Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rules of Circ #14 (RoC)

"I Can Name That Patron in Two Adjectives"

My coworkers and I encounter a lot of people during our time on the desk and while covering the phones.  Unless you are a frequent patron, exceptional nice (or attractive), troublesome, or for a lack of a better word, down right "quirky," we do remember your name.  And if you are really special, we even may have a nickname for you.  Not that it means it's a bad thing.  Several of my female coworkers have dubbed one guy the "hot dad."

Also, if you have a unique name, we will most likely point it out to each other.  Seriously, what else are we supposed to talk about at work: cats? recipes? sewing/crocheting?  I'd fail on all three topics.

We don't make fun of patrons, okay, so *some* of my coworkers do, but when you deal with hundreds of people during the week it can be hard to recall certain patrons unless you describe them like "Porn Dude," you know, that creepy guy that always looks at porn on the public internet stations without regard for those around him.

I know it would be pointless of me to say not to take it personally but really, it is personal.

What's In a Name Part I.

My PICAW (Partner In Crime At Work) and myself found ourselves bored at work when we were covering the phones. 
I randomly searched for unique names in our patron database and was quite surprised what names (first and middle) popped up.  So what started out as a way to pass the time turned into a competitive game.

Our list became quite extensive and we have tried to keep it organized, somewhat...



We found out that our library system has its own "United Nations" of patrons names when it came to countries along with some other cities.

Countries and Cities:



Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rules of Circ #23 (RoC)

"Do Not Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth"

I had a gentleman approach me at the desk yesterday asking if there was a manager on duty.  I've learned from past experience that my lack of authority > manager's ineptitude.
So I told him that I could look in the back for one to which he replied, "Well, maybe you can help me."

He had overdue fees on his card in excess of $50.  All for the same 4 books, he apparently failed to comprehend the "Renewal" process.  He was playing his violin and was talking about how he needed it to study and before he knew it, his fees procreated into the amount it was today.

He asked if there "was anything that could be done about it."  Like he was expecting me to wave a magic wand and *poof* make it entirely disappear, which in all reason I could.  But I used my "Win/Win Tactic," I told him that if he paid half of it today, I could forgive the rest.  Apparently that wasn't good enough for him because didn't jump at this 'once in a lifetime opportunity' that I just presented him.  I even told him that any manager would not even offer to forgive this much, he still didn't accept it.

I know times are rough and I am more than willing to help out patrons but offer them an inch and some of them expect a mile.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not in my Job Description...

I get to work this morning to see a plow truck clearing up the parking lot. The back entrance wasn't plowed so I walked around to the front of the building. I'm greeted at the door by a coworker who asks if I'm up for sanding the front entrance and bookdrop. Sure, why not, wouldn't want any of my older coworkers to slip and fall.

There were two people actually waiting at the door for it to open at 10. Started off the day with the bare minimum staff, 3 info and 3 circ. The first patron I helped on the desk remarked how surprised she was that we showed up. On her way out she turned around and said "thank you."
And they say libraries are "nonessential." Tell that to all of the patrons who came in today. I'll have to take a look at the circulation numbers tomorrow.

You can't say libraries aren't necessary, especially during times like this when more people flock to them.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Weather forecasters: 1, Me: 2

So everyone who I said BS to about the winter storm has let it known that YES it did actually snow and that I was WRONG, save your texts for something else please.

Thank you very much for pointing out the obvious.  I still do not trust weather forecasters any more than I previously did.

So yeah, mark one up to them, but then again, who didn't have to go into work today, not them.  Who also got paid to stay home today - ME.  Game, set, match.

The attached pic what I would call "false advertising."  Biology is nowhere near as fun as a snowball fight with a monkey, that's why I took Geology to fulfill my last science requirement.

On a final note, I really do not need 24 hour local news coverage on the winter storm.  I know its cold outside, I know there's a lot of snow, I know it's best if I stay home.  I'd rather be subjected to infomercials for Snuggies than live feeds of the the barren highways.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Milk, Bread, and Books

Seems like today's conversation is about the impending snow storm.

All of my coworkers keep going on and on about how much we're expecting and how bad it's going to be.

Then you have a rush of elderly patrons who are stocking up on books like we're giving them by the armfuls for free... okay, so they are "free" to a certain extent but still.  It's really not that big of a deal.  Weather forecasters have let me down numerous times when I was in grade school.  I spent so many nights going to bed expecting not to have to go to school the following day.  Only to have my hopes dashed away because the "jetstream" changed its course unexpectedly. 

