless you are very, very lucky, you won't get one of the newest releases until you no longer want it. For example, Miss Information was unaware the library even had the Great Gatsby until 5 minutes ago. (Ok, if she'd thought about it, she would have realized. She doesn't care for Leonardo Di Caprio.)
Friday, September 27, 2013
Miss Information is annoyed away from workMiss Information is having the most annoying vacation ever. She wanted to have a little time away from the library, read books in coffee shops, go to the gym and generally regroup.
Here's what she did instead.
Monday: spent the day waiting for the phone company guy to come and fix her phone so it can receive, not just make, calls. At one point the phone company guy needed to go into the basement and look for wires, which turned out to be inaccessibly buried in the ceiling. While they were looking, Miss Information noticed that the hose-thing that attaches the hot water tap to the washing machine was leaking so...
Tuesday: Miss Information spent the day trying to remove a very corroded nut from the end of the hose-thing. The nut, which has probably been there since the Salem witch hunts, has a crack (hence the leak), but resists any effort to remove it.
Wednesday: see Tuesday but with added swearing and more toxic material
Thursday: Miss Information is woken up by the dudes who are going to waterproof her basement. After they'd dug everything possible to dig, they packed off and Miss Information headed to the cafe to do some reading. It went well. She did notice a wasp flying around where she was sitting and wondered briefly about capturing it and taking it to freedom. Then she thought briefly about it maybe not being a good idea to leave her bag open on the window ledge. Then she read her book and forgot about the wasp and the bag. Eventually all good things come to an end and she decided to leave the coffee shop and head to the grocery store. She reached into her bag for her car keys and, don't say you didn't see this coming, was stung by a wasp. Miss Information has been bitten by many things but this was her first wasp and it really hurt. By the time she finished her grocery shopping (because a little insect bite isn't going to slow her down), her finger was swollen up like a cigar. Oh, and because Miss Information had felt like going to her favourite out-of-town coffee shop she was now way far from home and in pain. She did manage to get home where she spent the rest of the day with a baking soda paste on her finger. Fortunately, there was a Breaking Bad marathon on so it wasn't like she wasn't entertained.
Friday: Finger is no longer swollen but still hurts. Oh, and good news! The construction guys have found some other places to dig! Unfortunately one of those places was a bee-home. Bees have been living under Miss Information's front yard for years and now their hive (?) has been destroyed. Miss Information feels terrible about this. She worries quite a lot about colony collapse disorder but never thought she'd be directly responsible for homeless bees. Although Miss Information knows that bees don't usually sting, they do seem to be quite annoyed about this development and are flying around looking menacing.
Fortunately, Miss Information returns to work on Tuesday and gets away from all this peaceful home stuff.