And another thing...
Because your driver's licence expires on your birthday, all of Miss Information's DMV photos show a pasty woman in an ugly jacket who has a near fatal case of hat head. She resembles one of the "needy" people in the United Way ads.
Before they take the picture they always say "oh, don't take your jacket off". Well, Miss Information is taking her goddamn jacket off next time.
Miss Information is annoyed about her birthday
It's Miss Information's birthday, damnit and she took the day off work to have fun, but instead she's in the garage waiting room (where they are playing exactly the sort of music that turns people into serial killers--broken-hearted girl singers--yep, if you weren't suicidal before you got here...) while her car completes its emissions test. She didn't realize that her car was due for testing this year--it turns out you really should read
those notices the government sends you.
Miss Information hates her damn birthday. Nothing ever goes well for her. Situated as it is in the heart of cold, flu and blizzard season, she figures that at least a third of her birthdays have been postponed due to inclement weather. Easily another third have been spent sick in bed. This leaves the remaining third (and never mind exactly how many that is) which have just been stupid and annoying--like that time a couple of years back when she locked her wallet and keys in the car at the mall... Or last year (blizzard), when her small, but overscheduled family insisted on celebrating her birthday (presents, cake, everything) 1 day early, leaving her alone on her actual birthday to shovel the driveway and go to the eye doctor.
Thinking back, it is sort of disturbing how often she schedules car services and doctor's appointments for her birthday. What sane person does that sort of thing?
But never mind that, she also finds it very annoying that you all bought her gifts at post-Christmas sales--thus saving yourself a ton of money. She can tell, you know. When she opens those gifts she often says to herself "oh yeah, they must have gotten a really great deal on that thing". Not that she's ungrateful, she just reminds you that she pays full price for your gifts--you lucky bastards who have birthdays in civilized months like May and September.
Anyway the rest of her birthday will be spent as follows--get that emissions certificate (presumably her car will pass, after all she just had it serviced--when was it? oh, yes--Monday), then a quick painless trip to the DMV to renew her car registration, then off to a nice coffee shop to read in peace--except she forgot to bring her damn book. The one time in her life when she doesn't have a dozen or so books in her car... So perhaps a nice peaceful drive in the country, excet that she's almost out of gas and gas prices went up some ridiculous amount overnight.
Well, the day will pass--somehow and she can look forward to the traditional birthday dinner with her family -- which has now been reduced to her sister (who doesn't really speak to her) and one niece, everyone else having been put on the DL yesterday. If the weather cooperates she may meet friends for coffee later. If she survives all that fun activity, she can go to the late night yoga class where she can lie all twitchy in corpse pose for a while and think about how terribly old she's getting and how soon she will be an actual corpse.
On the positive side she does know the location of an almost full bottle of Irish whiskey...
But really, she's had it with birthdays. Next year she's definitely going to work instead.
Another annoying conversation
Miss Information and her co-workers have spent the day analysing the details of an angst-inducing workplace re-structuring. Tsunami, what tsunami? All the employees have taken on the disposition of a tragic heroine from a bad Scandinavian movie. So really the kind thing to do is to just leave them the hell alone in their anguish.
But the public is oblivious to the obvious suffering and continue in their selfish pursuit of knowledge. Bastards.
One such customer called asking to "speak with someone
about the poetry reading later this month". Miss Information was unaware of any upcoming poetry reading and was almost unable to work up the energy to find out. After a painfully long and unsuccessful search she asked whether the person on the phone could provide any more detail.
She said "Oh, yes, I had a phone call and a fax from a librarian named Debbie...."
Why she couldn't just have asked for Debbie in the first place is a mystery that Miss Information is far too disturbed to wonder about.
An actual conversation
Guy patron: I'm looking for a video called "End of the Beginning".
Miss Information: Ok we have that.
Guy patron: Is it about ancient civilizations?
Miss Information: It's about World War II.
Guy patron: Is that an ancient civilization?
Miss Information uncovers an evil conspiracy
Miss Information really hates winter. She is still angry with her grandparents for moving to this godforsaken country. Like it would have been so much more difficult to stay on the boat a little longer and settle in Bermuda? Or commit crimes that would have had them deported to Australia? Stupid law abiding ancestors.
Anyway, she does try to make the best of this stupid season. She molds her staticy hair into fun shapes for the amusement of others. She re-organizes her many layers of clothing each day, so it doesn’t look like she’s wearing the same 5 sweaters. And she tries, oh lord how she tries, to maintain the glorious suppleness of her lips.
