Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Miss Information is annoyed by the illogical

It is Christmas and Miss Information knows that with all the grimness and sadness of the past week everyone should make an effort to be kind and to hold off on the petty complaints. Well, fuck that.

The library system recently introduced a fine that is charged to people who don't pick up their holds. This afternoon, Miss Information encountered a gentleman who had been charged one of these fines because he needed to pick up his book by December 17 and failed to do so. Miss Information told the gentleman that the circulation desk could probably waive the fine because they have been doing that for first offenses.

The gentleman protested! He should not have a fine. He requested the book. It came in. He picked it up but thought that it was the wrong book and gave it back. Then he went home and discovered it was the right book and put another hold on it. So you see, he did, in fact, pick up the book on time.

Um. No. He was supposed to have picked up this copy of the book by last night and didn't so he had been charged a fine. The man insisted that the first time he picked up the book should count as picking up the book on time. Except it doesn't. The process the man describes is the equivalent of two holds, not one. Picking up and cancelling the first hold has no bearing on anything.

The man insisted that Miss Information is wrong. The library had screwed up! It was their fault! He should not have a fine because he picked up the book on time! Except that he didn't, Miss Information explained. Two holds, two pick up dates, two chances to be fined for not picking up the book. At this point Miss Information recognized that the conversation would go on like this forever. As much as she wanted to make him see reason, she sent him to the circulation desk to share his screwed up logic with the staff there.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Miss Information is haunted by library school

When Miss Information went back to school a lot of her librarian friends used to warn her that the experience would have long lasting consequences. "Tee, hee," they would say. "I still have nightmares that I haven't finished a cataloguing assignment. Heh, heh, heh!"

Truthfully, Miss Information has had a couple of library school related nightmares before but nothing quite as strange as this.  She blames her friend E. who has decided to become a librarian and god help her, has asked for Miss Information's notes. (Notes! Honestly.)

Anyway, in the dream Miss Information is back at the school taking a course. Why this didn't instantly wake her up in a cold sweat is anyone's guess. Before the lecture starts she is having a conversation about information transmission in baseball with the professor, who bears a striking resemblance to Miss Information's old high school history teacher. (That high school haunts Miss Information is no big surprise.) It is also no surprise that there is a discussion of information transmission. It is a bit of a shock that Miss Information is participating in it. The other shocking part is that during the conversation Miss Information's foot becomes entangled in a cargo net and she must continue talking about information transmission while trying to free herself. After she becomes free she takes a seat next to British actress Juliet Stevenson who praises Miss Information's recent radio critique of Kenneth Branagh. At this point Miss Information accidentally switched on a CD player and flooded the room with some really loud Christmas music.

Miss Information hopes you're prepared for this, E.