Thursday, August 24, 2006

Miss Information doesn't have to deal with A.D.D. kid -- yet.

While Miss Information is busy petting koalas, her co-workers must deal with the newest addition to the zany library family: the insufferable A.D.D. kid. So named because of his endearing habit of getting up every minute or so from his computer workstation (longest stretch of time seated: 2 minutes 39 seconds), wandering aimlessly around the library, then returning to his seat, but more often than not, a completely different workstation. His age is indeterminate: somewhere between that hazy netherworld of annoying child and more annoying teen.

Since strangulation and blunt force trauma are apparently against the library’s posted “Rules of Conduct” (who knew?), various coping mechanisms must be employed by staff members to keep from going insane and/or staying out of prison. One particularly helpful strategy is to make the kid’s time here a living hell. For example, once his computer time is used up for the day, any additional time he may use depends of the availability of workstations. Ergo, ensure that NO computers he sits down at are available by pre-booking them for non-existent patrons. This sends him into a dizzying frenzy of helplessness and torment.

Additionally, it is enormously satisfying to use a strictly “measured” (some bleeding hearts may say “disproportionate”) response to the teeny tiniest infraction of the aforementioned “Rules of Conduct”. Tapping your fingers? That constitutes “disruptive and intrusive behaviour” in my book – out you go for the rest of the day.

Although most sentient beings subjected to such treatment may realize that their presence is no longer welcome and perhaps, you know, never come back -- it matters not a whit to A.D.D. kid that librarians are shooting telepathic death rays of hatred towards him.

Loud, twitchy, gangly A.D.D. kid stands his ground, hanging around the library from opening to closing-- determined to waste his last remaining days of summer vacation to the fullest.

-- Scooter (guest blogger)

Miss Information is annoyed by the inflight entertainment

Just to recap--Miss Information is on vacation and doesn't like to sleep on planes. She brings a ton of books, crossword puzzles and her mp3 player to pass the time.

During flight #1, she tries to listen to an Interpol cd on her mp3 player. Well, it was on her mp3 player...along with a lot of other music that apparently no longer exists. It appears the fight for dominance between Miss Information and her electronic equipment is not yet over. Damn. She was so sure she was the alpha dog in the relationship. The player, just to annoy her has deleted/hidden everything from the middle third of the alphabet. There is no longer anything between the Flaming Lips and Pavement.

She's no longer speaking to the cursed thing.

On the second flight, she's assigned to the window seat. Not a problem. She will spend the hours reading. She has a really good book too.

About 45 minutes into the flight, her seat mates lapse into comas. The movie sucks. That's ok. She has that book. Hmmmm...airplane is a bit warm. Miss Information contorts herself (thank goodness for yoga) and manages to remove a layer of clothing. In the process, she drops that book. She contorts herself more and feels around the floor for it. Nope. No book. That book is gone. It's about 1 hour into a 14 hour flight. Sure, she has other books...all safely stored in the overhead bin, which could be on another planet for all the good it does her, trapped beside the sleeping people. She doesn't want to wake them up because they'll be spending a lot of time together and she doesn't want the animosity to start before the plane lands. (The animosity starts on day 2 of the vacation, when her friends mock her early morning yoga practice. Unenlightened bastards.)

She can't face the movie. Airplane music is terrible. Her brain ceased to function at hour 2 of plane ride #1, so crosswords are out of the question and she's only using that mp3 player as a clock until it frees the hostage songs.

She spends time grinding her teeth until her friends wake up and she's able to get that book back.

The remainder of the flight is uneventful.

Miss Information is annoyed by the girls

Miss Information is enjoying her vacation, but of course has had a few annoying moments. For one thing, how much money she spent on incidentals preparing for the trip was insane.

For example: A couple of days prior to leaving town, she had a sudden horrifying thought--underwire bras, that's like wire, right? Wire's like a metal, right? Airports have metal detectors and airport security gets really tense when they go off, correct? Miss Information is suddenly tormented by the thought of being publicly felt up by burly airport security guards. Not that the girls haven't been kind of lonely lately...

Still, she tried to avoid the situation. Since she couldn't figure out which of her bras contained wire and which contained fake wire without actually taking them apart, she decided to go bra shopping and get a bra without any actual wire involved.

Here's what she learned. They no longer exist. Well, there's sports bras, but they do nothing for the girls. (And what's the deal with underwire sports bras?) After looking for awhile she found one that would work. Except it was pink. Miss Information doesn't wear pink, ever. But after searching for a while longer, she sacrificed her principles and became the proud owner of a pink non-underwire bra. And it works. The girls are happy with it. It doesn't set off the alarm. Life is good.

Except, of course, life isn't fair.

One of the airports where Miss Information changed planes there were big burly National Guards doing hand checks of carry on luggage. Not a problem, Miss Information had nothing restricted in her backpack.

That's probably why they pulled her out of line so she could be publicly felt up by a burly National Guardswoman. Really.

Damn.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Miss Information’s Co-workers are annoyed by Miss Information’s absence

With Miss Information away on a badly needed vacation (honestly, the woman was driving us all crazy these last few days: excitingly pointing out various hotel websites; leaving travel guides strewn about the Reference Desk; wondering what shoes she should take; endlessly dithering on whether or not to buy a now-permissible iPod for the plane; etc.), those of us left holding the fort here vowed to carry with her cheerful brand of misanthropy.

For example: this past Saturday at the library.

