Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Miss Information is annoyed by risk takers

An upset patron comes to the desk. She wants to tell Miss Information something important. The elevator outside the library that takes people to the parking lot is "jumping". 

"Jumping?" says Miss Information. 

"Jumping and bouncing," confirms the patron. 

The woman heads towards the elevator alcove while Miss Information goes to the security desk to find out what can be done about this situation. The security guard reports that some maintenance is scheduled on the elevator but he thinks it is for later today. 

Miss Information goes outside to speak to the woman. There are a couple of elevators that go to the parking lot in different parts of the building. Maybe she should take one of them?

She goes to the alcove fully expecting to see the patron. Nope. Odd. There is nothing in the alcove but the elevator and the staff entrance to the library but even staff can't use that door during open hours. So, the woman should be here unless...

Miss Information has no evidence to back this up. The woman could have been spirited away by aliens or been sucked into a black hole or something. 

However, based upon her study of library-visiting humans, Miss Information believes that the woman has decided to risk her life and get on an elevator that is bouncing and jumping. 

Miss Information stayed by the elevator listening for a crash and there was nothing but silence. The woman escaped death...this time. 



Saturday, August 09, 2014

Miss Information is annoyed by people who judge books (etc.) by their covers

Customer: I saw a book in the mall and I want to check it out from the library. 

Miss Information: Ok. Was it in a bookstore or something?

Customer: I don't know. Somewhere in the mall. 

Miss Information: Ok. What do you know about it? Did you notice the title?

Customer: It was called Turn but the N was backwards. 

Miss Information: There's a tv show called Turn, about the American Revolution, could it be a DVD that you saw?

Customer: Nope. It was definitely a book. 

Miss Information types "Turn" into the catalogue.
This results in a billion hits. 

Customer: The N is backwards. Try that.

Miss Information explains that cataloguing doesn't do fancy things like backwards Ns because no one would find anything that way.

Miss Information: Maybe we can narrow it down by subject. What was the book about?

Customer: I don't know. 

Miss Information: Um. Oh. (She plays a hunch and goes to IMDB where she pulls up the listing for the television show. What a surprise--the poster uses a backwards N.)

Customer: That's it! That's it!

Alas the DVD for that show is not released yet. Miss Information tells him that perhaps the library may have it in the future but she doesn't know.

Working in the library Miss Information knows that things sometimes just catch your eye but suggests that you take a moment to see what it is you're looking at before coming to the library and requesting it. Some details would be helpful too. "That book with a blue cover I saw on the bus" is not especially useful information.

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?