Once again time is mercurial at work. For an hour I am scheduled on "Project time" which is a pretty good gig wherein I can freely work on my "projects". So naturally the hour moves along at a blinding pace. You know you're in trouble when you can see the minute hand moving. Put me somewhere I don't like and the second hand will move more slowly than that minute hand.
Not that there's anywhere I don't like.
Nevertheless I got through what I needed to do with my more functional project, that is, the ordering of supplies for the library, in just under half an hour, and I was able to move onto my more amorphous, albeit more essential project, which is my role as the Clown Prince of the library.
I had just put out a fresh handful of the small USB drives we sell to the public for a couple of dollars so that they can scan documents on our copy machine (No charge!). Sometimes we go through these USB drives at a terrifying (for me, who is responsible for keeping them stocked) pace, but other times, like these slow, pre-holiday weeks, I don't need to fill the USB drive bin very often. So naturally I turned to one of my colleagues working the front desk.
"Luke" I said. "I don't want to be critical, but you're not moving the USB drives at the rate we were hoping. Perhaps with each patron you could say something like 'Thank you for using the Library. Can we interest you before you go in one of our USB drives at the special year-end price of two dollars?'"
Luke feigned concern quite well, with just the right touch of looking alarmed that he had let us all down. "How many units should I be moving, say, in an hour, do you think?"
I love when my co-workers play along so well!
"Just three or four." I said. "We're not asking for the world, but every USB drive we don't sell is a dime profit we miss out on."
He looked relieved. "Only three or four? I think I could do three or four." He said, with a touch of up-for-the-challenge moxie in his voice.
I sidestepped over to his desk partner, Dan, and I gestured at him. "I don't expect you to do the nine or ten Dan does, of course. Dan has worked professionally in sales."
Luke nodded his head understandingly.
That taken care of I headed to the back room. There was a librarian there. I considered going over and saying some variation on "Hi, I'm spreading cheer!" But I happened to glance at the clock. My hour was up! Project time was over and I needed to go to the automated check in machine.
Now you tell me, you have been reading along, do you see anyway that the exchange I illustrated above with Luke could have taken 30 minutes?
And yet, somehow it did. Hell, writing this whole, detailed account of the thing only took...
Oh crap, its 3:30?
It took 17 hours!