Thursday, July 17, 2014

Miss Information goes to a couple of meetings. They're annoying.

The only time Miss Information wishes she had never become a librarian and instead toiled away in the clerical salt mines is when she's at a meeting.  Yesterday she had two meetings. They were annoying and far away at a different branch.

At the first meeting she raised some very legitimate concerns about a new policy but is so bad at expressing herself verbally, that she fears everyone else missed the point of what she was trying to say and has now just labelled her as a difficult employee who refuses to play nicely with others.

At the second meeting which was directly related to work that she, and only she, will carry out, she understood nothing that was said. She nodded and took notes but her head was spinning from meeting number 1 and everyone used big words that she didn't understand. She reassures herself that in the end this is still library work and the fact that she has no idea what she's doing may actually not cause too many problems. (This attitude served her well in graduate school, after all.)

Then she left. It was raining and as she walked to the subway entrance she realized that she'd left her sweater in the room for meeting 1. She raced back to the security desk because the meeting rooms are in staff areas that she doesn't have access to.

She explains that she was in a meeting in room G4 and she'd left her sweater. Could they please let her back in to get it?

The security staff argued that she must have been in a public room G1, which she assured them she wasn't. A guard took her to a staff area but not the right staff area. Someone working in this new area asked where she was going. G4.

"Oh, you mean the GForce Computer Centre? That's on the other side."

Miss Information again clarified that it was the staff meeting room G4. Another staff member took pity on her and led her to the right room but hesitated when they'd arrived.

"There are no lights on. No one's here," she said.

Miss Information pushed past her to get her sweater back, thanked the woman and gratefully left the building. 

It's a good sweater but perhaps not worth the effort. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Miss Information is back from vacation.

Miss Information is back from a couple of weeks away from the library. It was nice. Her first day back she noticed that her tolerance for crying children is completely gone. On the second day, she struggled to get her act together in the teen area where there was less children at least.

Miss Information was still easing into the day when she heard a woman nearby screaming and swearing.

"Stupid fucking bastard!" the woman shouted.

Miss Information glanced over to see a middle aged woman pounding the wall and screaming at...the automated return machine. Miss Information initially decided to ignore it and then she remembered that she was no longer on vacation.

She went over to the woman, who was now kicking the wall, banging the machine and shouting about not getting a receipt.

Miss Information asked if the woman was having trouble with the machine. (It was early. She hadn't finished her coffee yet.)

"I returned some things! And the fucking stupid machine didn't give me a reciept! Fucking bastard!"

Oh, well, then. That is something you should totally have a complete meltdown about. Remember the olden days when you threw stuff in a bookdrop and just hoped for the best? Ah, technology.

Miss Information pointed to the message clearly visible on the machine's display that said right up front that it was currently unable to print receipts. She assured the woman that staff inside the building would be happy to make sure that the items she'd returned were no longer on her account. Amazingly, the woman went away relatively cheerfully. 

Maybe she'd used up all her anger kicking the wall.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Miss Information is finding it all terribly funny

Miss Information was walking through the mall to get to work. It's been under construction forever but she notices that the clothing store is back in its usual spot and has a new sign. She may not have noticed the old sign because the new version strikes her as hysterically funny today. 

The shop is apparently called "Mario's for Men" and that's great. It's the subtitle that gets Miss Information snickering. Underneath Mario's for Men, the sign clarifies: Clothing for Ladies and Men. Miss Information wonders why, when they ordered the new sign they didn't drop the "for Men" part of the main sign but she walks past their window display and realizes that perhaps the shop employees don't really understand signs--at least not in the way that she does.

The window display has a nice Father's Day sign--"I Love You, Daddy!" It's very sweet. Everything else in the display is handbags--clearly women's handbags. Miss Information grew up fatherless, so the subtleties of the holiday may have escaped her. 

At work, there's a lot of excitement about an upcoming film screening and Miss Information is adding a woman and her plus one to the registration list. 

"Oh, my goodness," the woman exclaims. "I didn't notice this. It says it may not be suitable for young children!"

Miss Information says that yes, it is in fact a PG film. Was the woman's plus one a child?

"Yes, it's my daughter! Do you think it will be ok to bring her? She's 26."

