Librarian Ire

Friday, April 29, 2005

Snotty little brat

One of our student workers. Where do all the good ones go? Probably to library school and get promoted over me.

Anyway this over-educated little brat (who wouldn't know a non polyester pants or a decent haircut if they introduced themselves to him) thinks that because he has been here longer than any other student he can mouth off to me.
What happened was he stopped in the middle of a routine task to tell me(!!) he was going on his break. Uh, might want to ask not tell me, skippy. When I asked him to finish what he started, he asked why.

Hmmm, maybe because we are paying you to do it? Because it's professional? Because you just can't decide you need a break in the middle of a task you voluntarily started leaving someone else to finish it?
When I explained why he told me I was just telling him to do it so I could prove to myself that I could boss him around.

Don't need the proof buddy. And if I did, all I have to do is look at the paycheck.
But if you want to do my job, go right ahead. You do ILL and deal with the idiots from all over the world, you handle reserves every semester, you deal with crazed faculty and students. You go to committee meetings, you hunt for obscure titles in every western European language that exists and a few that died out. (My favorite was Greek. Don't speak it or understand the alphabet, but I searched it!)
And you deal with snotty over-educated, little brats who can't get their head out of the ivory tower long enough to find a real job. Never mind keep it.
Sigh, It's time for ice cream.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Sure I know what I'm doing.

I overheard this lovely interaction from my office.

Patron to desk student: "I need to renew a reserve book."
Student worker: "Ok, do you have the book?"
Patron: "No, its been recalled."
Student worker, WAY confused b/c you can't recall reserves: "The reserve book is recalled? Is it a 2-hour reserve?"
Patron: "I don't know how long it is, I need to renew it."
Student worker: "Okaaay. Have you renewed it already?"
Patron, getting pissed: "No! I haven't read it yet!"
Student worker just stares at them for few beats: "Do you mean you have a book on the hold shelf?"
Patron: "Ok."

Needless to say, I spewed coke over half my desk.

Monday, April 25, 2005


Here. Although, things have been mild. So I'm happy. Spent a lovely weekend reading.

I've had 2 weasels come in whining about fines today. One guy was bitching about a $1.50 fine from 4 years ago! I let him go on until I was sufficiently confident he felt like a retard, then I just forgave it an walked away. he he he I showed him. The other one I'm pretty sure was pulling a fast one, but this seemed to be her first try, so I gave it to her and took the opportunity to put a note in her record. She'll not get away with it again!

I'm overjoyed end of semester and summer approaches. We've already begun to work on those student schedules. Sigh, another year of my life wasted and I'm still not a kept woman.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Idiot! But not an ILL idiot

A problem patron comes up to the desk while I am helping someone else. He rings the bell for help.(I hate that bell.) I am maybe a foot away from him. (Not like I couldn't see you there dude.)
My rule is that if there is someone at the desk and you ring the bell, you lose a body part. The whole code of Hammarabi that we discussed earlier in the blog.
Aside from the chopping off body part thing, it was just plain rude to interrupt someone else's question for your inane problem.

He can't find a book. So he wants me to look for it for him. Do I look like your slave? Not to mention I am alone at the desk.
I tell him where he could find the book, if it is here. He insists that he doesn't know where that is. So I give him simplified directions, go down to the first floor, straight then turn right and walk to the wall then left.
Doesn't penetrate. Where's the first floor? I ask if he has ever been in the library before. (I know he has, but I like to match rude for rude with this guy) Oh yes. So you have been downstairs. Yes, but not to this area. HA!

He just wants us to search for it for him. My student told me that this guy asked him the same thing and when he offered to show him where the book would be he wandered off with someone else and disappeared.

This is the same guy who will come in with bags of returned books and make you a scene if you don't check them in right away. And of course he insists on standing at the desk while you check each and every book in no matter how busy you are.

I put a stop to that. At least when I am at the desk. I tell him I have other things to do before him and he can leave the books in the return area and we will get to them.
He used to argue this with me, until I pointed out the fortress of books on the counter and the line of people waiting for help and told him he could wait, but I couldn't help him until everything else was done first.
The crazed students writing papers and giving him the death glare probably convinced him not to push the issue.

