Friday, April 24, 2009

Miss Information is annoyed by the court system

Oooooh, is Miss Information ever annoyed. A couple of weeks ago she received a notice to appear for jury duty. She immediately went into a panic because the court date is only a week before summer school starts. Surely those axe-murderer murder trials take longer than a week. She called the number on the summons. Got in touch with a very nice lady who said that this wasn't a problem. If Miss Information would provide them with proof that she was enrolled they would postpone her jury service.

Phew. Relief. Miss Information set about obtaining proof. Amazingly, but given past experience, perhaps not surprisingly, the library school faculty can't actually provide this sort of thing. It's ok. Miss Information doesn't always admit she knows them either. Anyway some kind of academic red-tape made it impossible for them to say officially that she's taking summer school classes. They were nice about it and offered to print out a copy of her timetable and date stamp it, which is the library equivalent of a Papal decree. Miss Information dutifully sent this off to those nice court people and offered to work a bunch of extra hours that week, because hey, what else was she gonna be doing?

Well, the court bastards got in touch yesterday. They see from Miss Information's timetable that she only has class two afternoons a week, so that doesn't really count. While two afternoons a week may not be significant to lawyers, they are quite important to Miss Information who plans to be at every one of those damn lectures. She keeps thinking about those lengthy axe-murder murder trials. What's she supposed to do? Ask the court for a continuance when she has to leave for serials management class?

The court woman seemed sympathetic. She suggested that Miss Information could try a financial hardship excuse. However, the damn library union has seen to it that all employees are paid for jury duty. This however only applies to regular hours and not all those lovely extra hours that Miss Information had scheduled. The courts have therefore managed to piss off all sorts of library staff who now have Emmental instead of schedules. Not to mention that Miss Information is ever so cranky about the whole thing.

What the courts fail to realize is that annoying Miss Information simply doesn't work in their favour. It makes her want revenge but not in a “let's lock up the axe murderer forever” way—more like “hey, buddy, nice axe--let's smash stuff!”

So Monday morning Miss Information is on jury duty. They better have pastry.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Miss Information is annoyed by people

Apparently library school is good for something. It's a good buffer between Miss Information and...everything. So, while she's been trying to develop a philosophy of reference services ("Don't get stabbed"), she hasn't noticed how thoroughly annoying the world is. Now that there's a break between semesters and her brain is empty, it's all she can think about.

One customer has complained endlessly this week about how the library toilet overflowed and got her pants wet. She wants the person or persons responsible to be fired. She's written 3 official complaints and is dying to talk to the currently vacationing branch head about her trauma. She had to buy laundry soap! Someone must pay for this. Miss Information wants her to get some perspective or go away. Whichever is easier.

Another man got on her nerves this week. Miss Information had just left the desk to show a customer to the fiction section when the man stopped her. "Where can I ask a question?" he asked. Miss Information indicated the desk behind her. "But there's no one there!" the man replied looking at her now empty chair. He must have seen her get up. He must have noticed the woman with her. Was she supposed to drop the woman and answer his question? Miss Information assured him that she was coming right back, but instead gave her customer a very detailed tour of all things fiction. The man, who was clearly more important than everyone else in the world had already left by the time she got back.

One woman wanted to file a complaint about how people are spying on her while she's using the Internet. Yep. People are jerks--what're you gonna do? Gouge their eyes out? The woman went on to say she also doesn't like that the library has a security guard. Hm...what is she using the Internet for?

Well, at least Miss Information is no longer dreading going back to school. She is looking forward to getting the oblivion back.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Miss Information is annoyed by Evil Grandma

Speaking of denial, as Miss Information was a couple of postings ago, library staff are not the only ones afflicted. Miss Information remembers this time....

It was a busy Saturday. Miss Information and one of her library buddies were in the staff room enjoying a lovely coffee break. One of their circulation desk colleagues came in, upset. One of the customers, she announced, was having a heart attack. Apparently the situation was under control. The guy in charge had taken over. All was well. Miss Information and her buddy behaved as they usually did in these situations...they made jokes, generally had a good laugh and horrified the circulation clerk in the process. You know, Miss Information used to be nice. This is what a life in public service does to a person.

Anyway, a few bad jokes later Miss Information realized that this heart attack dealie would mean that the reference desk was abandoned. Since it was a busy Saturday, Miss Information selflessly cut her break short and went to handle the great unwashed masses. The person waiting at the desk was a customer known as "Evil Grandma"--a short Eastern European woman with the habit of manhandling small children if they got in the way of her grandkids. Nasty piece of work.

Miss Information gritted her teeth and asked Evil Grandma if she needed help.

"Where's the other one?" asked EG. Miss Information explained that the "other one" was dealing with a medical emergency.

"Where'd she go?" EG repeated. Miss Information again explained that "she" would not be available as another customer was having a heart attack.

"Yes, but...she wasn't finished helping me!" EG insisted, huffily. "She shouldn't have started helping someone else. She was going to get me some yoga books!"

Miss Information carefully assured her that guys having heart attacks take precedence over yoga books.

See, as mean and nasty as Miss Information gets, she knows that she will never be completely truly awful. People like Evil Grandma have just set the bar too high. Damn Evil Grandma.

(Also, the heart attack guy? He made a full recovery but forever known as "Heart Attack Guy" by the reference desk staff.)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Miss Information is annoyed by group work

Last semester, Miss Information was involved in a group project. The group broke up the work into 3 equitable sections, communicated entirely via e-mail and left each other the hell alone. Miss Information barely recognized her fellow group members on the day of the presentation but it went brilliantly. The professor said it was clear that they had a great rapport and enjoyed each other's company. Fooled her!

Miss Information assumed all groups would be like this. Unfortunately she was wrong. She is now working on a presentation with a couple of other people. They broke the work up into 3 equitable sections...that's where the similarity ends. Miss Information e-mailed them an outline of what she was doing and hoped they'd leave her alone. No such luck. They want to meet, plan, and (god help us) rehearse. The presentation is 30 minutes. Miss Information estimates that they've spent 7 hours planning it. This is not the only assignment Miss Information has due next week, you know. She keeps trying to explain that this is not that big a deal. The actual assignment isn't onerous. Miss Information finished her part--searches, screen captures, Powerpoint 2 weeks ago. Or so she thought.

At this week's endless meeting one of the group members, suggested a change. Could Miss Information possibly conduct different searches with entirely different parameters? Oh, and redo all the Powerpoint too? Yes....Miss Information can and will run a whole bunch of different searches to support a presentation that is now going in completely the wrong direction. Fine, whatever.

So, although Miss Information agreed to the totally unnecessary changes, she did so in such a grumpy way she thought that they'd be scared of her. Sadly, no. They want to exchange cell phone numbers, and keep in touch. They also want a copy of Miss Information's script--which doesn't exist as she was going to wing it on the day of the presentation.

You know...Miss Information is so glad she came back to school. She's learning so much. Here's what she's learned from this experience:

Miss Information does not play well with others.