Miss Information manages to suppress her howls of laughter long enough to assure the woman that the film will not be harmful to her adult daughter. She spends the rest of her shift with her head under the desk so no one will hear her giggling.

So far this has week has been pretty awesome.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Come on, people. Quit annoying Miss Information.

Miss Information spends a lot of time answering questions about eBooks. So this afternoon, when a person comes asking for help with downloading, she is not surprised. 

The woman wants a certain book in digital format. The library owns the eBook. The woman is vexed because it isn't permitting her to download but will only let her place a hold. Miss Information explains the reality of library licensing of eBooks. 

The patron then says that she really wants to buy the eBook but she's searched Amazon and they don't have it. Miss Information points out that the book might not be available for Kindle but may be in ePub. The patron gets snippy. She'll ask someone else. 

Um, well Miss Information is actually doing a search that may contain the answer and urges the woman to stick with her. Yes, she finds the eBook for purchase in ePub format from another big bookseller. 

The woman's attitude is starting to annoy Miss Information but she pulls up the information about compatibility anyway and shows the patron the many devices that she can use to read the book. 

At this point, the patron snaps. She doesn't want to "read" the book. She wants to "search" the book. That's why she wants to use an eBook! She implies that Miss Information is really stupid for not understanding this. Miss Information thinks the patron is really stupid for assuming that Miss Information would just automatically know what she wanted to do with the ebook. She counts to ten and assures the patron that she can search an eBook or she can read an eBook, whatever she turns her crank.

See folks, Miss Information wants to help you. It isn't even in her job description to assist you with non-library purchases so the least you can do is not get snippy with her. When you tell her you want to get an eBook, she assumes that "reading" is going to take place. Don't get all huffy with her for not being able to read your mind.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Miss Information is annoyed on Friday

One patron wanted a book called The Explosive Child about parenting children who are "easily frustrated". The book was not in the library now, though Miss Information offered to place a hold for the woman. The patron, no big surprise, became frustrated. She complained that a big library like this should have the book she wanted. Why did she have to wait? She did agree to have Miss Information place a request for her but complained that the library had the wrong email address on file. Why did the library have that email? It wasn't the best way to get in touch with her at all! Stupid library. Miss Information corrected the information and bid farewell to the woman and made plans to write a book called The Explosive Library Patron.
Another annoyed person was using the Internet. Her phone rang several times. Each time, the woman answered and snarled at the caller, angrily announcing that she couldn't talk because she was in the library! No! She didn't know when she could call back because she's in the library!

The woman managed to be disruptive by not taking a phone call. Miss Information was left to wonder why, after the first call, the woman hadn't turned her phone off. People know they can do that, right?

Monday, April 07, 2014

Miss Information is trapped in the teen area and it's still annoying

Staff shortages mean that Miss Information gets to spend part of her Saturday in the teen area. She's really starting to sense that a name change is needed. The "everyone but teens" area would be more apt. In her first hour in the department an 8-year-old asked her for the iPad password.

Oh dear. The iPads are not supposed to be password protected. If they are asking for a password that means that some little cu...stomer has decided it would be fun to mess with the nice library.

Miss Information could see password protecting the iPad if you wanted it to be available whenever you personally needed to use it but the fact is that the iPad is not a particularly high demand device (no good apps) so, basically, you can use it just about any old time.

The unfortunate thing is that now both of the iPads need to be reset and Miss Information can't do that. What she can do is put "Out of Order" signs on them and send an email to the guy who is responsible for making them work again.

A couple of hours later, Miss Information is in the department again and notices a crowd of children and caregivers huddled around the iPads. What she can't see is her lovingly constructed Out of Order signs.

She decides to investigate. An adult woman standing with several children is holding the Out of Order signs.

Miss Information fights the urge to be sarcastic. "Hi," she begins. "These iPads are not working."

"What's the password?" says Kid A. "It needs a password."

Miss Information explains that she doesn't know the password because it was set up by some random stranger who didn't bother to provide her with that meaningless detail.

"C'mon, what's the password?" says Kid B.

Miss Information replies that she still doesn't know.

"The children need the iPad password," says the adult/mother/caregiver. You remember her--she's the one who removed the Out of Order signs. By now the group seems to believe that either Miss Information is intentionally denying the children the password or that she doesn't understand English.

Miss Information asks the woman for the Out of Order signs and puts them back on the iPads. She explains that the Out of Order signs are there because the iPads are out of order.