Discipline! That's the key. That and a taser gun. A few electric bolts to reinforce the training would do it. And would make me feel so much better.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

People who don't know how to leave

We had two of those today. At least that I observed.
You would think that it isn't that hard. You get your stuff and walk out the door.

Nope. Too hard for our patrons. (Just so you know this is different than people coming in at the last minute to check their e-mail or retrieve their computers, books or other personal items)

The first one was someone who stormed out without letting us check his bag. (We've had a stolen book problem) Gave us nasty looks and then to compound it he stood in the doorway talking to a friend while we checked other bags. My feeling is what are you hiding? JERK!

And the second is the boss. I haven't had many complaints about my boss lately. But today you couldn't get her out of the office with dynamite. She was here a whole extra hour after her regular time. Which really cut into my world domination plans.
I don't know why she couldn't have done the resume updating and phone call at home.
That's what she makes me do.
So I had to look busy. Someone made the comment that I am rabidly efficient at ILL, which is great overall, but not so much when you don't have a lot to do and the boss is itching to assign a new project to someone.
Sigh. I guess the take-over of the world will have to wait another week.

For the Love of Pete!

Patron: "Can you tell me what copy number of the book I have checked out is?"

Me: "Why do you need the copy number, do you have more than one copy checked out?"

Him: "Yes."

Okaaayyy. I don't question. Well, I do, but the answers usually frighten me. I pull up his patron account. He has 11 books checked out.

Me: "What's the title of the book?"

Him: "Blah blah blah, really boring, blah"

Me: "You only have 1 copy of a book by that title."

Him: "Yes. What is the copy number?"

Fine. Back and forth I go on the screens. "Its copy number 1."

Him: "Copy # 1?"

Me: "Yes."

He's staring at me in confusion. I'm all 'right back at you freak-boy', but I try to help him out. "Its copy #1. It's from the chemistry library, so it will be stamped "Chemistry."

Him: "Copy #1. From Chemistry?"

Me: "Yesss."

Him: "No. I got it from the Physics library."

Me: "You may have checked it out there, but it is a Chemistry book. The Physics library does not own a copy of this book."

He's looking at me like I don't know what I'm doing and I just made that up. I watch him wander away (b/c of course once he's out of ear shot we're going to talk about him), he stops in place twice and turns around in a circle. Is he chasing his tail? What the heck? He makes a turn down a row of stacks. I turn to the co-worker to address this insanity and BAM! There he is in front of the desk again!

Him: "Can I find out the copy number of another book I have checked out?"

What the heck is with this? None the less, I look him up again, and search the title. "You only have one copy of that book."

Him: "Yes. What is the copy number?"

Me: "It's copy number 2. You know that if you only have 1 copy of a book, it doesn't matter what copy number it is- its that 1 book. If you need to know when its due, just look at your account, there is only that 1 book of that title."

Him: "Yes. Copy 2?"

Seriously, this has got to be the stupidest guy on the planet.


Patron: "Can I check out the calculator?"

Me - looking: "Sorry, it must be checked out already for the morning. Try back in a couple of hours."

10 minutes, Patron returns: "Is it back yet?"

Me: "No. Try back in a couple of hours."

12 minutes, Patron: "Can I check out the calculator?"

Me: "The calculator is checked out until 11:30 and it may be renewed, try back in a couple of hours."

You get the point, right?: "Is the calculator back?"


"Has the calculator been returned?"

"No it has NOT!"

God damn stupid little... If he shows his pasty face around here again I am going to have to go serious Library Ire on his ass!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Still kicking! ...back.

It would appear that L.I. has been asleep at the wheel lately. Apologies. I believe I'm still traumatized by the boredom I experienced at ACRL. I look forward to ALA and the plethora of free books I'll be able to snag. All I got from ACRL was a pen that lights up and a stress reliever in the form of a globe. Apparently I didn't win any of the "baskets" various exhibitors were giving away, although I think they are a scam. I've never seen nor heard of someone actually winning one of those. I think they use them to lure you in to see their stupid product demo.

Student workers have gone haywire - they're subbing shifts and over sleeping and phoning up with the ever popular "I'm sick". Apparently, to hear them tell, the plague has resurfaced.

