Friday, February 1, 2019
My emotional worklife
As you know, we are assigned, on an hourly basis, to various jobs at the library; phones, machine, shelving, front desk, etc. I'm not saying this assigning is done with justice, or for the best benefit of our workload, or to make things the nicest they can be for ourselves or our library patrons. I am not saying the assigning is necessarily done well. But it is all we have.
It's all we have.
There must be someone there to answer the phone. There must be people humanning the front desk. Somebody has to take care of the machine. The machine cannot take care of itself! It drools.
That is why we acquiesce. It is why we take our lumps, the good lumps and the bad lumps.
When two wildly incompetent people are assigned to the front desk I do not hover around trying to fix their mistakes. I have somewhere else to be. If chance and deadbeats dump a ridiculous amount of work on me for the last 2 hours at night on the check in machine I merely roll up my sleeves, kick things a lot, and get the work done. If I am oddly assigned to shelve in non fiction while two other people are scheduled for the same, I simply squeeze in. This is my fate.
And so likewise if things are positively sleepy on the phones I am free to study the tactics and prospects of the Barcelona Football Club. If it's a quiet night at the front desk I can have a chat, for good or ill, with my front desk partner, and, here's where we get to the point of this whole thing, the, shall we say, inspiration, behind it, if I am assigned to shelve in the fiction section, in peaceful, roomy isolation, then the fiction section is mine. If I alone am assigned there, if I finally got a beautiful draw, a breezy, mildly productive, thoughtful, pleasant work assignment, then you should not mess with it. I do not want to see you coming up to the fiction section because your work assignment is crowded, or boring, or doesn't suit you and you prefer to shelve in the fiction...
You're not here to shelve? You've just come here to visit me?
Oh. Well that's nice.