Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Not that this ever happens to me

At the library I work at putting a cart of books into alphabetical or numerical order is usually distinct from taking said cart upstairs and shelving all the books on it. One might have fifteen minutes to put a cart in order, or one might take a cart out to the front desk to put it in order in between helping patrons, chatting with one's desk partner, and reading compelling blog posts about putting carts in order. But when one is scheduled for a bit of shelving time, there are usually plenty of in order carts to simply take upstairs and shelve.

And, speaking as a person shelving these carts I have to say sometimes these carts let us down. Oh, most of the time the carts are in perfect, or near perfect order, but sometimes there are problems. These problems come at three levels.

The third worst is when you take a cart upstairs only to realize it was only partly in order and the person who was working on it didn't finish putting it in order, but you didn't examine it carefully enough downstairs to notice it and now you're two long walks and an elevator ride away from swapping out to an in order cart.

The second worst is when your cart is roughly in order, but some careless, or incompetent, or sloppy co-worker or volunteer made all kinds of mistakes that force you to back track in your shelving.

But the absolute worst is when you come upon some irritating and infuriating mistake on your cart, and you're thinking dark thoughts about your co-workers, and then you suddenly realize "Hey, I remember these books. I put this cart in order."

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