I've given up answering the phone. If its not the students, it's weirdo people from the greater community who have bizzaro questions of which they don't actually get to until they give you a very lengthy and detailed account of the entire thought process.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

No excuse now

It's April. Happy spring!
But also because it's April I feel that the students have no excuse if you do not know the basic library rules. Or how to use it. If you have made it this far in your academic career without entering a library you deserve all the contempt that we can heap on you. Not to mention flunking out.
Such as creepy stupid guy who was here earlier today. Man I wish he'd flunk out.

He came up and told me his professor had put a bunch of books on reserve last week (which of course our hero needed) but he didn't know what they were, since he wasn't given a list.
Why should I or your professor have to do your work for you? I asked him if he ever used the course reserve page. No. (Of course not silly me.) Uh hello, Second semester in grad school. (Idiot.)
I showed him where it was and how to use it, pointing out that everyone should know how to use it by now. It is as idiot-proof as we could make it. So it isn't hard.
Then he finds the books and the call numbers. I retrieve them and he just stands there. (waiting for a sign from above, I guess) Then it dawns on him that he needs his library card to check them out. Oh yeah.
And then the lady who thought it necessary to spell her name for me. S-M-I-T-H. (Thanks for that. It's so hard to figure out.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Where's my compensation for pain and suffering?

Lest you think I have not suffered horridly the last few weeks, I've updated the clueless tallies. Had the chance to review my meeting notes... oy.

Not only that, but as the academic term starts to wind down I've been subjected to micro-management at the most infinitesimal level. ugh.

Oh, and I had 2 international students come to the desk today with questions they must have been saving up for months. Just when you answered one, they'd be all "Also, I got an email once that said... what does that mean?" 45 minutes they were here with questions that had long since expired. I'm not sure why they thought they could just try to tell me what they remembered about notices saying - if they'd actually had the notices, much grief would I have been spared.

I'm going to now treat myself for a few games of Mah Jongg. I deserve it!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Back from Beyond!

Well, I am back from my conference and conference related absence. You'd think a couple of all-expense days off would be relaxing... Apparently not for librarians. Of course, before I even got to leave I was 'surprised' by an extreme amount of job related hassle Monday and Tuesday: new meetings, new duties, more work, more headaches, snapping of the sanity string. On Wednesday, well on that day I was allowed to do all the work I needed to complete on M-T, and for Th-F also. Really swell.

I'll probably have much to say about the actual conference stuff, here is the interesting and freakish that I won't soon forget:

Potty meetings. Taking a restroom break, I was fortunate enough to grab the stall next to a woman who was setting up meetings for the following week. All the while toilets were flushing, loudly, in the background. Lovely. Who doesn't want to speak to someone while they're in the can?

Bobble-Head Jane Austen. As if the woman hasn't been insulted enough by consumerism.

Guy with Fleas. Got to sit a couple rows behind a guy who clearly had fleas. He spent the whole panel session (1 hour) vigorously (!!) scratching his head with BOTH hands!

Many rousing games of "spot the librarian". Good times - we pointed out the librarians from 15 stories up, from coffee shop windows, in departments stores. Librarians are freakishly identifiable. Meanwhile I'll be going shopping this weekend for trendy clothes, uncomfortable shoes, and participating in every physical activity I can! yikes.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Here's a little time waster.

I guess you all know what I was doing.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Laziness, that's all.

All you grad students this is your LAST warning. I am a librarian on the edge!

YOU actually have to look for the book before you ask me to do it for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am SERIOUS about this. The next person studying for a Ph.D that comes in and asks me to find a book for them is getting something chopped off.
I have a serrated knife and I DO know how to use it! Thanks to several years of retail and waitressing experience.

Okay, deep breaths. Aah. Better.

As you can guess some brilliant Ph.D student asked for a book. I looked it up and it was checked in recently. (Last week.) So, they probably wandered by the stacks where it usually is and didn't see it. I bet they didn't even look it up to see if had been checked out. IDIOT!
So I tell them our standard spiel. Check all the shelving carts and look in the shelving room. Oh no, that's not good enough for this guy. "Can you look for it for me?" Not until you have looked on the carts and in the shelving room. "So I have to do it myself?" Umm, isn't that why you are here? LAZY IDIOT! And you have a stupid hair-do. So there.