Saturday, November 26, 2011

Miss Information is virtually annoyed again

Miss Information was fortunate to be working in online reference this week when the library phone system crashed. With no other way to bother librarians, patrons turned to online reference to fulfill their needs. Most weren't bad. Lots of questions about why the telephone reference service wasn't working, the usual questions about why the website didn't recognize their card number. Then there was this guy. Miss Information decided he was a guy, at least. No way to tell on virtual reference.

Miss Information: Your local branch library has a lot of job hunting resources. The Career Information section has books about resume writing, interviewing, and job applications.

Miss Information wants to point out that shouting at her isn't going to help but instead she agrees that the economy is bad. Whether this is the reason Guest can't get a job is uncertain but Miss Information decides to be diplomatic for a change.

Guest: yes, economy bad. me needs job bad. why no job?

Miss Information is pleased to see that he's stopped yelling and sends him the library's job hunter's website.
Apparently he's just accidentally unlocked his caps, though because his next message is back to all caps.

Miss Information: Right now there are no jobs available. You could fill out an application and take it to your local branch. The jobs for pages aren't on the website. Pages shelve books, things like that.

Miss Information used to shelve books herself. She mentions that it's a good entry point into the wonderful world of librarianship where one can have a rewarding career chatting to people who don't understand the proper use of the caps lock.


The conversation goes on and on. Miss Information begins to think that shelving books is a darned good way to make a living and considers applying for one of those jobs herself.

Fortunately, the gods of technology have finished messing with the library phones and have moved on to the chat system which goes down at exactly the time Miss Information's online reference shift was scheduled to end.

Will Guest get a job? Will the economy improve? Is it possible that Guest was really a LOLcat? Will Miss Information give up the glamorous world of online reference for a page job?
Stay tuned for the answers to these and other questions...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Miss Information is annoyed by the dishonest

Miss Information doesn't always mind the patrons when they lie. Sometimes the things they make up are very entertaining. Other times she isn't so forgiving.

Recently a woman called the branch. She was wondering whether the book she requested had arrived. Miss Information checked her card. What a miracle! The book was here. She told the woman the good news. The library would hold the book until Friday. Did the woman think she could get here in time?

The woman turned hostile. Well this was a fine how-do-you-do. She was going out of town. She was on her way to the airport within the hour. If she had known the book was ready she would have taken it on her vacation. Why hadn't the library notified her?

That seems plausible. You're getting ready to go on vacation. You're packed and waiting for the cab. Obviously, you take a moment to phone the library and check on your holds...because that's what all rational people do. Miss Information isn't buying this "didn't get notification" business. She thinks that the woman probably was contacted and ran out of time to come in to the library.

It's really no big deal. Miss Information arranges an extension so that the woman can pick up her book in a week. The woman vents for awhile about the lack of a phone call. Miss Information does all the proper procedures--checks that the phone number on file is the correct one, etc. Oh, and by the way, mentions that the library keeps records and by golly, did actually notify the woman on X day. The woman denies it, of course.

Fortunately, she manages to swing past the library on her way to the airport. She is as annoying in person as she was on the phone.
She breezes in and announces that she's here to pick up her book.
Miss Information: Terrific. Now, do you have your library card? We file them by number.
Vacation Woman: I have a cab waiting!
Miss Information: Um...ok...we still need the library card, though.
Seriously, she was going to need the card to sign the book out. Could she not have gotten it ready while she was in the cab?

Now the woman has an enemy for life and it was all completely unnecessary. Miss Information would have been happy to change the pick up date on the hold if the woman had simply said she'd forgotten the book in all the pre-vacation chaos. If you aren't going to tell the truth, at least make up a better story. A bunch of aliens were holding you prisoner. They kept you chained up in your basement while they rearranged your furniture and played your CDs. Worst of all, they refused to give you your phone messages.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Miss Information is annoyed by affection

So, it's a real bummer that anyone should have to be at work on such a fine Saturday, but Miss Information is trying to make the best of it. She decided to treat herself to one of those delicious, overpriced Greek yogurts from Starbucks during her lunch break. She decided to take a book and just sit, eat, drink and read.

She looked forward to it all morning. Really, it was the only thing that kept her from running screaming from the building. Sample question: I saw a book here a few years ago. It was about Ford. Miss Information: President Ford? Ford cars? Lita Ford? Ford Prefect? Patron: All I remember is Ford.

Anyway, she went to Starbucks. They were out of the yogurt but her spirit was completely crushed yet. She picked a different yogurt, got her coffee, found a table and pulled out her book.

Her table was next to the bar, where a man was sitting alone. Not for long, however. His honey arrived in a couple of minutes. Miss Information is pretty sure she was his girlfriend because she greeted him by sticking her tongue in his ear. There was much cuddling and kissing. After a few minutes the woman came up for air and went to order her drink.

When she returned the couple resumed their normally scheduled smooching. Soon her drink was ready, she returned to the counter (after an impassioned goodbye, obviously) and got her drink. She came back, and they picked up where they left off. Why did she bother getting a drink? Her mouth was already busy enough.

Miss Information found this all terribly distracting. Her book is all about violence and murder and this atmosphere of love isn't putting her in the appropriate mood so she beat a hasty retreat.

Miss Information knows that Starbucks has declared war on the Internet hobos, but she doesn't mind them nearly as much as this.