Saturday, January 28, 2012

Miss Information is annoyed by Excellerators

After a protracted and annoying construction project, Miss Information's library has recently begun offering computer courses again. Oh. Joy.

The following is a typical exchange:

Patron: I want to sign up for the Excel workshop on January 31.
Miss Information: Oh, I'm afraid all of our Excel courses are full until May. I could book you for the May 11 course if you like.
Patron: How about the one on February 8?
Miss Information: Nope, that May 11 course is the next one that has spaces available. But you can sign up for it if you want.
Patron (waves schedule at Miss Information): It says here that there's an Excel course on February 24.
Miss Information: Well, yeah, there is. But I'm sorry it's already full.
Patron: How about March 21? I could come to that.
Miss Information: Sadly no. The next spot I have in an Excel course is the one on May 11. I think you should sign up for that.
Patron: Can you put me on the waiting list for January 31?
Miss Information: I'm afraid the waiting lists are also full. The next class I can sign you up for is that one on May 11.
Patron: But I need something right away.
Miss Information: That's a shame. You might want to consider another library. The Big Serious Library downtown also offers Excel courses.
Patron: That's too far!
Miss Information: So, I suppose you'll be signing up for the May 11 course then?

It wouldn't be so bad except that Miss Information had this exact conversation 10 times a day for the last week. Not to mention that these are free two-hour seminars, taught by librarians with no teaching credentials. The level of desperation does not reflect the quality of the seminar--which is excellent, obviously, but still a two-hour seminar in Excel isn't going to turn anyone into an accountant.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Miss Information has a suggestion for IT

The IT folk showed up today for an unexpected upgrade. They don't do advance notice, apparently. This morning Miss Information was alone in the workroom, a space with 7 computers that are shared by 20-odd staff members. An IT staff member sat down at one of the other workstations in the area and started doing something. She didn't say what but Miss Information cleverly deduced (by eavesdropping) that the operating system was getting an upgrade. Later in the morning the IT staffer turned to Miss Information and asked her if she had anything saved on the hard drive of the computer she was upgrading. Miss Information assured her that no, she had never personally saved a file on that computer's hard drive. "Well, good," said the IT woman. "Because I've already deleted all the files."

Since the workroom is shared by so many staff members it is not beyond reason that someone had saved something on the hard drive.

Miss Information knows that it must be frustrating to work in IT surrounded by mere mortals who don't understand your simple, elegant language but perhaps a heads-up before you delete the files would be a good idea.