This is the evil conspiracy part. Each winter Miss Information purchases many tubes, containers, and pots of lip balm. Here’s the scary thing. In all her years living in this unforgiving climate she has never (NEVER) gotten to the bottom of one of them. She has never (NEVER) thrown one out. And yet, each year when she looks for the thousand containers of lip balm she purchased last winter she is unable to locate even one.
So, here’s what she thinks: every container of lip balm is embedded with a microchip that causes the entire thing to self-destruct a couple of weeks after you purchase it. It then disintegrates and becomes that unrecognizable gray lint stuff at the bottom of your handbag.
Obviously evil cosmetics company agents will attempt to silence Miss Information. She just hopes they torture her someplace warm.
Miss Information argues with a stand up guy
This is yet another irritating patron encounter extracted from the mixed up files of Miss Information.
Today Miss Information had an argument with a man who wanted to sit at one of the stand up express terminals. She told him that sitting defeated the purpose of having a “stand up terminal”. He said that didn’t apply to him because he had a backache.
Miss Information then suggested that if he wanted/needed to sit down, he should use one of the many readily available “sit down terminals”. He didn’t want to.
At times like this Miss Information wishes she had become a mushroom farmer.
Miss Information gets nostalgic
Miss Information has been reading and weeding her e-mail and documents from the past year. In doing so she has uncovered a wealth of annoyances that she amazingly did not post on the blog. Here's one of them:
Miss Information sighed deeply and pretended to ignore the customer frantically beckoning her over to the Internet terminal. The Reference Desk was short staffed and she was tired of people thinking that just because they had opposable thumbs, they were capable of using the Internet.
Oh damn. Now he was calling her. Loudly. Honestly, were his legs broken? Was he unaware that libraries were supposed to be quiet?
She sighed again and went over to the terminal. Slowly. While she walked she tried to force her lips into a smile and failed, achieving only a sneer.
“Something I can help you with?” she asked.
“This Internet isn’t working. Can I use another one?”
“Well, you need to log on. When you try to log on do you get an error message?”
Miss Information tried to be patient as the customer muttered something unintelligible. I could hear him so clearly when he was yelling across the room at me, she thought.
“Ok, then. Just show me what you did.”
The customer pressed the login button. The error message “Sorry you have entered an invalid card number or pin number” appeared.
“It just keeps telling me that,” the customer whined.
“Uhm, well, you do have to enter your card number BEFORE you press the login button.”
Really, why did he think that little box asking for his library card was on the screen, anyway?
Miss Information meets an evil bitch queen
Miss Information was determined to start off 2005 with a new attitude. Certainly she has learned from the recent horrific events that life is precious and every day is to be celebrated.
Well, fuck that shit. Today was her regularly scheduled, always traumatic, circulation desk shift. Nothing too terrible had happened before she went on break. Well, obviously she had disregarded several key procedures and overlooked library policy, thus breaching employee ethics on several (less than ten)
occasions. But, so?
When she tore herself away from the delightful coffee-like substance available in the staff room and returned to the desk she discovered that the cash-register was malfunctioning. Not her fault, by the way. Somebody else broke the thing.
While other, more competent, employees attempted to breathe life into the machine, Miss Information got on with helping customers. Most of them were charming people you would be happy to meet in dark alleys. Not surprisingly when they were told they would have to pay their library fines on another occasion, they were overjoyed. Several of them danced merry celebratory jigs--and were promptly thrown out of the library (dancing is strictly against the code of conduct).
There was this one woman, however... When she was told that she would have to pay her fines another time, she threw a complete fit. It seems that she had made a special trip to the library to return her books and Miss Information was inconveniencing her terribly by suggesting that she come back another time. The nerve.
Miss Information refrained from pointing out that the woman's books were a couple of days late already. If she hadn't made a special trip
today, the fines would have been higher tomorrow. Not to mention that the woman was renewing a book, so she was destined to come back at some point. At any rate, Miss Information ignored the woman's obvious sociopathy and suggested that she pay the fine when she returned the books she was taking out today. But the woman insisted that this would cause undue hardship and demanded that Miss Information waive the fines as a good will gesture.
Like that was ever gonna happen. Miss Information was all out of good will.
Miss Information has had people mad about paying fines. She had had people who are mad about amount of their fines. She never imagined that there were people in the world who would be angry because the damn cash register is broken and they couldn't give us money. How horrible. You get to keep that money. What a tragedy.