Welcome To November

•November 2, 2009 • 10 Comments

A 20 something woman said “fuck you” to me today from across the Library. She was upset about the wait time for our Internet computers and when a PC unexpectedly opened in the Childrens’ Department she stopped and gave me her idea of a going away present on her way to the open PC.

… Not on your best day baby!

The Sad State Of Our Educational System

•October 30, 2009 • 10 Comments

studentsThere have been many more clueless professors coming in as of late for “special help.” Recently I discovered that Goliath is a certified math teacher. Heaven help us all for Goliath can barely form coherent sentences let alone use a sophisticated piece of technology like a computer. He knows the basics now that I am teaching him… But this is going very slowly as he cannot retain information to save his life. When he first came in I actually thought that we had ourselves a new homeless guy because his appearance is disheveled at best and he is at least as odoriferous.

He constantly refers to his yahoo email account and every independent piece of mail and attachment within as his “page” which is amusing and annoying at the same time. Goliath has come a long way though and is sure to be teaching the children of America math very soon.

In other news, The Clueless Professor has frayed every last nerve that the Reference Staff had left. She uses no fewer than four different flash drives for quintuple redundant backups of her no fewer than 20 resumes and countless cover letters then forgets where she put everything and blames our computers. Aside from her constantly asking the staff for help and then telling us that we’re mistaken or that there is a better way to go about doing whatever it is that she’s asking about, she says things like, “I don’t know why this isn’t working today? It worked here on Tuesday.” Possibly her most grating quality is that she can’t seen to grasp the concept of the PDF which is primarily a read only format that is used to preserve document formatting. Sure, PDFs can be set to accept editing but the vast majority aren’t. So despite our best efforts to show her how she can find the security settings where what is allowed is clearly stated she insists that the other day she was able to type within the PDF, or at another library she was able to type within the PDF, and therefore it must be our computers and not any restrictions placed on the PDF’s themselves. Oy! Around and around we go, and soon this woman will be teaching America’s college students, or maybe not as she told me that her last academic gig was in Guatemala.

[blink]

Our Intern thinks that this woman is just flat-out insane and isn’t a teacher at all and just applies to every college from Hawaii to Haiti. This would probably be the best case scenario as it would keep her away from teaching anything. Sadly, I fear that she and Goliath just represents a growing trend that underscored the sad state of our educational system.

I fear this because they aren’t the only ones. We have another guy who is better with technology but I have my doubts about his ability to effectively communicate ideas to students, and then there is the original Clueless Professor who still comes in from time to time. Clearly there are good teachers out there and every profession has its bindlestiffs and stumblebums but it’s alarming to think that the people I profiled here are either teaching America’s children or will very soon be doing so. It is imperative that our system be overhauled for the 21st Century or America is only going to fall further behind Asia and the rest of the world. We need to act swiftly or we’re not going to be able to keep up in the years to come.

The Clueless Professor

•October 28, 2009 • 4 Comments

After dealing with the Clueless Professor at length yesterday my colleague commented that working with her is like, “trying to nail jello to the wall,” because she asks for our assistance and then always asserts that we’re either mistaken or that there is a better way to do whatever it is.

This dovetails nicely with another post I’m working on regarding the sad state of our educational system…

Disturbing Things

•October 15, 2009 • 7 Comments

A woman wearing a hoodie with black and red skulls on it signed-in to use the Internet today by using her driver’s license. While I was entering her license number I noticed that her photo showed her with a tremendous black eye.

… That’s all I got.

Donation

•October 6, 2009 • 11 Comments

Today we found this among many mildewey books that were donated to the Library:

reagan

Amused

•October 2, 2009 • 8 Comments

It amuses me every time that someone finds this blog after visiting BuzzFeed’s “Hipster Librarians” page.

This Isn’t Our Job

•September 30, 2009 • 4 Comments

We had a middle-aged guy approach the Reference Desk with what we thought was a question or two. It began with a question about how certain aspects of Google Maps work. The man was taking a test that accompanied a job application. The test that he had in hand must have been at least 20 pages long. It seems the man made it about halfway through and was then totally stymied. So he asked us for help.

Fine.

One question became two questions became three questions, became THREE PAGES of questions! Finally my coworker and I looked at each other and just as I was about to ask the guy how much the job pays, since we were the ones taking the test, the questions veered into a realm of proprietary knowledge that we had absolutely no way of knowing without being very familiar with websites that we never even heard of.

Had the questioning turned around again I was going to point out to the man that we were already over the edge of the ethical boundary. Obviously the company is asking these questions because the applicant needs to know the answers to effectively do the job.

