Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The library is open. Please go away.

Yesterday was the first day the library was open after Christmas and Miss Information can only assume that most of the patrons got lumps of coal in their stockings based on the massive amounts of free-range crankiness that were on display. Seriously, people, go home and be irritable with your families. Isn't that what Christmas is all about?

It didn't help that the library computers kept crashing. Self check out was dead. People had to line up, in a line at the staff service counter. One man was really angry.

"Line up! What do you mean I have to line up! All I want to do is check out my book!"

Miss Information presented his options. Line up and check out the book or don't line up, don't check out the book and leave Miss Information in peace.

"But I want to check out the book."

Right, then you will need to line up.

"That's ridiculous!"

Perhaps, but that's the only way you can sign out the book. Miss Information could reserve the book and you could pick it up later when the computers are back to normal?

"I want the book now!"

Ok, then you need to get in the line.

"I'm not lining up!"

And on and on it went. The argument lasted much longer that the line-up would have.

In the midst of this chaos an entirely different angry man wanted to know why the library hates senior citizens so much. Miss Information started to explain that the library hates teenagers because they always argue with staff but senior citizens don't do that sort of thing. Usually. Dang.

Miss Information and her supervisor re-organized the DVD section that had so annoyed the old fella, but he stomped away muttering to himself before they'd finished.

All in all it was a frustrating day. And Miss Information would like to remind those irritable people who were taking their bad moods out on her, that they, unlike her, had the day off work. If anyone had the right to be bitter and cranky it was the library staff who were forced to be at work.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Another year gone by and still Miss Information is not psychic

Miss Information was stationed at the aptly named Information Desk last night. This desk is conveniently situated so that Miss Information has the best view of people floundering helplessly with the self-checkout system. Last night she became aware that there was a young woman standing motionless at one of the terminals. She wasn't doing anything, not pressing buttons, not looking around hopelessly and not gesturing wildly for help.

Based upon nothing, Miss Information leapt to the conclusion that the woman had finished checking out and was waiting for her friends at the next station. A few minutes later Miss Information noticed that the "friends" had moved on but the woman still remained completely motionless, staring directly at the wall. It was bizarre behaviour, so Miss Information went to investigate.

She asked if there was anything she could do for the woman. The woman replied that the "machine" said there was a problem with her card.

Oh. It was clear now that the woman was not simply standing motionless as Miss Information had previously suspected. No, she was trying to communicate her situation telepathically to the staff. Damn. Miss Information always forgets to sign up for those "Clairvoyance for Library Workers" training sessions.

Here's a tip for the rest of you. If you need help while you're at the library, go to the nearest service point and actually speak to a human being directly. They still may not be of much assistance, but standing staring vacantly doesn't work at all.