Librarian Ire

Thursday, November 18, 2004


What is it with managers?
My boss, has been a manager for so long, I bet she doesn't even remember how to work.
I have noticed how inefficient and unorganized she is.
This past week, it has been more apparent to me, because my computer is broken. Everyday when I come in there are piles of books and papers to be sorted and cleared. This is a day's worth of mail and lost books and reserves and Interlibrary Loan. It only takes me half an hour to sort, shelve, fix, check in and otherwise take care of. In between I often have to help patrons. What I want to know is why she can't take time off from her busy schedule of phone calls, e-mails, shopping on the internet and lunches to actually work? If it takes me 30 minutes to do at the busy times, it might take her 5 minutes when it comes in.
The fact that she is very unorganized also makes it harder to do her job. Her desk is piled with journals, letters, invitations, lists and books. She lost something last week and couldn't find it. All I had to do was move the scrap paper and there it was. Right in front of her.
It amazes me how anyone can work in such a messy and chaotic atmosphere.
When we have to learn new software I tend to master it first, usually because I do more of the work. Then she says she wants to practise. When the occasion arises she passes the buck. She's too busy or she has a Doctor's appointment or the traffic is bad. Whatever the excuse du jour is.
Then, of course, people come to her with problems which she can't solve because she rarely does the work. When there is a problem she tends to blame her assistant. Me. When there isn't a problem she loves to take the credit even if she barely has a clue on what happened. I want to know how my predecessor survived without killing her. I have managed because we overlap only for a few hours. Her previous assistant was there the same hours.
She doesn't communicate well. Or listen. Is this normal among circulation people?
I think my time could be better spent in doing projects and learning how to use different software and taking classes, yet she loads me down with ILL, reserves, and circulation problems. The mundane details which can be done faster and sooner if she does them.
I guess what I will have to do is work on them on my own and budget my time and the student's. I learned how to do this over the summer.

1 comment(s):

Now that was quite a rant. You need to learn to pace yourself.

I think that the comment about circulation people not communicating is not the correct assumption. As I am a circ person (pretty much) I know b/c I communicate well. You communicate well. Probably its just a case of moronicitis.

Also, about the desk. I have a theory. There are 2 types of librarians - those who are anal compulsive neat and those who only associate anal with questionble sexual practises. A librarian either has an empty desk or one that is overflowing with paperwork. I tend for the neatness, but I recognise the significance of the mess. The more crap that is piled all around me the more busy and important I seem. [So, on the days when the boss is hanging about being annoying... its messy time! I keep a folder of junk in my file drawer that I pull out on those days.]

Here's a helpful tip for the messy: When a coworker comes into the office, looking like they are going to give you work, you say "Hey" in a harried way and start rooting through the piles, shifting things, maybe tug on your hair. 9 times out of 10 they will turn around without bothering you.

By Blogger Loki, at 2:05 PM  

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