Friday, December 28, 2007

Miss Information channels Dr. Seuss--badly

Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot
Miss Information, who’s not on vacation did not.
Her supervisors waved a cheery goodbye as they said
“We’re leaving. You do Sunday’s payroll instead.”

How hard could that be? She’d done payroll before.
The workload was only a little bit more.

She worked through the night to get it all done
And she paid them all, paid every single last one.
She paid Michael and Charlie and Sam Miller too.
The last on the list was Cindy-Lou Who.

Days later she phoned, Cindy-Lou was dismayed
She wanted to know why she hadn’t been paid.
Now Miss Information was baffled, it’s true
She was certain she’d paid little Cindy-Lou Who.

A short time later the answer was known
Little Candy-Lou Who was now on the phone.
She had questions about her Sunday pay
She wasn’t working at all on that day.

Miss Information straightened it out, never fear
But she’s scheduling Christmas vacation next year.

Miss Information has payroll access to only a small sample of library employees--which she forgot. So, she accidentally paid someone named Candy Ng who she's never met but has payroll access to, instead of Cindy Ng who she's also never met, who should have been paid but isn't on Miss Information's employee list, because she failed to recognize that the names "Cindy" and "Candy" are different and therefore represent totally different people.

Some days she just isn't detail oriented.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Miss Information is annoyed by tradition

Every year at this time, the library hammers out schedules for the next year. It always causes great stress and anxiety and when it’s all over everyone hates everyone else. It is eerily reminiscent of the family Christmases in Miss Information’s youth except that no one gets into a slap fight over the proper use of allspice. Good times. At the library, the shift selection process is filled with bitterness and angst because everyone on staff has such poor short term memory that they’ve totally forgotten the bitterness and angst from last year and are shocked, shocked to discover that the shifts they get to select from are exactly the same crappy shifts as last year. Hah. Poor suckers.

Miss Information plays a tiny little role in the whole mess. It is her job to find out the results of the dreaded shift selection process and code the whole thing into the payroll system. That is her sole responsibility. She appreciates your misery but she cannot help you. She has no actual power. She cannot invent new shifts for you. She cannot approve new hours. She cannot move you up the selection ladder by liquidating those who outrank you seniority-wise. She feels your pain. She has great sympathy that you, like her, are stuck working here for another year. She thinks it’s cute how each of you thinks you’re the only one who got screwed over. But see, here’s the thing…Everyone is miserable. Miss Information knows this because when she asks for someone’s 2008 shifts, they complain bitterly about them. No one likes their shifts. No one ever likes their shifts. That the word shift is so close to the word “shit” should give you some clue.

However, Miss Information is working on a deadline and she doesn’t have time to chitchat about your misery. The people in the payroll department are way scary and they want this stuff in the system now. You don’t have to like your new shifts. You just have to have new shifts. So, work something out that adds up to the right number and hand it over so Miss Information get her inputting done and stay friends with those yell-y payroll people.

Miss Information was so tied up in the magic that is the 2008 schedule that she missed her favourite Christmas tradition. This is of course the annual Last Day of School Before Christmas Fistfight at the Library. Miss Information’s friends exchange gifts, but whatever. The circ desk staff assured her that it was not a particularly good fight this year, but she is still sad that she was not present to see one of her beloved card-playing, drug-dealing, foul-mouthed nogoodniks get popped in the mouth.

Oh, well. Next year it will all happen again.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Miss Information is annoyed by teachers

Teachers work for the government too. You’d think they’d have some understanding of red tape and budgetary problems and ummm…well, reality. Miss Information understands your pain. Reality is a major bitch. However, denying its existence and arguing endlessly with Miss Information about it doesn’t help. In fact, it just means you have an additional bitch to deal with. Arguing over the existence of stuff makes Miss Information really cranky.

Yes, annoying Teacher #1. You do have to pay your fines. You took out the books. You didn’t bring them back on time. That you are a teacher doesn’t give you special dispensation. Because you are a teacher and presumably smart, renewing your books should present no specific challenge. You can do that in person, online or over the phone, either by talking to a real person or by pressing buttons. See how easy?

No, annoying Teacher #2, the library does not have videos about French vocabulary for grade 7 children. Why would it? The library has movies with car chases and explosions. Miss Information is fond of movies with car chases and explosions. Maybe you could take the Borat DVD and use the French soundtrack option. Your students would probably learn new vocabulary and that would be sort of educational.

Well, annoying Teacher #3, it is too bad that the all the Kwanzaa music has been signed out already. It is that time of year. Maybe if you had thought ahead and not come in the day before you needed it…

Annoying Teacher #4 you need to keep better track of your stuff. That highly confidential student report card you left in the library photocopier was discovered by a library staff member and put away. Next time you may not be so lucky. And don’t get all snitty that the quiet study room isn’t available because someone is using it to write an exam. Shouldn’t you be happy that somebody somewhere is getting an education?

A lot of you get really whiny when you learn that the library doesn’t have your curriculum support material. Not to get picky about it, but the library doesn’t really know what your curriculum needs are until you show up at the desk demanding that Spanish language movie about the periodic table. First problem: who would make a Spanish language movie about the periodic table anyway? Second problem: if such a thing exists why would the public library want it? There is a belief that the library is filled with lofty and obscure academic material. This is wrong. The library is filled with books by Zane and DVD movies where stuff blows up. You know—things people actually want to sign out.

Miss Information suggests you harass the board of education library for your educational needs. Come to the public library for cool movies with car chases and explosions. An alternative plan would be to start teaching a unit on exploding cars. The library could give you a ton of exploding car movies, the kids would love it, you could somehow tie it all into physics and even better, Miss Information won’t get all stressed out trying to find you that curriculum stuff the library doesn’t have. Everyone would be so much happier that way.

Friday, December 07, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas violence

First and foremost it appears to be Act Like a Complete Prick in the Library Day. The children were celebrating the last day of school. Sadly, the last day of school is not actually for a couple of weeks. There is still the annual Library Parking Lot Fistfight to look forward to. It is scheduled for the last official school day. She hopes the kids don’t burn themselves out before that. Tonight, Miss Information rescued a boy from a beat down by a scrawny girl and then spent the next several hours regretting she that she didn’t just offer to hold the girl’s jacket till she had finished pulverizing the evil little bastard. It turned out that his idea of fun was to shout “rape” whenever the mood struck him, which was often. The girl was right—he did need to be kicked in the head. Live and learn.

Several hours later Evil’s friend attempted to electrocute Miss Information with a gag pen but he shouldn’t have bothered. Her will to live was long gone by then. Also having lost the will to live--one of the library fish. Dewey 7, one of a long line of short lived library fish all named after Melville Dewey, was discovered dead in his bowl earlier this week. Miss Information was away at the beginning of the week and so should have been spared the sight of poor lifeless Dewey 7—except that Dewey’s owner had taken a couple of days off, too. So, even though people noticed the presence of Dewey’s rotting corpse, no one bothered to flush the poor little bastard, who unlike Miss Information and her colleagues, had not willingly chosen to eke out his pathetic existence here, but had this hideous life thrust upon him by forces beyond his control. Poor sucker.