Saturday, December 5, 2015

Ten enemies of my speedy shelving


Despite the fact that it turns out that I can shelve a full cart of fiction books in 12 minutes, the average number of carts I shelve in my (usual) hour of shelving is... one cart. If you're really good at math you may notice some mathematical discrepancies with this.
But math isn't everything, and there are many explanations for this that will leave math confused and grasping. Here are ten:

1. Slow, slow elevator.

2. The contemplation of every sip of the cappuccino I often drink during shelving hours.

3. Pesky patrons clogging up the aisles with all their book getting.

4. I stopped to briefly chat with 175 people on the way to the shelves.

5. At some point I realize, one can read these book things.

6. Was faintly insulted or irritated by some trifling thing on the managerial level and so was exacting payback with a work slowdown.

7. Took time to reacquaint myself with the collection so that when a patron comes to me and says "I'm looking for that book, you know, its sort of blueish and was kind of popular a few years ago." I know exactly what they're referring to.

8. Unaccountable staring into space for 32 minutes.

9. Involved in miscellaneous library business of the utmost importance.

10. Blog post.


  1. RE: Item #1: Did I ever tell you that where I work we also have a slow elevator. I believe I did. See Blog Post # 129038739120281418461. Anyway, these elevators of ours seem to forget for what purpose they were made. They are little boxes that go up and down, not leisurely carts and pulleys. And in your case, you have no other option, right? I mean you can't carry an armful of books up and down. You could build a new one storey library that would solve the problem. I only use the elevator when I have a large pile of work to return and am using my pull-along bag. After all, we I am not a young many any more, and must do the little things to preserve my health, what with my frozen shoulder. The don't have an elevator at the PT place, which makes perfect sense. More and more I am stunned at the temerity of slow elevators.

    1. Yes, I remember, as do the millions of people reading along down here, your talking about your slow elevator which was all very interesting. It's good you only use it when you have your pull-along bag because, well, - see your comments re getting older. Yes, I only take the elevator when I have carts of books (or carts with one or two books- I so rarely manage to go downstairs with no books whatsoever!). Because instead of a frozen shoulder (ow! so sorry) I have chronic back and neck problems kept in check through a regimen of core exercises I learned from the PTs too. Two of those exercises I like to do against the wall of the elevator between floors. I try to finish before the doors open because I think I would look a trifle odd still doing them.

  2. I was hoping at least one of your reasons was putting the existing shelf in order. (shelf reading) I find I can shelve much faster if I just close my eyes and shove the books in the first spot I see where they might legitimately belong. It takes much longer if I look at the books that are already there and notice they are out of order.

    1. Oh, shoot, that's a big one! Amid all my facetious reasons, and symbolic reasons, cleaning as I go is actually a huge, completely true excuse for my shelving slowdowns. I am scrupulous about shelving stuff I find and correcting errors as I go (so many!) even if I start each of those bitter encounters by saying to myself "Just pretend you didn't see it."

      Oh but I did see it.....

      Sometimes I am cursed with a curiously weak imagination.


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