Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Miss Information is annoyed by lack of climate change

Miss Information has been struggling with her usual winter melancholy. She may have mentioned that she hates the cold…also, snow, hats, ice, boots, runny nose, steamed up glasses…well, the entire stupid season, frankly. This year seems worse because in addition to all that weather stuff, the library is in yet another transition period compounded by shuffling staff and the introduction of a new computer system which has everyone suicidal. Miss Information is also waiting for the inevitable rejection of her graduate school application. Of course maybe this year she won’t be rejecte…no, no, no…Must. Crush. Optimism. Ahhh…all gone now. That was close. As John Cleese once pointed out it’s not the despair that will drive you insane, it’s the hope.

In spite of all these distractions, Miss Information is positive she could cope much better with life if she didn’t have conversations like this:

There is a customer standing in front of the microfilm reader. The microfilm reader is clearly labelled with a large “Out of Order” sign.

Woman: Can I use this?
Miss Information: Sorry, it’s not working.
Woman: When will it be fixed?
Miss Information: We don’t really know. Soon we hope.
Woman: So I can use it to read the old newspapers?
Miss Information: You could, except it isn’t working.
Woman: Oh. When will it be fixed?
Miss Information: We’re not sure. It needs parts.
Woman: But can I use it?
Miss Information: Not right now. It’s out of order.
Woman: So I can use it to make a copy?
Miss Information: Well it’s out of order right now, so no.
Woman: So, when will it be fixed?

At this point Miss Information does something very wrong and completely unethical. She whispers conspiratorially that she’s heard rumours that the machine will never, ever be fixed. It had to be done. If the conversation lasted another second Miss Information would have run screaming into the night—without her boots, hat and gloves.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Miss Information is annoyed by a winter storm

Ok. So Friday it snowed. A lot. Miss Information was working the late shift and things were well and truly out of control when she got to work around noon. For one thing the library parking lot was never ploughed. The maintenance guys are obviously busy on days like this and although the library is one of the largest in this part of town, it was not made a priority. Miss Information understands. Most of the patrons live within walking distance. On the other hand, about 75% of staff drives. Many of them drive tiny-little-easily-stuck-in-the-snow-able cars. Miss Information has been considering trading in for one of them but she does so enjoy her ground clearance.

The library almost never closes for something as wimpy as a little snow, but amazingly the decision was made. Then the fun started. The parking lot was now impassable and those little tiny cars didn't stand a chance. Miss Information was one of the last to leave because she had helped lock up the building. She also loaded her ice scraper to a colleague. Not to be impolite, but GET YOURSELF A DAMN ICE SCRAPER! You know who you are.

So, in the end Miss Information, one of the muscley male librarians and two managers stayed behind to help dig out their remaining colleague. As they were shovelling, pushing, shovelling, pushing, a car turned into the parking lot. The more senior of the managers tried valiantly to stop the inevitable. The customer (who comes to the library during a blizzard?) was upset. What do you mean the library's closed? Her son had to work tonight at (name of big retail chain). A big retail chain which, by the way, SELLS ICE SCRAPERS. Someone who shall remain nameless might want to check that out.

The manager was extremely, and quite beyond the call of duty, patient and the patron reluctantly agreed to go away. Sadly, instead of reversing out of the parking lot, which would have worked, the customer, in a superb moment of stupidity came forward. Although now two cars were well and truly stuck, Miss Information really appreciated the poetic justice at work.

Unfortunately, the new car was now blocking the exit. The senior manager offered the excellent pushing and shovelling services of the library staff. The customer, however, insisted that she was fine, that her front wheel drive would save her. was wrong about that. She was completely stuck. After watching her struggle for awhile and over her vigorous objections, the staff just ignored her and started pushing. After getting her out, they returned to their colleague, who really needs to invest in a car with better traction that isn't quite so close to the ground. Also a damn ice scraper. They're cheap for god's sake.

Miss Information has fun with visualization

Miss Information is not a football fan, but she listened to part of the Superbowl on the radio. She just wants to say that the sentence "there's a giant down on the field" creates a far more interesting mental image than "there's a Giant down on the field". She also enjoyed the references to the "giant medical team" and drove home happily picturing enormous nurses and really large stethoscopes.