Monday, August 8, 2016

Bad jokes

It's ugly these days in the back circulation work room of my library. We have managers driven mad by the heat, vital machinery chronically breaking down, and newly transplanted staff fitfully adjusting to our branch of the library at the worst possible time.

So it's a good time to be off upstairs shelving.

Nevertheless, at the hour, on the hour, no matter where I am in my progress with my cart of books to be shelved, I have a new duty. It may be on phones or the desk or the machine. I may even be shelving somewhere else, but few of these duties will wait for me to finish my cart of shelving. So I come down the elevator with my half a cart of unshelved books.

More than usual lately I hear some wag say something like "Aren't you supposed to shelve books upstairs instead of bringing books down?"

I hate this joke. 

I think I am hearing this joke more because everyone is cranky and high strung right now, and jokes with just a tiny touch of meanness leak out more. 

And I hate it because I am a little cranky and high strung myself.

So, fine. I have finished shelving my cart of books. It is fifteen minutes to the hour. I could go downstairs, get a new cart and shelve most of it. But I think I'll just cool my heels here for awhile. And for fifteen minutes instead I'll write you, who never tease me with jokes that are as empty as the cart I will bring down, exactly as I'm supposed, precisely on the hour.

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