She explains it a couple of times, just in case and stomps away muttering to herself.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Miss Information is annoyed by the young people

The next day, Miss Information is again in the teen area. Instead of teens, however she is faced with more old people and the brothers.

The brothers drive Miss Information insane. There are 3 of them and because she is terrible at judging these things, she's going to say they range in age from 5 to 11. 

The 11 year old tends to settle in with the X-Box. The middle one sits around and looks bored. The little guy always wants to use the Wii and he does--completely unsuccessfully. They are frequently joined by their father--he seems pleasant but never says anything.

At this point Miss Information should mention that she isn't doesn't understand much about the library's gaming systems. She has had a variety of handheld gaming devices, she likes PC adventure games. She has occasionally played first-person shooters. However, she is completely unequipped to deal with a 5-year-old's Wii issues. 

She sets all the systems up and heads back to the desk. After 5 minutes the little brother shows up.

"Sorry. Can I change games? It doesn't work."

"Hm. Ok. It worked for the last guy, though. Maybe you haven't done something, like pressed the right button?"

Miss Information returns to the gaming room and changes games. Does it work? She has no idea. She returns to the desk for 5 minutes of peace. 

"Sorry. It's not working."

Miss Information is sorry, too. She accompanies the kid back into the room. She makes some vague suggestions about pressing buttons. She reloads the disc because, why the hell not?

After much fiddling, the bored brother comes out of his coma, grabs the controller and presses the button that makes things happen. 

Miss Information wants to kill them all. She gets that the little guy is high maintenance and kind of annoying but surely the older kids could help him out. Miss Information has a bad knee right now and all this walking back and forth, crawling on the floor to change games/fix things/fiddle with wires has set her recovery back months. 

If only actual teens would occasionally come in, Miss Information would be happier. Either that or she'd be annoyed with them, too. Yeah, probably that second thing.

Miss Information is annoyed by old people

It's weird because Miss Information is one of the old people. She keeps herself youthful by being a bad influence on her nieces--letting them watch The Walking Dead and forcing them to listen to hip hop in the car.  

"Oh, Kanye," one of the nieces recently sighed. "What are you mad about now?"

Also, moisturizing is important. 

In any case, Miss Information generally likes the youth and that's good because tonight she's in the teen area. It's unfortunate that the Teen section has many things that attract adults to the department. Things like chairs and power outlets are like catnip to the olds and most of the time they outnumber the actual youth who are less impressed by furniture. 

On this evening Miss Information plays host to about a dozen teens playing some annoying game on the library's Wii. Also in the department are some feisty old people. 

"There's too much noise!" one women complains. 

Miss Information replies that this is the library's place for teens--a place where the library provides gaming consoles. Of course there's noise. She refrains from rolling her eyes. 

"I came here because I wanted a quiet place to relax," she replies. 

Miss Information points out that there are many quiet places to relax in the rest of the library--7 floors in fact--that an adult might find less noisy. 

"But I'm charging my phone!" the woman says. "You tell them to be quiet!"

Miss Information repeats the words "this is the teen area" until the woman gets tired and goes away. 

A little while later a couple of youth from the nearby shelter do a freestyle rap as they're leaving and yes, Miss Information should have shushed them because even in the teen area, this sort of thing is frowned upon. On the other hand they weren't bad and included Miss Information's nice smile in their rhyme, so she let it slide. 

After they'd left another of the tiresome old people came to the desk. 

"I think those people were up to something. You should check the security cameras. Mark my words they were doing something."

Well, yeah. They were doing all sorts of things. They were converting oxygen to carbon dioxide, they were hanging around, they were interacting with each other....

"They were swearing! Check the security cameras! They were using the f-word."

Oh. Right. That. Miss Information is pretty sure the security camera wouldn't catch that unless the fellas wrote the word down on a piece of paper and held it up directly to the camera.

She repeats that line about rules being relaxed in the teen area and reminds the man of the adult parts of the library--that is: basically everywhere except where he is. He's actually a good sport about it. He goes back to his seat mentioning that he doesn't like hearing the "f-word" and thinks no one should be allowed to use it in the library. 

Miss Information promises she'll pass it on to the head of youth services but since he's been known to use that particular word himself, she doubts that it will get anywhere.