Sunday, March 29, 2020

No lessons, just history

Gather around my friends and I will tell you another grim library tale from way back in the dark days of the 2020 pandemic.

Oh, it's still the dark days of the 2020 pandemic?

But I wrote this post five whole days ahead of time. Are you sure?

Well it's almost over isn't it?


Okay stop, that's enough, I don't want to know anything more about the future! It's horrible!

My library tale? Oh, now it just seems so trifling compared to what you all are dealing with in the future. 

But if you insist...

My sad tale begins on the gray first day that my stupid library began its inadvisable curbside pickup program. I arrived to a disorganized scene of unsafe chaos as the processes were worked out. Calls were coming in. Elaborate explanations were made. Double call protocols and multiple people hand-offs were instituted. Many pointless things were printed out. As many people, phone calls, and individual book touches as possible were involved. We still haven't entirely recovered from it and need 16 employees to check out a few dozen books to 20 or 30 people over the course of a full day.

Not that there's anything else to do.

Except stay home.

So you might guess that I had a bad attitude about it. You might even imagine that I complained about it just a tiny bit.

I did.

I was on the phone with a patron who had resolved not to just stay home, even though all the buses and billboards and Internet memes had begged them to. And I was hunting down their requested item that was not where it was supposed to be because even still our byzantine system goes mildly wrong half the time and it was much worse back then, and I was complaining about the Governor and the County Manager and the Library Director and the President and the Union and Capitalism and Communicable Diseases and MANAGERS, when one of my colleagues, sitting at a desk with nothing at all to do, offered me some advice.

"Why don't you just decide that everything is for the best and that we are helping people?" She asked.

I shrugged and replied "Why don't you just decide I am the best person you have ever met and can do no wrong?"

Alas, neither of us learned our lesson.

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