Sometimes it is meditative and peaceful when I am working on the automated check in machine. This happens usually when the work flow is slow. I am a little tired but not cranky, the lights are low, few people are around. Just me and the machine in a space outside of time. We are pals, much in the fashion of Lennie and George from Of Mice and Men. I only pray that the machine never accidentally kills one of my co-workers and it falls to me to unplug it forever, murmuring as I do it about the dream library we plan to open on our own one day.
Most of my time on the machine today was sort of peaceful like that, but, rather abruptly, the gears shifted. People started returning tons of materials. The bins that the books empty into all began to fill up at the same time, causing a flurry of alarms to sound. The exception bin started to fill with empty DVD cases and items from distant library systems. Worst of all I could hardly turn my back for a second before some raggedy paperback jammed in the rollers on the line, causing the machine to back up into a vast, ungainly blockade of churning library materials. All this mishegas put me increasingly out of sorts, and after ten minutes of frantic activity I was fully engaged in one of my private high energy rages. I speed emptied another bin into boxes only to hurry back to the machine and find it chewing on a big yellow paperback. Furiously and feverishly I grabbed our reacher grabber tool, hopped on the stool, leaned over the machine, and ripped the book out of the chewing rollers. I flung the book away to the ground in irritation, pique, and urgency in order to clear the line and get things back in running order.
Emergency number 27 over, I walked over to pick up the book that I'd hurled away in a fury.
Buddhism for Dummies
I put it back on the machine.