Thursday, November 30, 2006

Miss Information is annoyed by the schedule

It is the end of the year and everyone has left over vacation they need to use. Another 1/3 of the staff has recently been promoted to other branches. The handful of remaining staff has been laid out by an insidious cold/flu bug. This is why Miss Information is working in the Children’s Department today.

Oh, and it’s the day the toddlers come for a program.

As if the sight of a bedheaded, under-caffeinated Miss Information isn’t enough to terrify small children, she opted to wear her most grotesque t-shirt. She has often heard that childrens’ services are the most rewarding. Is it because it’s so much fun when they run away screeching in horror?

The story time leader is suitably perky. The toddlers are adorable. Their caregivers are pleasant and friendly. There are stickers and crayons and name tags. There are puppets. There is singing and dancing. Miss Information is in hell.

At one point, the children are all given bells. Bells, for god’s sake. Isn’t it too early in the morning for bells?

There is a fun song about ducks--ducks who go out for a nice swim on a lake and NEVER COME BACK. This is the stuff of nightmares. The children don’t seem concerned and neither is the song’s parental figure (Father Duck) but Miss Information is horrified. What has happened to those ducks? Undertow? Internet predators? Duck molesters? Parental ducknapping? (The song doesn’t mention a mother duck. It was probably an ugly divorce.)

Miss Information is just not cut out for childrens' services.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Miss Information is annoyed by the fertility of it all

Three teenage girls approach the desk. They would like a book, an article and an encyclopedia containing information about fertility.

Cool. Is there anything in particular they would like to focus on? The girls think it over.

"We want fertility statistics to show how things have changed because fertility is so popular right now."

You don't have to tell Miss Information. She's got all their CDs, been a big fan for years. Sometimes she just can't ask those follow up questions. She took them to the section on pregnancy and they seemed happy. Really enthusiastic, actually.

The old guy patron was more of a challenge. He set off Miss Information's crazy-dar but she decided to ignore it. He wanted fitness books. Ok. Any specific type of exercise?

Oh, yes. He had some very specific requirements. He was looking for the "white" fitness books. Apparently those "foreign" types of exercise just didn't work for him.

Oh. Miss Information looks at the big shelf of exercise books. Yoga? Probably not quite right. T'ai Chi? Maybe not. Qi Gong? Not likely.

The man wants to chat. He's on these pills, see?

Miss Information does not want to be friends with Mr. Creepy. She does not wish to hear his medical history. She keeps her head firmly planted in those exercise books. She finally hands him a nice book of stretching--lots of pictures of scantily clad, definitely white women in leotards. He leaves happy. Miss Information is happy he leaves.

Wednesdays are weird.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Miss Information is feeling somewhat less secure

Well, it was bound to happen. The library's security guard was beaten up today. You know, the security guard who is the first (only?) line of defence between all those evil-doers and the frail, girly library staff? The one who's supposed to have all these strategies to avoid, you know, getting the snot kicked out of him by a library patron?

Miss Information will not be mentioning this to her mother.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Miss Information is annoyed by noise again

The library system recently announced a plan to promote and support local music and musicians, but Miss Information doesn't think that demonstrating one's guitar playing ability in the middle of the quiet study area is quite what they had in mind.

The musician becomes argumentative. The library, in his opinion, is a place for music.

Miss Information maintains that some philistines would prefer to do research without the benefit of strolling musicians.

It might have been different if he had chosen to play something other than "Stairway to Heaven".

Friday, November 10, 2006

Miss Information is annoyed by the noise

It is lunch time. The usual crowd of giggling teenagers has found something really funny on the Internet. Again. There is a woman playing an unnecessarily noisy game of peek-a-boo with an infant. As always, numerous people are refusing to mute their cellphones. Computer game sounds are wafting through the air because people won't use the headphones. Miss Information knows exactly what song that guy is listening to on his mp3 player, because he has the sound turned up to 11.

And Miss Information can't shh any of them because right now the Guy in Charge is dragging a table around the computer training centre and 3 other librarians are standing at the reference desk having a boisterous and (unspeakably dull conversation) at an ear-splitting volume.

This is so annoying.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Miss Information is too distracted to pay attention

Miss Information admits she has no idea what happened in yesterday’s election, even though she was glued to CNN most of the night. Did anyone else think their election coverage was bizarrely staged?

Here’s what Miss Information saw: a bunch of guys in dark suits having conversations about politics while standing miles away from each other. Did they all wear the same suit and didn’t want anyone else to notice? Do they have restraining orders against each other? Every now and then somebody would peer over a bank of computers and attempt communication with the poor souls imprisoned on the other side of the electronic equipment but nobody got too close.

It was like election coverage brought to you by a fear of intimacy support group.

It was strange. Very strange.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Miss Information is annoyed by Halloween

Strange, because she usually has endless patience for celebrations that only exist so she can consume mass quantities of chocolate.

But the day started out badly. Her well-planned, carefully thought out, truly brilliant Halloween costume was not appreciated by her co-workers.

"So, no costume?" they said.

Look, you bastards, it may appear to be more or less the same thing she wears every day, but it's so obviously a costume! Any other day she would have worn the outfit with heels. Flats equal costume! Perhaps it was a bit too high concept for them. Bastards.

During her evening stint at the Reference Desk, Miss Information sensed that something was happening at a table nearby. Her suspicions arose when she overheard one patron request another patron join him in the parking lot for apple bobbing. She may have misheard that last part.

One of the men involved then adjourned to the parking lot, probably to set up the buffet table and Miss Information let the security guard know that something was happening. Together they approached the remaining participants.

"Um....hi," said Miss Information. "Is there, you know, something happening that like we should know about?" (What a way with words.)

The people denied it. Miss Information introduced them to the security guard and let them know that if something was happening they should let staff know.

Soon after there was another indication that something was indeed happening. Miss Information's keen observational senses were triggered when Guy #1 returned and sat down at the table. A group of friends anxiously awaiting the apple bobbing event hovered nearby. Guy #1 was overhead saying such reassuring things as "you want to see violence, I can show you violence." Such a kind offer, but when Miss Information wants to see violence she watches old John Woo movies, thanks, though.

The dispute, from what Miss Information could figure out through eavesdropping (oh, and would it be too much to ask that the other customers stop asking questions while Miss Information is trying to spy on people?), stemmed from Guy #2 disrespecting Guy #1's father. Guy #1 just had to protect his family's honour by beating the crap out of Guy #2. It was the only dignified solution.

Miss Information doesn't get it. Guy #1's father's reputation has been damaged and can only be fixed by a felony assault charge, lawyer's fees and visiting day at prison? Ah, men.

This time everyone ventured out to the parking lot. Police were called. A huge number of them descended on the library. The police spent hours discussing the incident with Guy #2, his wife and daughter.

Eventually everyone went home. First though, Miss Information went to the grocery store across the street from the library and stocked up on discounted Halloween candy, so the day wasn't a total loss, after all.