Friday, July 1, 2016
Another sterling performance
I have just finished another scintillating performance in the art of clerking. Over the course of the last eight hours I have astonished our library patrons with my knowledge, wit, and graciousness. My shelving was flawless and speedy, my phone manner engaging and attentive, and my machine operating exacting, productive, and deft. I have generally been a pretty good library clerk over the years, I don't mind saying so, but lately I have taken it to another level. My co-workers have been looking on, slack-jawed in wonder. "What amazing feat will he pull off now?" They ask themselves. "Does he acquire the books that patrons want out of the thin air? Can he repair things by looking at them?"
Several librarians went home feeling superfluous, but as they left they thanked me for inspiring them. They wept a little.
Patrons kept trying to tip me. And lately some of them have started to ask me to sign their check out receipts. "Just to have." They say. "As a keepsake." Then, with a wink, they try to slide me a large denomination bill.
"No thank you." I say. "I do it for love. If you are kind to someone later today it is all the thanks I need. Keep your fifty dollar bill. It was such a nice thought."
My co-workers in circulation keep asking me what my favorite cookie is.
"Anything you want." They say. "Just let me bring a pan of it in for you tomorrow. You make everything so much better around here, and we give you nothing!"
"Oh stop." I demurred. "You're embarrassing me!"
And it's true. I need no special reward. I don't need a raise, though they keep offering them to me around here. These plaques of commendation are all charming, and so are the fan letters, but I'd be happy if everyone didn't make a fuss. The smiles I put on peoples' faces is everything I need from my work. I need nothing more.
Well, except, maybe, and this absolutely is not necessary, but if I must have a reward, there is one very small thing. I hate to even ask it.
Could someone please ask my manager to stop coming up to me every six minutes, no matter what I'm doing, to ask me what I'm working on?
I mean, just if someone wants to.