Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Dan, the creator destroyer

A co-worker of mine accepted an idle challenge to process three bins of books in a short amount of time, sort of on a dare. Dan was there. He said "Last week I did four, do you remember?"

No, I didn't remember. I'm not good at remembering things that never happened. I can anticipate things that aren't going to happen really well though, so hopefully that evens it all out in the long run.

My daring co-worker mentioned somewhat derisively that Dan never does much work. But I was compelled to correct this misunderstanding. Dan is capable of herculean feats of obsessive work. No, he has never processed three bins in an hour, or cleaned someone's cake pan after eating the last piece of cake, but he has processed every requested book in the library in 45 intense minutes on a Monday afternoon so that our library is choking to death on requests that thousands of patrons all suddenly expect us to get for them. And when I say "thousands of patrons" I mean "five", but I'm figuring with my emotions here.

Just yesterday we were pretty much out of the bins we use to put on our check in machine, so Dan worked ferociously to condense the books in three bins going to another branch so that they, through careful and intricate stacking, could fit into two bins, freeing up one precious bin. It was a nice bit of work until one considered that Dan could have, with half the effort and time, emptied, say, six bins of children's materials onto the carts they needed to go on, freeing up said six bins and thus solving the problem for everyone for the rest of the evening.

Which is maybe why my co-worker was thinking Dan didn't do much work. It's a reasonably accurate assessment on a cumulative level, but then, really, when it comes down to it, all library work is washed away with the tides.


  1. Thank you for this. I'm not good at remembering things that never happened."

    1. Ooh. It's always very exciting to get quoted in the comments! So, of course, it was my pleasure.


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