Saturday, July 25, 2009

Miss Information is annoyed by the not-so-nice

It has been a week of wackiness at the nice library. A new librarian started and was immediately labelled a pervert by one of the regulars. Thanks Crazy Woman. You’ve saved Miss Information a lot of “getting to know the new guy and figure out whether he’s a pervert” trouble. Apparently this woman has a history of accusing library staff of various evil deeds. Miss Information is working with a pervert, a child molester and a serial killer. And they all seem so nice. Boy, does Miss Information ever suck at judging people.

While we are on the subject however, why does this woman keep coming back to a place that is filled with degenerates and criminals?

After hearing this story one of Miss Information’s friends replied that murdering people seemed like more effort than library staff generally want to exert. Please note: Miss Information’s friend said this. Maybe she agrees, maybe she doesn’t.

Another guy took his brand new library card over to a catalogue terminal and inserted it into the disk drive. “I thought it was like a bank machine,” he whined. Miss Information wanted to slap some sense into him but it was too close to closing time.

Her first customer on Saturday snarled at Miss Information because she misheard his request for the address of Planned Parenthood. She thought he said “Command Parenthood” which also seems like a reasonable possibility. She told him she couldn’t hear him over the voices in his head, but that didn’t help. It did cheer Miss Information up though.

The second customer was a woman with $38 in fines who whined that it was too much money. Miss Information suggested that the woman bring back her stuff on time. Also the lady doesn’t think she should have to pay the replacement price of the lost book on her record…because she lost the book. It's not like she still has it or anything. Miss Information hasn’t had enough coffee to cope with this sort of logic. Frankly there may not be enough coffee in the world.

Miss Information has 5 more hours left in this week. She hopes a plague of locusts closes the library early.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Miss Information is annoyed by androgyny

Annie Lennox, Boy George, David Bowie...Miss Information used to think androgyny was cool. Although she has always been too voluptuous to pull it off successfully herself, she has worn her grandfather's tuxedo jacket on occasion.

Well, she's not finding the gender bending thing quite so amusing this summer. Once again it is Force Your Child to Read season at the library. Miss Information has always observed these activities from a safe distance but the "not being good with children" excuse is not getting her out of it this year. Stupid nice neighbourhood branch.

The process is as follows. Child comes in. Those who aren't put off by Miss Information's scowl stammer out a request to join the FYCtR club. This is where it gets complicated. It is necessary for Miss Information to hand out a colour coded sheet based on the child's gender. Which is not always obvious. Miss Information attempts to use her librariany wiles to figure it out. Hair? Shoulder length. Clothes? T-shirts, shorts. Shoes? Crocs--orange Crocs. Damn gender neutral apparel industry. Voice? Soprano, squeaky. In desperation she asks the child's name--which is inevitably "Sam". Miss Information tries to work her face muscles into something resembling "pleasant" and gives out a blue sheet.

The library is going to have way more boys registered this year.

(Also, pink and blue registration forms???? Miss Information is so enjoying her time in the 1950s.)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Miss Information is annoyed by the stingy

Miss Information is what some might call frugal. Her friends call her cheap but tomato/tomahto. So the pennypinchers are her peeps. Usually. However, Miss Information is also a fanatic about debt repayment so people trying to get out of paying library fines really get on her nerves.

The recent offenders:
The woman on the phone began the conversation by asking why the man at the call centre had transferred her to Miss Information’s branch instead of the branch she wanted. Miss Information has a couple of ideas. First she thinks it is entirely possible that Call Centre Man made a mistake. A second possibility is that Miss Information has unknowingly done something to irritate Call Centre Man and he is going to transfer all the really annoying people to her in order to slowly drive her mad. Great plan, buddy. What the woman truly wanted to know was whether if she returned a book at a branch that wasn’t open on Mondays did she have to pay fines for Monday or just the other 6 days of the week because the woman was willing to drive all over the city in order to take advantage of this .30 windfall. This behaviour is too cheap even for Miss Information to consider. Miss Information said she didn’t think it worked that way and the woman spent 10 minutes making her case. Doesn’t it make sense? Doesn’t Miss Information agree? Since the woman asked, Miss Information expressed her opinion that if an item is due on a certain date, then it should be returned or the person should pay fines regardless of whether the branch on Hooterville Drive is open Mondays or not.

Wet Pants Woman has finally stopped trying to get people fired over the library’s poor plumbing and is scheming for ways to avoid paying fines. Miss Information mentioned that the only sure way to avoid fines is to return materials on time. Or get a job here. Since Miss Information does not relish the thought of working side by side with this loony, she recommends the former option. Wet Pants Woman spends several hours each day in the library; this should be no particular hardship. She persists in her belief that the current city workers’ strike should result in her library fines being waived. That the library is not affected by the strike is of no particular interest to WPW.

A third woman wanted Miss Information to waive the fines she accumulated when the library’s web catalogue was dysfunctional. She would have returned her books but she couldn’t check her account online and see the due dates, so she doesn’t really owe that money because it was the library’s fault. Miss Information suggested that next time she actually take a look at that little slip of paper the circ desk people hand out along with the books. It is actually a printed record of what you took, when it’s due and how you might be able to extend the loan period. Amazing. And yours to keep. So if you ever lose track or the library catalogue goes kablooey, you can still return your materials on time. Wowee. What an amazing world we live in.

Miss Information gets that people are trying to economize but seriously, the rules aren’t complicated. Return your materials on time—no charge. Return your materials late—pay fines. Libraries have worked like this for years so stop pretending you didn’t know.