Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Miss Information is annoyed by the reluctant

Ok, Miss Information has returned from vacation. So far, two people have told her she is looking tired. Another co-worker said it was clear she wasn't feeling well. In fact, up to that point she was feeling fine. Even a little perky. Now all she wants to do is go home and curl up with a good book and a hot cup of soup.

Instead of that this is what she's had to put up with this afternoon. One of her colleagues wanted Miss Information to tell her whether it was ok to take down the posters advertising the programme that had taken place the previous night. Well, geez, it is remotely possible that one of our customers will build a time machine out of old elastics and paper clips, tamper with the laws of physics and return us to the happy giddy time that was yesterday afternoon, but Miss Information thinks it is highly unlikely. She knows that sometimes independent thought is discouraged around here, but honestly, this is a decision a toddler could make. Even if you throw out the stuff and you're wrong, you can always deny having done it. Denial is one of Miss Information's favourite coping strategies. She didn't see it, didn't hear about it, didn't get the e-mail, wasn't part of the focus group, and most certainly did not throw out that out-of-date poster. Must have been somebody else.

Also this afternoon there has been an influx of particularly clueless adult students working on health projects. Miss Information suspects to her horror that they are nursing students from the college up the street. She reminds herself to never get sick again. The one Miss Information was assisting/trying not to kill this afternoon was looking for books on cardiac health. Miss Information led the hapless student to the shelf where there were several books on the heart. "Well, which ones have pictures?" said the student.

Now Miss Information has always believed that the way to find out what is inside a book is to pick it up and look at it. She gently suggested that the customer actually take some books off the shelf and flip through them.

"Well, what about medical encyclopedias?" said the student, declining to touch any of the books. Miss Information took the student to the Reference section where the medical reference books are.

"So, which of these has pictures?" said the student. Again, Miss Information encouraged the woman to reach out and touch something. The woman opted not to, preferring to stand with her arms folded across her chest.

"I need a picture of a good heart and a bad heart. Where can I find that?" said the student.

Miss Information once again suggested the woman take a look at some of the books on the shelf. As she went back to the desk she heard the woman muttering about trying the Internet. Maybe because the woman was a nursing student, she didn't want to expose herself to the bacteria in/on/around the books. Maybe she was frightened of breaking the books. Maybe she thought Miss Information has memorized the contents of every single book in the building.

This scenario happens amazingly often. One day Miss Information is going to close her eyes, press her fingers to her temples, make some woo-woo noises, pick a book at random off the shelf and hand it to the customer, telling them it has exactly what they're looking for.


At 8:09 PM, Blogger Anna said...

if I were you, Miss Information, I would be annoyed by the Spam Commenters... Great site, I can relate; as a fellow librarian.

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Lexi said...

Perhaps you should have taken a sadistic turn with your lazy customer.

1. Plunge hand into chest and pull out heart.

"This is what a healthy heart looks like."

2. Wait 5 minutes.

"This is what an unhealthy heart looks like."

And now she doesn't even have to worry about getting on the internet without lifting a finger. You'd be employee of the month.


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