Saturday, October 24, 2015

Greatest In Service Day ever!

My library's In Service Day was pretty amazing, and the reason I'm only outlining my personal experience with the day, as opposed to telling you the full variety of options that were offered to everyone during the day, is in a desperate attempt to try and mitigate your inevitable jealousy. But even with my mitigation the cause is hopeless, you will be writhing in agony as you read this account, eating your own heart out from the inside. Sorry.

8:30:   I arrive promptly for the start of the day breakfast only to find the breakfast buffet is vacated. While bagels, doughnuts, and coffee are on offer, it turns out they have to be eaten on one's own time. Too many fine things are ahead of us for them to pay us to eat as well.

8:32:   I arrive in the program room two minutes late, juggling a half of a bagel and a large coffee. All eyes turn to me from the presentation. Are they thinking "What is wrong with people? What's so hard about showing up 15 minutes early?!" No. They are thinking "Help me. Please god help me."

8:32 - 9:45:   Opening "State of the Library" presentation by upper library management. The general gist of the presentation? "Libraries have been growing less popular over the past four years, but don't worry, we are fully committed to our plan to become more like community centers and less like libraries." Actually I'm kidding. That wasn't the gist, it was the entirety of the content.

9:45 - 10:   Chair moving.

10:00 - 12:30:   Assembled by name tag numbers into groups of six, we... nope, it's all gone. I remember writing stuff down on paper for our group, a sense of crushing despair, and I remember... nope, it's all gone. I can't possibly be expected to retain such rich content for a full 36 hours after the event!

12:30 - 1:30:   I abandoned the fast food box lunches that most people are perfectly happy with, but that fill me with rage and hatred, in order to go out to a nice lunch with Jim. Please see pictures on Jim's phone where the food, which was actually only moderately good, looks extremely delicious due to modern phone technology and Jim's growing skill at food photography.

1:30 - 2:30:  Bland, information free presentation on mental illness issues. This was cleverly planted into the middle of the day to make all the other presentations look scintillating by comparison. After the session let out I stared for ten minutes at the janitor closet door in a state of rapt wonder.

2:30 - 2:45:  Post session assimilation period (see above), followed by opportunity to horde small packages of nuts to snack on for the remainder of the week.

2:45 - 2:48:  I arrived fashionably late at the session on "Micro Aggression" to find that the presenter hadn't arrived, or was waylaid, or didn't feel like getting out of bed, and so was speaking to us from the Internet while we watched a giant screen of a computer doing nothing. A look of insulted disgust crossed my face and I said firmly "No." As I walked out I wondered if I was expressing a micro aggression.

2:48 - 3:45:   I squeezed into a crowded presentation on the last of our major library building projects.  That the library in question is going to look exactly like all libraries look these days was no news to me at all, but that we are cutting down so many trees to build this library that we have to pay blood money to the local municipality was strangely encouraging. It is the historical mission of libraries everywhere to kill trees.

3:45 - 4:30:   Branch meeting. It was resolved that we can do nothing about the smelliest patron we have ever had unless we can catch him in the act of peeing on one of our chairs. And it has to be an upholstered one. If we can just wipe it down it doesn't count.

4:30 - 4:45:   Wrap up. A tad awkward as we had done nothing of any note for the entire day. That can be hard to summarize! We were encouraged to help ourselves to any food that was left and to take it home with the blessings of the library administration. The remaining food consisted at that point of three unwrapped from the package Target "Archer Farms" muffins.  We were also richly instructed in the final chair moving procedures.

4:45 - 5:00:   Chair moving.

Sweet nothing.


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