Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Don't you just love your job

That's what a patron asked me today. What he actually said was........

"Don"t you just love your job? It just seems like so much fun."

I said, "Um, no!"

Patron: "Why not?"

Me: "It's actually a mixture between a halfway house and a homeless shelter."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yesterday's funny

It came from the public elevator area. I know the voice I heard was that of a woman, but I can't tell you if she was on a cellular telephone or speaking with a live person.

This is what I heard:


I couldn't help myself, I just laughed so hard. My supervisor, on the other hand, ran over there to see if he could defuse the situation. By the time he got there, the woman was in the elevator and you could still hear the conversation. We actually heard it all the way down to the first floor.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The incident that caused my need to leave the bldg

Background informaiton on my co-worker.

This is a becky in her fifties. She only works 20 hrs. per week period.
She complains at her desk, while at the reference desk, and anyplace else
where she has an audience.
She complains about work, having to commute to work, her house, her property
taxes, the patrons, if she has to work extra time on the reference desk.

I hadn't been assigned to work with this woman on the reference desk for
months. Why you ask, because I complained about her not doing her job while
at the reference desk.

This past Monday, we were scheduled to work the reference desk together for the 11-12 hour. For the first 30 minutes, one of our regulars sat at one of the laptop tables and held a LOUD conversation on his cellular telephone. He was so loud, that I heard him clearly. Since he was sitting on her side of the room, I tried not to say anything to him or her.

After 20 minutes, I left the desk. I went in the back to rant to another co-worker(his desk is in front of hers.) I returned to the reference desk and sat through 10 more minutes of the guy talking on the cell phone and my co-worker giving patrons incorrect information.

I finally said, while getting up from my seat and walking over to wear the guy was, "YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN HEAR HIM AND I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU HAVEN'T SAID ANYTHING!"When I reached the guy, he of course had ended his call(He ended it the minute he saw me get up.) I told him,"YOU KNOW BETTER!" When I returned to the desk, this LAZY WOMAN said, "You know, you're much younger than me, so of course you heard him." I simply said, "If I could hear his whole conversation clearly, I know that you heard him." I saw this woman look at dude when he first began his conversation, they made eye contact and she turned her head.

She tried to make small talk with me after that, but I simply ignored her.

A glimpse at what management can and will do

Sally Stern-Hamilton’s controversial book, The Library Diaries, written under the pseudonym Ann Miketa, resulted in her termination July 25 as a Mason County (Mich.) District Library employee after 15 years on the job. Written in the first person and set in what she calls the Lake Michigan town of Denialville, the book, produced by print-on-demand publisher PublishAmerica, is a series of fictional vignettes about mostly unsavory characters encountered daily at the library....
Ludington (Mich.) Daily News, Aug. 9

This is one of my fears of what can happen while working in the library.

Police continue to look for a man suspected of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in the restroom of the Riverview branch of the St. Paul (Minn.) Public Library August 13. Police say the man talked to the girl briefly before following her into a restroom in the basement. Officers obtained a search warrant for the library’s computers to see whether any of the users were sex offenders or matched the suspect’s description....
St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, Aug. 15

Monday, August 18, 2008

I needed to leave the building today

I let a co-worker get to me today. I got so irritated that I yelled at my co-worker while we were at the reference desk. I sent my supervisor an e-mail about the incident. When I saw him afterward, I just told him that I need to leave for a while. I decided to pick-up my lunch from the grocery store.

It's 7 blocks away, but it takes up to a 1/2 hour on public transportation each way. So I decided to take the underground train after waiting for 10 minutes at the island amongst cigarette smoke from either side of me. I thought, "I'll just go underground, at least they aren't allowed to smoke there."

The ride back is what reminded me of where I work. I thought that I would wait for the street car. I first notice the Bla*k Pa*es guy(bla*k pimp history) standing a little ways down on the island. You know how you just feel that someone is staring at you. I turned my head and there he was. That happened a few times, before I decided that I should take the underground train once again.

On my way to the underground entrance, who do I see sitting on the sidewalk bench waiting for the same streetcar: Web*ter's Colleg*ate Di*tionary guy. I thought, "Man, can I ever just leave work and not be reminded of that place!"