A typical summer’s day here: hoards of children under eight left unattended, transfixed for hours on end by YouTube videos on the Internet workstations. Then a miracle -the server suddenly went down freezing every single workstation in the place. When it became increasingly evident the connection was not going to be re-established any time soon (of course this didn’t stop anyone from staring blissfully at their empty screen for more than an hour), the children began slowly emptying the library. Sad, dejected little children, their hopes and dreams cruelly crushed by bitter adult truths. “Is the computer ever going to come back on?” asked one cherubic little waif, tired of waiting but terrified of the world outside. “Nope. Never.” was the sweet, venomous reply. Sighing, shrugging, the darling little urchin and his ilk left.

And then, like fabled libraries of yore, there was a genuine silence in the air.

As is customary when these things happen, which is not often enough, well-worn signs were gleefully taped to each and every monitor: “Our computer network is currently down. We apologize for the inconvenience. In the meantime, we suggest you get a life”. For two and a half hours there was a glimpse of the Paradise which awaits us. The server was down and librarians were allowed to be librarians once again. And, of course, no one came to the desk. No one - not a single living breathing human being. For two and a half hours.

Within nanoseconds of coming back on line, the absent children (who evidently had been hibernating behind the book stacks), scurried out like roaches to grab any available workstation and resume their mindless fun. With their smug little smiles of satisfaction they silently taunted us: “You may hate our guts, but if we weren’t here you’d be out of job mister”…..

--Scooter (guest blogger)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Miss Information goes away

So...that day has finally arrived. Miss Information is going on vacation for a couple of weeks--actually leaving this place.

She was feeling pretty good about it all and then a customer came to the desk and thanked Miss Information for helping her pass her citizenship exam. All Miss Information did was hand her a binder containing sample questions for the exam. She does this hundreds of times a week, but this time it made somebody's life better. Well, different at any rate.

It almost made her want to stay. Almost.

Well, for the next couple of weeks, Miss Information is turning the writing of this blog over to the most trustworthy blog team she could find--Blinky, Spike, Scooter and Biff will be manning the fort until she returns. Please be kind.

See you in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Miss Information is annoyed by terrorists

Miss Information is going on vacation next week. For several years she's avoided vacations that involve flying, because, well, she fucking hates flying. She doesn't like staying in one place for that long, the food sucks and she doesn't like other people in charge of the driving. And don't get her started on airports...But this year she decided to relax her restrictions, throw caution to the wind, and take the longest damn plane ride she possibly could without retracing her steps.

What was she thinking?

Well, basically she was thinking that there would be lots of fun stuff to do on the plane. Here was her list of planned activities:
1. Read
2. Play electronic games
3. Drink juice
4. Listen to music on her MP3 player
5. Apply sunscreen
6. Do some chemistry experiments
7. Style her hair
8. Drink water
9. Brush her teeth
10. Clean her contact lenses
11. Moisturize
12. Wax her legs

Let the good times roll. Now because of a bunch of wackos, most of those fun plans are falling by the wayside. It's just like Mrs Booth used to tell the 4th grade class, it just takes a couple of bad seeds to ruin the fun for everybody else.

These are Miss Information's current plans for the plane:
1. Read
2. Twitch

It's going to be a very long flight.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Miss Information is in a bad mood.

Miss Information is in a bad mood. She is scheduled to go on a fabulous vacation in a couple of weeks and is once again injured. For those of you keeping track, this would be her second injury in a month. She is still suffering from the knee injury caused by falling off her shoes and now she’s done something to her Achilles tendon. In a perfect world, people would respect her physical pain and emotional distress and leave her alone with her ice pack. But no, this is the library and it isn’t even close to perfect.

She appeared for her regularly scheduled internment at the reference desk with plans to print payroll reports and try to sort out that whole annoying mess. She was greeted by a big ominous out of order sign on the staff printer. Since it was working yesterday she wonders what the problem is. Oh, says one of her co-workers, the cartridge is leaking. It may be defective.

So, printer cartridge fairy called in sick today, or what? No, Miss Information has forgotten. She’s the only one who ever changes the damn cartridges, the others prefer to just shake the cartridge until the print quality is just slightly darker than snow. At this point, someone (no, wait, it’s pretty much always Miss Information) decides that it would be nice if the printed documents could actually be read and changes the damn cartridge. It really isn’t that friggin’ difficult. You take the old one out and put the new one in. How hard is that?

Miss Information hobbles down to the printer cartridge place, locates the correct cartridge which isn’t that easy—you have to be able to read labels--and fixes the printer.

Seething over that little adventure, Miss Information takes out her anger on the customers. It’s wrong, she realizes, but who asked them to come to the library when she’s in a bad mood?

A customer comes to the desk. Mistake. It seems he had booked time on the computer but his watch stopped and he missed his appointment. Too bad. Miss Information offers to schedule a new appointment. Guy is too important to wait. He needs time now. Too bad all the computers are in use. Guy insists Miss Information get him some time now. He seems to suspect that she was somehow involved in his watch malfunction. Miss Information looks at the people slowly typing resumes, slowly typing letters, slowing filling out college applications. Obviously these people have no future, whereas impatient guy is clearly very important. However, Miss Information is in a bad mood. Too bad, impatient guy! She refuses to kick off somebody who has legitimately booked time and whose watch was working correctly.

The rest of the day involved gangs of evil children who truly believe that spending all day watching YouTube videos is a constitutionally protected right.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.