Saturday, July 30, 2005

Miss Information is annoyed by a shoe

There was a crying child, a suspicion of bullying, a recalcitrant shoe and a strange feeling of deja vu.

The security guard who has decided to ignore the suggestion that she stop talking to people told Miss Information that there was a situation outside the library. It seems a young boy (aged about 6 or so) had been trying to climb onto the roof of the library to retrieve his shoe, which had ended up there somehow. The child was distraught. The roof of the building is kind of pointy and Miss Information was present when a roofing guy slipped and fell off a few years back. Thankfully he was tethered and just dangled comically outside the workroom window for a while. (Well, it is funny in retrospect.) So, anyway, no staff member was going to risk life and limb and climb out on the roof to get this kid his shoe back--even if they knew where the roof key was. Miss Information gave the master key to a plumber this week and never got it back. Hopefully the plumber gave it to someone else. She keeps forgetting to look.

Miss Information alerted the librarian in charge and together they went to speak to the sobbing child. After determining that the child himself threw his shoe onto the roof, Miss Information was all ready to steal his other shoe and make him walk home barefoot to learn a lesson but the other librarian (let's just call him Mr Information) is too kind-hearted and decided to make a rescue attempt.

Throngs of bystanders watched as Mr Information, Miss Information, a third staff member (let's just call her Mrs Information), and two security guards fashioned a tool out of a broom and an unbent coathanger which Mr Information used to fish the shoe down from the roof. It was an inspiring moment.

Later Miss Information learned that the shoe had gotten on to the roof purely by accident. It seems the child had been skipping, gamboling, cavorting around the building (at least it wasn't inside the building) and his shoe had flown off during the high kick portion of the choreography.
Yes, Miss Information was skeptical too, but when a staff member (the aforementioned Mrs Information) attempted to demonstrate that this was, in fact, plausible, she winged an entire family of customers with her own shoe. (There were no serious injuries reported.)

Some days Miss Information is happy she went to work.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Miss Information is annoyed by a really great pair of shoes

So, because people are on vacation, Miss Information is spending lots of time this week around the Circulation desk. Well, in fact technically she is supposed to be supervising the Circulation desk, but since she is unfamiliar with this department she has no idea what usually happens there. Still she's not worried--books come in, books go out, no one is getting into fistfights with the circ staff--surely this is the main thing.

The other thing she is supposed to do this week is be a "floor clerk". This is where you pace around the library and try to catch employees not working. Unfortunately this wandering around the building trying to catch people not working, seems, well, a little too much like not working to Miss Information and she hates doing it. At the end of the day she likes to be able to point at a big pile of paper and say "Hey, look at that big pile of paper. Do you know this morning it was way down on the other side of the desk? I moved it." The walking around spying on employees just doesn't give the same sense of accomplishment.

Even though she knew she was going to spend more time on her feet, away from the cushy comfort of the Reference Desk, she decided to wear her cow shoes. Oh, how she loves her cow shoes. They are a lovely pair of sandals with a beautiful fake cow hide strap attached to a big thick wooden sole. They are not particularly comfortable to walk in, however. Miss Information is used to striding around the library and these shoes require her to take teeny girly steps. Also the shoes make a lot of noise...rendering the sneaking up on non-working employees unlikely if not downright impossible.

Sadly she decided to sacrifice the spying on other employees part of the job and do some loose leaf filing instead. She moved a lot of paper and felt really good about herself. At some point she wandered back to Reference to reshelve the very exciting CCH binder she had been updating. She heard a suspicious thud in the Reference Stacks--sort of like the sound of a body making contact with a hard surface. She went to investigate. She encountered one of the well-known sociopath teenagers walking briskly from the area. There was another kid (sociopath's younger brother?) in the area weeping and clutching his head. He (the sobbing child) spotted Miss Information and took off. One of the customers reported that the child had been "pushed around" and she should go after him and make sure he was alright. Miss Information took up the chase--using the teeny girly steps her shoes permitted. She followed the child down the uncarpeted staircase--CLUMP, CLUMP, CLUMP--honestly it sounded like a piano falling from a high building, but the library carpet could be used as a science experiment for bacteria, so she wasn't taking off those shoes for anything.

She never did catch him. Of course he was a sensibly shod 8 year old who clearly didn't want to engage in a heart to heart talk about the evils of bullying with Miss Information and she was neither inconspicuous nor difficult to outrun.

So, there may be a child with a serious head injury out there not getting proper treatment and it's all because Miss Information wore the wrong shoes.

But they are such nice shoes...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Miss Information is annoyed by a new idea

The security guard at Miss Information's library was swarmed and threatened by the drug users who hang around the library parking lot. The security guard was merely trying to get them to do their drug using and selling elsewhere. In fact there is a very nice park only a couple of blocks from the library that would be perfect for that kind of thing. Things sure have changed from Miss Information's lawless youth when that sort of activity was not conducted in public and never in broad daylight.

