I approached this year's Fall In Service day with a touch of jaundice in my anticipation. To start small, the day itself works badly as a reorganization of my personal schedule. Also I had a mysterious presentiment about the bagels. Furthermore, as a Clerk of the People, I take it hard when we close the Library to those heartbreaking and heartbroken masses. But, perhaps most of all, the schedule of events for the day was seriously unappealing. The keynote for the day was a long, all staff session with the Sheriffs Department to learn about mass shootings in the workplace. I looked up the odds of a mass shooting in the Library and decided that the session should have been on what to do if you, or one of your co-workers, are chosen to be the All Powerful Ruler of the Universe, as this event is at once slightly more likely, and vastly more entertaining to anticipate, than a mass shooting.
To my surprise I learned a great deal during the day. Unfortunately it did not have anything to do with any of the things I was supposed to learn from the day. But isn't the learning the key thing? I think so, and that's why I will now share with you the things I learned from this year's In Service Day.
1. Get to the bagels early, and if you want more than half of one, grab spares and shove them in your pockets.
2. If a bag of nuts with a grade higher than "Peanut" appears on the food table, you should seize it immediately and act as if you just won the Miss America Pageant.
3. The Administration office staff, responsible for providing the In Service Day food, secretly hates us all.
4. More people around my Library System read my blog than I think. They vastly prefer it in written, rather than spoken, form.
5. The librarians know of a strange labyrinth of warrens that honeycomb my Library.
6. The moment that there is nowhere anyone has to be, and all work is optional at my Library, it becomes a ghost town, empty, with tumbleweeds blowing through, and I stand alone in the entire, huge Library having paranoid feelings that there is some fabulous secret staff party I have not been invited to. I make friends with the Library cactus.
7. In staff meetings there is a minutely detailed, invisible wall surrounding all ideas for improvements that is defined by resistance to change, your three worst co-workers, the places that your supervisors have detached from reality, and your personal megalomania.
8. As observable from our upstairs windows, many of our regular patrons believe carpool or vanpool means one or more persons in a car or van, and that the cut off for energy efficient vehicles is seven mpg or better.