Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tortoise and Hare Clerking, part the first

Already in the short, but voluminous, life of this blog we have had at least one recurring theme. This theme falls roughly in the aegis of what I think of as "The Tortoise and the Hare". So far, when I have written on these slow worker, fast worker issues, I  have not invoked this Aesop's fable directly in any way. This is because the Tortoise and the Hare is strictly, and in every way, a pro tortoise polemic. I then, being rather far more hare-like myself, have not much been inclined to look benignly on this fable, and perhaps have argued its opposite case. But now, finding myself perhaps less defensive about my Hareishness and also more interested in the pleasures of the tortoise as well, I am suddenly interested, without agenda, in taking a look in a wide way.

So then, I am not interested in advocating a position, or in propaganda, or even really in the storytelling requirements of a Fable. The Tortoise can keep its plucky, aw shucks, charms, but maybe the Hare could be a bit more Bugs Bunny or Thumper, or just really not an over-confidant jerk. And perhaps we can cool things down some from this whole idea and drama of a contest. Let us as we run through the various stations of my work as a Library Clerk. Aren't you just dying to know the stations of my work anyway?

I am going to start with a comparison on the first station here, and will post further station comparisons in a sort of ongoing series.

Station 1: Bin Emptying:

This tends to be more a half hour filler assigned position and it is definitely better for tortoises. It really is just emptying books and such from self-rising bins onto carts, and if your put your head down and plod you can get a lot done. It is not so good for the hare though because it is in a high traffic, super distractable location and hares always end up in long conversations about raw milk, Neil Young, or the curatorial promise of Libraries. Of course, the worst of the tortoises I have seen minutely examining each removed item with an almost Zen-like attention that could theoretically be beautiful if it wasn't so disturbing and didn't stretch 8 minutes of work out past a full hour. Nevertheless, fair is fair, and the worst hares won't even get as much done as that tortoise and often tend to end up unavoidably engaged elsewhere for the whole time period.

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