I am not amused.

I Went To Grad School For This…

•September 28, 2009 • 7 Comments

Today was going along at a really mellow pace, and then all hell broke loose around 12:30. At the same time I’m helping an Irregular print out instructions on how to beat a drug test, his computer decides it will no longer connect to the network printer. Coinciding with this was the copy machine guy who decided to drop by, and the guy from 3M as well who just happened to pop in. They both needed to talk to me about various aspects of our haywire technology.

Ultimately I had to print the guy’s information from the Reference Desk. Our Library Science Student Intern looked on in horror as the man went into great detail about his urinalysis, and serious prostate problems and how he was catheterized for an extended time, etc… while his document on how to beat the piss test was printing.  Needless to say, this was WAY too much info!

Yes Virginia, this is just another day @ the Library.

Men’s Magazines, Libraries, & Literacy

•September 26, 2009 • 8 Comments

maxim0909I’ve recently came across a story in Maxim magazine entitled “How A College Library Is Used [Graphic].” Based on their demographic this chart probably represents a fairly accurate sample. One of the commentators even gives it a thumbs up for accuracy and the person asserts that s/he is an academic librarian (people assert a lot of things though). That said, Maxim is pretty mindnumbing. Sure, they have pictures of attractive young women but little more and certainly nothing substantive. I admit that back in the day I subscribed to Maxim for one year. After the second issue I couldn’t believe that I had sunk so low as to pay my hard earned money for it. Indeed, Playboy would have been better.

Each month Maxim would come around the same time as my subscription to esquire0909Esquire (which I still get). I would read them both cover-to-cover, Maxim would take me about 20 minutes, and Esquire takes me a about two hours (on and off). When I was done I would marvel that there is no comparison between the two magazines. Nada! Yet, Esquire still provides plenty of gorgeous women to look at. Esquire usually does this in a clever and respectful way along with their fashion and cooking tips, not to mention their extremely thoughtful and engaging writing. To get an idea of the stories that each magazine covers we need not look farther than recent issues: Maxim, “So, You’ve Been Caught Masturbating…” and Esquire, “The Lost Art Of The Compliment.” There you have it! One magazine teaches you how to be a better man while the other… doesn’t. And these features don’t even hint at the quality of the short fiction presented in each issue of Esquire, like Stephen King’s new story “Morality.”

So, I end this post by submitting that while Maxim might be good for a quick laugh and some banal eye candy for the likes of Beavis and Butthead, Esquire is infinitely more engaging and the depths of the stories and clever way they weave women, fiction, and tips on how to be a better man would best be appreciated by the likes of Don Draper (from Mad Men for those of you who aren’t hip), although I dare say that the witless Maxim readers among us are the ones who need Esquire most. Dare to be more men, it may not be the easy road, but it’s the road worth traveling.

Hellish Was My Day

•September 21, 2009 • 3 Comments

OK folks, for reasons best know to me (inside joke here), my day was about as bad as they come. Nothing like trying to do two and a half people’s jobs all by yourself. The morning went by exceedingly well, too well and I should have know that that wasn’t going to last…

When I got back from lunch it was an entirely different scene. It was extremely busy but also teeming with freaks. Special Ed was hunkered down for the duration slurring any staff member’s names that he could to get attention… And he needed a lot of attention.

In addition to this, I’ was trying to help this Goliath of a man edit his resume. Sadly, his resume was created in Word 2007 and he wasn’t on a computer that could handle that. Just then an Indian couple sat down at a machine that has the version of Word that Goliath needs so I ask them if they would mind switching PCs, to which the guy responds, “I need 2007 as well.”

FAIL.

But they tell me that they shouldn’t be long, that they just need to print out a document and then Goliath can have the computer that they’re on. Fine. So I take Goliath’s card back and make another reservation for him on that other machine. Crisis averted, or so I thought… Not 10 minutes later the Indian woman comes to get me because “nothing” is working. OK then, so I walk over with her to find the guy back at the Ctrl+Alt+Del screen. I put in the password and when the machine came back up low and behold they had no more reservation.

[sometimes I pray for death]

I put my hand up to my forehead and stand there in silence for a few seconds, then say, “Alright! Goliath I need your card back, and I’m also going to need your card back as well to make new reservations all over again, which I did. Then I walked over to the Indian couple just to make sure everything was going well and this time they had no problems getting on to the PC or printing out their document. After being peppered with questions from the Indian man he finally understood that, “No we don’t have double sided printing or a printer that will staple your pages together.” Jeesh! They’re just lucky we have Internet access at all at this time in this budgetary situation.