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Today's most memorable question

Patron: I want the address of the Church of Sa*an in this city.

I googled the church and it had moved to Hel*s Kit*hen in NYC. I told
the patron this and he still wanted the address.

Patron: I read about it in a book and I want the address.

I printed out the article that I found and gave it to him because there
was a line of patrons waiting to be helped.

The We*ster's Collegi*te Di*tionary guy from last Thursday came in today. When I saw him, I turned my head in the opposite direction. I had hoped that he wouldn't approach me.

Sure enough, he came over to me and said, "OH, IT'S YOU AGAIN!! That dictionary isn't over there." I pointed in the direction of where he should go to find a copy of the dictionary. I wasn't taking the time to search today. He tried to tell me how to do my job last week and I wasn't falling for it today.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Today's tidbits

A patron told me,"Truth can be found in Webster* Collegiat* Dictiona*y."

One of the older custodian's approached me at the reference desk and asked me, "What part of California are we in?".

I was stunned. I asked,"What are you talking about?".

He said it again, with clarification. "What part of California are we in, Northern or Southern?"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Things seen, and said over the past few days

A man walking the floors holding a palm tree branch (almost the length of his
body,) while also holding a stuffed dog above his head and talking to it.


A man approached the reference desk and asked me for a internet pass so that he
could have extra time. I told him no, and was trying to explain this floors
policy regarding the passes. The patron began speaking over me and said,
"The other librarians give them freely."

My response, "I suggest you go ask another librarian."

The patron goes on to say, "It is your arrogance that is preventing you
from giving me a pass."

My response, "No." I proceeded to try to explain our policy. Once again the
patron began to speak over me."

He said, "Maybe the next time you will be kind and change your answer!"

I told him that my answer would remain the same and once again he began to
speak over me. I finally said, "YOU NEED TO ASK ANOTHER LIBRARIAN!"

A patron approached the desk and asked me if I could tell him where he could
find a book. He had the title and author written on a piece of paper.

I told him that I would first have to check the catalog, to see if we have
the book in our collection.


My response: I have to check the catalog in order to determine whether or
not there is a possiblity that we have the book.

He wanted a biography of a particular author. It turned out that the title he
had was for a collection of biographical essays.

He said, " I don't want biographical essays, I want a biography."

I explained that we had a biography on order, but the order had just been
placed at the beginning of this month.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

People who lie about their job title/duties irk me

Last Thursday, a new security guard began working here. Unfortunately for me, I already know him. I don't know him in a pleasant way either. For me, first impressions are lasting.

When I worked at the Department of Human Services as an Senior Eligibility Worker, this guy was a security guard. He didn't even last 6 months. His sister was a Security Supervisor and she had secured the job for him. How he and I met: I was calling a client for an appointment. Dude stepped to me and began asking me if I remembered him and he called me by name. He had me convinced that we had met before( this was a job where I kept running into people that I knew.) Before going into the meeting with my client, I really looked at dude; then I looked down at my badge, and I said, "You don't know me, and by pretending to, you will not ever get to know me." I was pissed to the highest point of pistivity. My co-worker who knew dude from way back, stepped to him and told him to get out of my face quickly!

This week, when I came to the reference desk to relieve a co-worker, he was having a conversation with her. Dude knew better than to speak to me( I had seen him when I arrived, and I spoke then.) If I don't like you, me speaking to you once per day is a stretch. Dude walked away when he saw me.

So, my co-worker says to me, "Yeah, he just said that he worked with you at DHS." I told her that he worked there briefly and I told her that we weren't co-workers, he was a security guard. I also told her that dude was fired. She was suprised that we weren't co-workers, because dude made it seem as if we were.

I broke dude down for my co-worker. I told her, " Dude got the security job at DHS through his sister's connections. He was fired because of harrassing the clients and the workers. He now has this job once again gained because of his sister's connections." I told her that it is probably only a matter of time before he loses this one." I think it's funny that since I know the lowdown on dude, he avoids me at all costs. I will only bust him out when I am asked about him. Unlike him, I not trying to tell people that I know him.

