Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Miss Information is annoyed by a social worker

A few years back the people in charge decided that the library should be less of a library and more of a full-service community information centre. This means that there are always a bunch of people hanging around who appear to be staff members but are not really. Miss Information is pleased that her place of employment is trying so hard to help people, but is constantly frustrated by the presence of these individuals. They use up desk space and supplies and clutter up the place with flyers. Also, they don't seem to be that good at providing schedules or contact information so when Miss Information actually needs them for something, she can't figure out where they are, when they're coming back and how to get in touch with them.

Tonight one of them was attempting to use the staff photocopier, located in the same general area as Miss Information's desk, where she was working on the branch payroll, a job that requires her to use every bit of concentration she has and quite a lot that she doesn't have. It's a trauma.

This particular social worker was attempting to make about 20 double sided copies. First she didn't pick the double-sided copies button. She attempted it again, but this time requested the job on legal sized paper. She tried once more, this time requesting letter sized paper, but picking the wrong orientation. She then turned to Miss Information for help.

Specifically, she wanted to know where the extra paper was kept, having practically used up the loaded paper with her useless copies.

Miss Information worked out the solution for her and suggested that in future, she send a test copy, because then you only waste one (or at most 3) pages instead of the 60 she managed to use up with her trial and error method.

The woman thought that that was "a really good idea" and went about making her copies. Then obviously, just as Miss Information was trying to figure out why Staff Member X took vacation on a day he was not scheduled to work, the woman had a paper jam and asked for Miss Information's assistance.

Now, because the facilities department of the library doesn't want the employees to clutter up their pretty little heads with unneccessary information, they never bothered to provide a manual for the photocopier and the one guy who speaks its language had gone home early. Miss Information tried to open the troublesome part of the photocopier, all the while having to listen to the social worker (whom Miss Information is beginning to dislike intensely) criticize her efforts. "Press that button, no not that one. The other one. No, don't do it like that. You're doing it wrong."

Eventually Miss Information "did it right" and rescued the misfed paper. She then departed from the area to go work at somebody else's desk.

People often ask why she doesn't use her own desk more often. Well, this is that reason.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Miss Information is annoyed by a job action

Miss Information is finished with her stupid pointless project and has been able to concentrate on other things. Like the library union threatening to go on strike again. The union is upset about a change to the pension and Miss Information thinks they have a pretty good point.

However, the publicity they have distributed is badly worded and Miss Information thinks it is no wonder they union isn't getting a lot of support.

The flyers, posters, e-mails all say the same thing:
Stop the Government
Pension Fairness Now!

When she sees this Miss Information always reads it as "Stop the government pension fairness now." Oh, yes, let us put an end to pension fairness forever!

Luckily there has been a last minute deal between the government and the union but Miss Information has no idea whether her the pension plan is now more fair or unfair. Her pension plan is to keep a lot of cash in a shoe box under her bed, just in case.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Miss Information is annoyed by deep thoughts

Miss Information is still working feverishly on that project with the unreasonable deadline. On Friday, however she hit the wall. You know the wall. It's the one with the big glowing neon sign on it that says "You realize, of course, none of this makes the slightest bit of difference. Books will be purchased. They will circulate. Or not. At any rate, it doesn't matter because in 100 years we'll all be dead whether we buy the right books for the right branch or not." It's a very big wall.

Even though Miss Information has now become cynical about the entire process, she continues to work steadily. It would really upset her to miss this important, yet completely arbitrary deadline so she's been keeping her head down and working away. All of this means that she's been, well, quieter than usual around the library.

It's been great really. Without Miss Information dominating all the conversations with an endless stream of witty banter, others around the workplace have finally had the chance to express their thoughts.

Oh, gosh, has it ever been educational. One thing Miss Information has learned is that there are a lot of really stupid thoughts in the heads of her co-workers. Frankly these thoughts are much better unexpressed.

Someone announced with delight that her child's school has decided to stop teaching calculus entirely. She was really pleased about this. Miss Information thinks that probably schools should at least try to teach math, but she has no children and she hated math so what does she know?

Another staff member asked if Miss Information wanted another cat. It seems this staff member is thinking about getting rid of her cat. Mostly because she is tired of washing it all the time. It makes a big mess in the bathroom and the cat really resents it besides. Oh, dear. Miss Information has always gone for those low maintenance cats. You know, the ones that wash themselves.

There is no hope for these people. The only thing Miss Information can do is finish her project quickly and get back to her usual chatty self. It really is better to not know what the others are thinking.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Miss Information is annoyed by the courteous

Miss Information is doomed. She is working on a project with a nearly impossible deadline. She is becoming quite perturbed by the amount of time she is spending fielding questions from her co-workers about this. Just about every time someone passes by and sees Miss Information chipping away at her project, he or she feels compelled to stop and ask her how it's going.

Here's how it's going, pal. It's going about as well as it was going an hour ago when you last asked, except now Miss Information is farther behind because she's had to stop working and answer your inane questions.

Also, Miss Information does not wish to engage in small talk today. She would love for you to share all the details of your romantic Valentine's Day dinner sometime when she isn't tearing her hair out over work--you know, later. Let's say much later, if you catch her drift.

Now, look what you've done. You got Miss Information all irritated so she had to use her precious coffee time to vent her frustration on the Internet.

She hopes you're all very proud of yourselves.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Miss Information is baffled by maternal instincts

Lately Miss Information has been wondering about people. Specifically, are they insane, or what?

The library elevator, affectionately known as the death trap is miraculously working after a 3 month hiatus in the summer while the elevator guys tried to locate a part that would—what’s the technical term?—make it go up and down. But it is still a temperamental creature (Miss Information can so relate) and it tends to shut down whenever too many buttons are pushed, or when it gets tired or when it wants to get on Miss Information’s nerves. It’s usually just a matter of time before it pulls itself together and starts working again. One afternoon recently it managed to trap an entire family between floors. (That’ll teach ‘em. Take the stairs next time, you lazy bastards.)

While Miss Information’s colleague was running between floors banging on the elevator door trying to communicate with the trapped people, (which is really all library staff does when faced with an elevator malfunction), Miss Information continued answering reference questions. A woman who was clearly waiting for the elevator was watching the drama. Miss Information expected her to sigh heavily and take the stairs. She did not, continuing to wait for the elevator. After a couple of minutes, Miss Information approached the woman, and pointed out that not only had the elevator stopped working, in fact there were a number of people imprisoned inside it and suggested the woman take the stairs. After all, it isn’t that many stairs, just one flight. Besides, it just seems logical to avoid large non-working mechanical devices. The woman responded that she couldn’t possibly take the stairs because she had a baby. She held up a tiny baby in a handheld basket. So, this woman decided that a sensible thing to do is to risk your baby’s life in a malfunctioning elevator because you don’t feel like carrying her down a flight of stairs? Miss Information knows that there is a remote possibility that you might trip and drop your baby on the stairs, but taking the elevator is a really bad idea--especially considering a couple of recent local elevator crashes that were featured prominently in the news.

At any rate, Miss Information was unable to dissuade the woman. She waited patiently and tried to hop onto the elevator the second the doors opened and the people were released. The librarian in charge had to practically wrestle the woman out of the way in order to test-drive the elevator (also not a good idea, but she is getting the big bucks).

Everyone survived the ride...this time. But still, Miss Information wonders about people.