Speaking of which just prior to this situation I was involved in a reference transaction where this woman played, “Let’s see how many things I can hit the librarian with before he comes up empty.” I hate this game. It involves a patron who has no fewer than 20 questions and the object of the game is to rapidly fire these off until one of them cannot be answered for whatever reason (maybe it’s legal, or medical, or maybe it’s a book just too new to purchase). Anyway, this lady asked me for about a dozen books all of which we owned but were located in different sections of the Library including Childrens’. Many of these books has “Christmas” in the title and this soured the pot all the more for me as I don’t even want to think about Christmas for another two months. Finally she asked me for a title that we didn’t own and couldn’t get since it hasn’t been released yet.

Quite an afternoon!

Ode To Civility

•September 14, 2009 • 20 Comments

I’m going to keep this post short and to the point because, quite frankly, I am thoroughly disgusted by the state of decorum in today’s day and age. WTF is going on lately? First we have “You Lie!” boy who disrupted a joint session of congress and shouted the President down about something, incidentally, that was not a lie, healthcare for illegal aliens (BTW, they already have it)… Then, we had Serena Williams who nearly went postal during her Grand Slam match by swearing at those officiating. Lastly (so far), we have Kanye West’s reprehensible behavior during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the VMAs!

Whatever happened to decorum, manners, respect, and common decency? Seriously, has everyone lost their fucking minds? What is the matter with society today? At every level people have completely turned into rude, disrespectful, and selfish douchebags. This behavior is unacceptable for children let alone those who are supposed to be examples for the rest of society, these people are leaders in politics, athletics, and the arts. If these are the “best” people we have then we are in bigger trouble than ever I imagined.

… And now, as I watch ABC news, I see that they are about to run a story on the same topic. I can’t wait to see what their take on it is.

What a World.

Another Milestone

•September 4, 2009 • 8 Comments

Despite my mental anguish I think it important to write that @ the Library just surpassed the 200k hit mark! Thank you everyone for reading my blog!

It means a lot to me,

Woeful

Yukon Cornelius, 2-XL, and Special Ed & Sanity.

•September 3, 2009 • 12 Comments

I really am Woeful. In fact, I’m really at the end of my rope. I’m getting burnt out very quickly as we are down a key person @ the Library. This is compounded by the fact the Summer is our busiest time of the year and this Summer has been exceptionally busy, especially the last two weeks.

I can’t even think straight anymore. We had a supervisor’s meeting this morning where I addressed our staffing issues and I got NOTHING for my efforts except more work in the form of Internet classes that I will be running. I realize that there is no money, but something needs to be done. Therefore I suggested augmenting our supply side meaning that we severely limit what we will Inter Library Loan (ILL). NOT!

CRASH & FUCKING BURN! Thanks. There is no end to this situation in sight either…

So, on top of it being crazy busy we also have an influx of extreme freaks into the library. One situation that occurred this Summer a while ago was so fucked-up I can’t even write about it here as it made the papers… And TV, and therefore, writing about it will out me and I can’t have that as I need my job… Such as it is.

Anyway, the volume of people, Irregulars, and the lack of off desk time have been escalating and reached a crescendo today. At noon I was stranded at the Reference Desk with a part timer who a colleague refers to as, “Every day is her first day.” She’s a nice person but totally useless @ the Library even though she has been “working” there for years.

So, at one point I’m helping this woman locate a book in our catalog, at the same time this drunk middle-aged guy who keeps orbiting the Desk nearby says, “If I find the guy who has the ‘local paper’ I’m going to kick his ass.” While this is happening my clueless colleague begins uttering, “Woeful, how do I do this? Woeful, how do I do that? Woeful, how how how, etc…” All the while this is going on (as I’m still trying to help the woman find her book), I hear the voice of Special Ed calling “Woeful! Woeful! Woeful!” from across the Library.

At this point, I calmly turn to my left to address Clueless but the incessant badgering from Ed has made it almost impossible to breathe let alone think. So I turn to Special Ed’s location and calmly and firmly shout across the Library, “Ed, do NOT shout across the Library floor!!” Ed then immediately apologized for his antics and stopped, so I turned to the patron before me and commented, “I can only do 20 things at once.” There were other patrons waiting who witnessed all this BTW who were waiting for assistance. I finally located the book the woman wanted so I excused myself from Clueless and led her out into the stacks to find it.