Over a foot of snow you say?  --- I say "BS." 

Don't get me wrong, I have no objections to being snowed in for a few days with a big box of Popeyes chicken and the warm glow of my big screen, playing MW2 to keep me warm.  But I'll believe when I see it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Last Supper

So last week we had our annual office holiday party.  It was a potluck event, so I brought my usual drinks.  I actually like the majority of my coworkers and would not subject them to my cooking skills or lack thereof.

Unlike last year, we had the full 2 hours to enjoy eachothers company with out any worries of work.  Not this year.  The first hour we grubbed and the second hour was reserved to sadden and depress everyone.  The branch manager gave us a recap of the lastest manager's meetings and the budget talks.  Which pretty much amounted to nothing, since one cannot say for certainty what the budget cuts will bring until they take place.  But she pretty much said that A LOT of people will be cut.  Seeing as how they will be doing it on seniority and a lot of my coworkers have been with the library system since the Stone Age aka Card Stamp days, I really do not think I will have this position in a couple of months.

The managers tried to assuage everyone's fears, saying that there's always a chance the library will be spared a double digit cut, but we all know that won't happen.  Reminded me of a line in "Dumb and Dumber":

Me: What do you think the chances are of an employee like me and an employer like you... still working together next year?
Library: Well, Bibliotecher, that's difficult to say. I mean, we don't really...
Me: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I've worked really hard, Library. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
Library: Not good.
Me: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
Library: I'd say more like one out of a million.
Me: So you're telling me there's a chance... *YEAH!*

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Live My Life One Due Date at a Time...

Not too long ago I was really into the import scene. For those unfamiliar, it was "those bunch of kids" with lowered Honda's with loud exhausts, and big rims. Then Hollywood caught wind of it, chewed it up, and spit out its mainstream loogey in the form of "The Fast and the Furious." There's one infamous line where Vin Diesel says he "lives one quarter mile at a time."

For those unfamiliar a quarter mile AKA 1320 (feet) is the length of a drag strip. That horrid line has been embedded in my mind and I have my own library equivalent, "I live my life one check out at a time." Sure its typically three weeks in the future but even the patrons relate to it. A lot of patrons will make comments about how their return date falls on their birthday or some other significant event, or they make a comment about how time flies.

So here's to a Happy New Year to all!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Spring It On!

Finally received my acceptance letter for grad school.  This upcoming spring will be my first step to being able to call myself a certified librarian. This past semester off actually flew by and I can't wait to get back to the books, desks, group projects, presentations, and exams.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This Week's Winner Is...

Patron ........151, the collections agency will be contacting you shortly.

I <3 my Coworkers...

Because they feed me.

They Start So Young Nowadays...

Just had a mom call in to see when she had to pay her daughter's overdue fees. I told her she could pay it whenever, but the earlier the better since the account has gone to the collections agency, which may or may not ding her credit score. Her daughter's only 7 but could quite potentially be on her way to a horrible credit score.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bless the Swedes

for all they have given us: Saabs, meatballs, assembly required furniture, and square beef patties.  This is a cover from a children's series.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturdays off are Great.

Saturdays off during the first snowfall of the year are even better.
Reminding your coworkers that its your day off while they're at work... Priceless.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Patron Complaints

The branch manager forwarded an email complaint that a patron sent through the library website about staff conversations disrupting her experience at the library.  It was sent while I was working at the other branch, so I definitely know she wasn't complaining about me.  I admit several of my coworkers do not possess the "inside voice" but does that mean we are not allowed to talk to each other while working the circ desk?

I have several issues with this particular patron even though I've never met her.  Her email is full of attitude, I'm know she has a right to be upset but she could have been more tactful.  First lesson to learn, is that any emails with sentences in ALL CAPS LOSE ALL RELEVANCE.  This last line really irked me: "
Treat the patrons like WE matter and like we DO have something to do with a small portion of your paychecks."  Second lesson to learn, just like librarians ask patrons to keep their voices down, patrons can do the same.  If she had such a problem, why did she not ask to speak to a manager.  Instead she had to email the higher ups which means the issue will be blown out of proportion we will have to take a vow of silence while we are on the circ desk.

Second lesson to learn from all of this, the branch manager should have redacted the patron's email address instead of forwarding it to the whole branch.  The first Google result brings up a website for an escort advertisement page.  She apparently charges $150 for a half hour and $250 for a full hour.  I'm not a tax expert but I don't think my wages are paid with taxes from any prostitutes' paychecks.