On to pages(shelvers) who tell their friends that they do reference work here. A months ago, a guy approached me at the reference desk and asked me if I knew his friend. I told him that I didn't recognize the name. He then told me that the guy worked in reference. I finally punched the name in the staff directory.
It turned out that the guy is a page on another floor.

Last week, I was in the staff elevator with the guy. He introduced himself to me and asked me where I worked. I told him that I worked on the 3rd floor. I then gave him further clarification because when they see an African American, they never think that the person just might be a librarian. The kicker: After I said that I was a librarian, the guy said, "Oh, I just started library school. I hope to be a librarian one day. This was my first semester and I only took online classes." Before I exited the elevator, I told the guy that he probably would become a librarian one day, but he would eventually have to actually sit in a classroom.

I never knew that being enrolled in a program automatically meant that you held the position for which you have to obtain the degree. The Beckies and Kens of the world seem to teach me new lessons everyday.

Internet access

Yes, we have internet access for the public. If you have a library card, you are allowed 1 hour per day on the internet. We also have 15 minute express terminals. You can use the express terminals as much as you like. You aren't required to log onto these terminals. You are required to wait in line. Use of the express terminals is on a first come, first serve basis. With that said, let's move on to today.

A patron was mad because he couldn't download and upgrade for his MP3 player from the computer. I explained to him that the download capacity of the public computers is limited because of security purposes. I also explained that yes, downloading music onto an MP3 player is possible, but upgrades aren't. Needless to say, the patron was heated.

Another patron got mad because he was limited on the amount of altering he could do on a document that he had saved on his flash drive. Once again, I tried to explain that services are limited.

With public access computers comes abuse. It is hard to explain to patrons that the computers wear out more frequently. The IT department is slowly replacing the public computer in all branches in this system. Because of the upgrade, IT has asked that we not call them about the day to day problems. Explaining that a solution to the problem will not be immediate can sometimes cause an outburst.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Two posts in one day

I was at the reference desk for two hours straight.

1. A woman approached the desk and says, "Have the rules changed at the library? The last time I was here, I thought you still couldn't eat in the library."

I asked her, "Did you just see someone eating?"

She said, " There is a whole table eating over there."

I walk over to the area she indicated. Oh boy, are they eating. They had an open package of generic o*eo cookies, sandwiches, and sodas. I informed them that eating wasn't allowed in the library. They said in unison, "Oh, okay. Just let me finish this." I watched them finish what they had in their hands and grab even more.

I went back to the reference desk and called security. I also called the lirarian at the international desk. I told her, "Maybe if you go over and explain to them why they can't eat in the library, they will understand."

She went over there, spoke with them, and they began packing up their goodies.

2. All of the ADA Computers were in use. Well a gentleman wanted to use a computer right away. He didn't want to wait. My boss offered to give him a temporary pass. He didn't want a temporary pass because they are only good for one hour. He said, " You can use the ADA computers for two hours, you can't give me two passess?" The ADA librarian finally gave in and agreed to give him two passess.

I told my boss,"Now that he has been allowed two passess, he will no longer settle for one."

3. A guy bypassed my boss to ask me a question. I didn't realize until I began
helping him, that I have helped him before. Why does this man think that his search in anyway would make anyone attracted to him?

He wanted books on mind control. He asked, "What can I do if the book is on the
HOLDSHELF?" I began showing him how to locate alternative sources for the books
that he wanted. As I was searching on the computer, dude was looking me up and
down, just giving me the creeps. After I showed him how he could check out a
book from another library, he said, "I think that I am just going to finish
reading the book that I have right here!"

First of all, why would you even think that I might want someone who is seeking instruction on how to control the mind of another?

Today's Message

My first hour on the reference desk. There is a patron standing near a bank of internet access computers and he is telling everyone who walks in his general direction the rules for unassigned computer use.

Once the time lasped for the person who was assigned the computer where he was standing, he yelled a play by play for another patron. He was telling the others when they could begin their attempt to log onto the computer. He also let them know at which point he was successfully logged onto the computer.