Monday, November 27, 2017

Trying to fix things with time

Not long ago I discovered that the elevator at the library I work at travels not just between floors, but it can go to any time of the day that I want! I was thrilled by this, and full of wonderful ideas of how it could work to my advantage. Sadly, none of them played out like I hoped. Maybe it was just me, or maybe the real problem was that what I really want on any day is just to go home and hang out with my wife. Maybe this simple fact doomed all the adjustments I'd try to make in my day: More lunch! More reading! Only work when I want! Correct mistakes that dampen my spirit! Skip the day altogether! None of this turned out to be very good for me, and the "me" occupying any of the time I tried to skip over turned out to be a real self-centered jerk who could not be trusted and, worse, wrote really bad blog posts.

So I resolved only to go back in time, never forward. But this just made the day longer, so I hardly ever used the elevator anymore at all, except to go between floors.

But this afternoon I was hungry, so I took a break to make a salad and eat it before shelving in fiction. I was in the back corner behind the phones and just as I was finishing up one of my managers popped up out of nowhere to chirpily cry out "Are you going to do any shelving?"

Harry Potter fans take note: Yes, this manager has a touch of Dolores Umbridge to her.

"Of course." I replied. "I'm just finishing a break."

"Well of course." She said, with what surely was a touch of asperity.

I raced to the elevator, not to shelve, but to roll time back. I got out and before I could go anywhere there she was.

"Are you going to do any shelving?" She asked.

I got back in the elevator and went back to the start of the hour. But now I was hungry again. I made a salad quickly and ducked into a hidden room. Finishing quickly I waited for the coast to clear. Silently I slipped out of my secret spot and...

"Are you going to do any shelving?" 


I went to the start of the hour again. I ignored my grumbling stomach and raced over to one of the shelving carts. I tripped over an untied shoelace and fell to the ground. I was okay. I tied my shoe and...

"Are you going to do any shelving?"  

"No." I replied, exhausted.

"No?" She asked. "You are scheduled to shelve."

"I'd prefer not."

"You prefer not?"

"I prefer not."

And then slowly I walked back to the elevator, out of ideas.

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