Tuesday, March 29, 2016

An observation

I'd rather not indulge my occasionally voracious appetite for scathing critiques of a (smallish) proportion of my co-workers. So perhaps we can just present this as a moment of observation, a footnote in my day of library clerking, an explanation for how some things, that seem so mystifying in their aftermath, happen.

You will need a small amount of preparation. At my library we send things in transit mostly by using boxes. One puts stuff in the right box (hopefully), and when it's full one places a lid on it and stacks another box on top (again, hopefully, though, as we're about to see, not always). 

One of my co-workers walked over to these transit boxes with an extra thick talking book, made from a real tome of a novel, the kind of talking book with thirty discs in it. Because this co-worker is, um, not inspiring at her job, I looked on to see what would happen, much in the way you might see a person drinking from a flask, talking on the phone and fiddling with their car radio all as they drive their car and find yourself compelled to see the end result of it.

So she came to the box with her talking book. She saw that the box had room for perhaps two more modest sized hardcover books, but not for her talking book. In a strange, birdlike confusion she regarded the situation for a long time, frozen almost. Then, finally, she crouched down and began rearranging the contents of the box for several minutes. But apparently no amount of rearranging could change the fact that there was not enough room for her talking book without it extending an inch or two above the surface of the box. And so that's how she left it. 

She seemed slightly baffled by the limits of her ultimate result, but I read too a look on her face that said that she had done the best she could possibly do.
What did I do?

After she left I pulled one hardcover book from under the talking book and, with it, started a new box. But, admittedly, I did it mostly to fan the delicious flames of my righteousness, which are sometimes all I have to keep me warm when the backroom of the library gets, as it sometimes does, cold and lonely.

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