Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to make Library Staff Meetings even more dreadful...

"How can staff meetings get any worse?" you ask, well I'll tell you how!   
TL;DR You spend the majority of meeting time on a complaint from an irrational patron who disrespects staff.

When our branch manager handed out the meeting's itinerary (exhibit 14.a example of Librarians hate trees), there was a collective sigh/grunt of disappointment by the circ staff.  The info side showed no response.  What was circ having a fit over, well it was over the printed email complaint from the devil spawn patron.  This guy is the epitome of an a-hole patron.

The gist of his email complains about how the circ staff comes over to help when he's FAILING at the self-checkout.  He finds it "discourteous and disrespectful," I've witnessed first-hand his blowing up when someone points out that he has miscanned an item and he didn't notice, patrons never notice, they just continue scanning and wonder why only 1 out of their 8 items checked out.  He goes on to mention having "a couple of very pointed exchanges with staff about it."  Pointed - yes.  Exchanges - not really when it's all one-way with him talking down to staff.  He suggests a "refresher in courtesy" for staff and he's upset that "some taxpayers (and their small children) are treated more courteously than others." One Rules of Circulation which I have not delved into --- When a patron refers to themselves or other patrons as "taxpayers" it is accompanied with a complaint.  He goes on to say that if staff was trained this way "I will just shut up and stop re-training them." 

He has blown up on 5 different circ staff, two of which are managers so it's not like he's always being "helped/disrespected" by a disgruntled staff member which do not exist at my branch.  There is nearly a total of 25 years of library experience among his victims so it is not as if they are still tyros of the circ desk.

The branch manager broke us up into 3 groups, I was with two of my info friends and unfortunately the assistant branch manager was also in our group which is like having a group project with the teacher's pet --- no fun to be had.  Although she has also witnessed one of his "retraining sessions" and acknowledges he is an ass.  We spent over a freaking hour on this douche patron.  We were asked to answer three questions: "What does this customer dislike?" --- LIFE  "What is he asking for?" --- A position as circ manager to train us  "Can we accommodate him?" --- Does restraining from punching him in the face whenever he disrespects my coworkers count?

It was a complete waste of time.  Of course management kept saying, "We're not saying that you aren't doing your jobs properly."  Really?  Well their assuming this is a rational patron who has a rational complaint is implying that we don't know how to do our jobs, a monkey could do circ work and monkeys are also known to throw feces... hold on, I think I'm on to something here.


  1. hahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa
    but really, I feel bad for you.

  2. Thanks Anon, I thrive off of others pity when it comes to horrible working conditions. Too bad, it's that time of the month again and I will be heading off to another staff meeting this afternoon...