Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A short episode of losing my mind

The big automated self check in machine at my library sorts returning items into bins. When we put a new bin on the machine, replacing a full one, we need to put a card in a pocket on that new bin that says what the materials are going to be in that bin. These pre-printed cards say things like Fic, YA, DVDs, Juvy AV, etc. etc. There are a lot of them. Then we write the current day's date on the card with a dry erase marker so that throughout the sometimes lengthy shelving process we can all along track what these items are and when they came in. This comes in handy for finding things in the meantime and for shelving in an orderly and timely way.

In all the tumult of changing out bins we may not put one of these item/date cards in their pouch right away, but if we're halfway decent at our job we'll make sure we get to it, and we'll scan along a couple times during our one to two hour shift to make sure all the bins have cards in them. 

I was on the machine, scanning along the north side of the machine looking for empty pockets and noting in my head what I needed a card for. Then I went to the other side of the machine where all our cards are kept, hanging in contraptions on two posts. But even though I had just noted in my head seven seconds ago what card I needed I could not for the life of me remember what that card was.

I stared at the cards. Fortunately I did not remember nothing. I knew for sure that I needed either "JUVY AV" or "DVDs", but which one? I prevaricated for a long time, many times longer that it would have taken to walk over and check. Finally I decided I had a fifty-fifty chance to get it right. Those aren't such bad odds, are they? I grabbed a "DVDs" card, put the date on it, and walked to the other side to see which of the two were empty.

They both were.

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