Everyone is shocked and horrified that the drug users would threaten the security guard and the library wants to prevent this from happening again, therefore one of the library supervisors has come up with a brilliant solution.

The security guard has been asked to stop speaking to the customers.

It's only Tuesday. It's way too early for Miss Information to have lost the will to live.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Miss Information is annoyed by elevator repair guys

Miss Information's place of employment is aging--badly. For the last month or so the elevator has been breaking down on an almost daily basis. Last Saturday provided endless enjoyment as the elevator stalled on the main floor of the library with its doors open. This was right beside the reference desk where Miss Information whiles away the hours answering occasional patron questions and waiting breathlessly for the release of the next employee newsletter. At any rate, she was in an excellent position to watch as the elevator gradually slipped towards the basement.

So basically, the thing's a death trap.

It's in everyone's best interest to stay as far away from it as possible. At least until it's properly repaired--in 2007 when the building is scheduled for a massive renovation. Until then the elevator guys are supposed to keep the thing operational using the finest duct tape available. Well, the finest duct tape available within the library's price range.

Anyway, in order to stop trapping those customers who fail to notice clearly posted "out of order" signs (see blog entry dated April 15 for an inspiring example) , the library staff has taken to plastering the elevator doors with that funky yellow caution tape that sort of looks like police crime scene tape but isn't really.

After all, who doesn't love that bright yellow caution tape? The elevator repair guys, that's who. They now refuse to work on the elevator while the caution tape is present. It seems that as long as the elevator vaguely resembles a crime scene, the elevator guys will not interfere with (or fix) it.

They are baffled by the library's need to resort to this kind of thing because, you know, who ignores "out of order" signs? Miss Information sighs. They just don't understand the sort of idiocy at work here.

The caution tape is now removed. The elevator doors are barricaded with tables. The "out of order" sign has been taped directly on top of the call button. And yet today Miss Information watched helplessly as customer after customer stepped around the obstacles and attempted to press the call button through the sign. They didn't move it or lift it. They just ignored it.

You've got to admire that kind of blind determination.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Stuff Miss Information wonders about

It turns out the library union didn't go on strike, leaving Miss Information hours of free time to think about nonsense. This is what she's been thinking about this morning.

If they're only occasional tables, what are they the rest of the time?

If you can be inept, why can you not be ept? Miss Information wants to be ept at something.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Miss Information has a thought about labour relations

Miss Information likes to learn new things. This is what she learned today:

If your union is negotiating a new contract, it is best to not have the strike deadline coincide with the end of the lengthy NHL lockout. See, no one will care about the problems of a pesky little library union because people will be playing hockey a couple of months--and this requires endless discussion in the media. Every time a newsreader starts a story with the words "A tentative agreement has been reached..." it gets her hopes up. No, it isn't about your union, girlie, they're still talking about hockey.

She is absolutely thrilled that there will be hockey again. It was a very long winter. But seriously, if the library goes on strike, what will people do? The new Harry Potter book is coming out. People might have to buy it. Where will the nine year olds go to read their e-mail? People might have to go to Internet cafes and actually pay to look at pornography. And what about the children who like to run through the library? They might have to run in a park or something. The whole thing is too tragic for words.

Miss Information has no idea what time she should get up. Should she go to work? Should she get up early and go picket somewhere? Should she forget the whole thing and get her skates sharpened?

What Miss Information thought about in Corpse Pose
She worried about being on strike but mostly she was just kept asking herself what the hell she was doing in a yoga class where the air conditioner was not working. If she wanted Bikram yoga she would do Bikram yoga.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Miss Information is annoyed about being back

Miss Information's vacation is alas, over and she is back at work. The third customer she had this morning accused her of being a Nazi. Well, yeah, the Nazis are responsible for atrocities and genocide; Miss Information wouldn't let you use a computer for longer than anyone else. She can see why you were confused.

That vacation must have resensitized her, because she was quite upset by this. For two entire weeks no one accused Miss Information of anything more malevolent than forgetting to feed the cat. And it was nice, dammit.

By this afternoon, she'll be back to her hard-hearted self.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Miss Information is annoyed about cutlery

Miss Information is back from vacation and she has something to get off her chest.

Specifically she is concerned about the fork situation. She does appreciate that the fast food industry acknowledges her desire to occasionally eat a vegetable by providing exciting opportunities to consume iceberg lettuce, but shouldn't somebody else recognize the near impossibility of eating these salads with those stupid plastic forks?

Really. It can't be done. She has been reduced to tears at truckstops trying to spear those tiny tomatoes.

Someone needs to fix this.