Shortly after I got back, my colleagues returned from lunch and as I was explaining what occurred another patron peeked her head into the Reference Office and began, “Woeful! Woeful! Woeful!” and laughed. I was mildly amused as she is an harmless (Ir)regular who couldn’t believe what she witnessed. I was like, “yeah, amazing isn’t it?” And she said that she loved the way that I handled the situation facing Clueless all the while and then slowly turning to totally cut down Ed while I was helping someone else. I thanked her, and then excused myself as it was my lunchtime.

I proceeded to go to a nearby bar where I pounded a Johnny Walker Red on the rocks, and then a McSorley’s Ale while I ate my fish and chips. When I returned, I went back to the Desk uttering the words, “Into the breech” which made the Assistant Director laugh, only I wasn’t joking.

Upon my return the first thing I have to do is pacify Yukon Cornelius. Yukon is a published author and researching a new book he’s writing, a memoir. He was born to a whore 85 years ago in Chicago. Anyway, apparently his mom used to bring him to speakeasies and he needed some photos of such places. This transaction lasted at least 20 minutes…

Then 2-XL called.

Fuck me. Hard!

Why me? Why must I get the call from the guy who sounds like the toy from my childhood and doesn’t make any sense whatsoever except to him? Why God? Why? Why me?

Anyway, 2-Xl this time around is looking for mint. I shit you not my loyal readers. Actually, he’s searching for a shitload of mint as defined by 2-Xl, “A trashbag full of mint.” When I hear this I repeat it out loud. This makes another colleague of mine burst into laughter at the Desk, as does the patron he is assisting. This is the only satisfaction I get all day long… The alcohol merely barely numbed my Woe, but this was the highlight of my day…

After some thorough searching I find a few mint wholesalers for 2-Xl and he then regressed to a questions he had a few weeks back that I helped him with regarding Goodwill and how tax deductions work. At this point I tell 2-XL to stay focused on the task at hand, the fucking garbage bag full of mint! He mulls this over and agrees…

After this transaction is completed 2-XL asks me for a list of Asian Markets in our county… WTF? OK. I oblige.

Then my colleague came to relieve me and I went back down to me desk and finished a few things that needed tending to and then I came home. Which brings me to now… Here I sit writing this as I finish a bottle wine.

And it isn’t even Friday yet. I’m not sure how I continue to do this?

Gandalf, Batman, the Sneezer & a Seven Martini Lunch

•August 31, 2009 • 3 Comments

The Sneezer who no doubt will be the Johnny Appleseed of H1N1 this Winter spreading the infection far and wide walked into the Library this morning. The guy is like 60 and has NO concept whatsoever of covering his fucking pie hole. Every 90 seconds he sneezed so hard the window panes shook. Even when this dumbass was reading the paper he just sneezed into the thing… Nice. If I make it through this winter alive I think it will be a miracle considering that I’m the go to guy when the PCs malfunction and I’m always touching the mice and keyboards and right next to the faces of these people who have absolutely NO concept of personal space and all things sanitary.

So I take my shift at Reference at Noon today and I see Gandalf with his beard and his staff standing before the Head Of Reference and The Assistant Director. “You Shall Not Pass!” Thinks me. Ha! I choke down a laugh and walk directly into the Reference Office Coke in hand. After he leaves, the Assistant Director comments that you can’t ever judge anyone by the way they look because the guy was intelligent, and articulate… To which I replied, “Gandalf?” which make her burst out laughing!

Later in the afternoon, I was calling holds and reached an answering machine that had the following message: “Hello, you have reached the Batcave. This is Batman but I am unable to take your call right now as I am in the Batmobile with Robin chasing The Joker. When we return to the Batcave I will return your call.” Hahahaaaaa!!

Lastly, while the network printer was malfunctioning and a long line was forming this pony-tailed Irregular who earlier in the day was asking my coworkers if they knew his name, he had his name written down on an envelope that he was showing to them… Anyway, he came up to me and asked if the “head librarian” is around anymore. To which I replied, “Yes. Just go to the Circulation Desk and ask them to speak with her if you need to.” To which he replied, “‘They’ were talking about seven-martini lunches.” At this point I looked to my right at the perfectly normal 20-something guy who I was helping print resumes and he just stared blankly at me. I stared back for a moment, shrugged, then got his resume printed and went about my business…

Needles to say, it was one hell of a day.

New Faces

•August 30, 2009 • 2 Comments

We have a new couple frequenting the Library as of late, a Native American and a woman in a wheel chair who can walk. LOL! That sounds like it can be the opening to a bad joke, but it’s the unfortunate reality of the situation. The guy doesn’t wear a full headdress or anything but he does wear a hat with feathers. They come in to use the Internet and have a generally bad temperament. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about them in the days to come.