Tuesday, July 28, 2020
King of the world
Today at my library the bane of my existence died; curbside pick up is no more. It was poorly designed, labor intensive, and exhausting. Involving two phone calls, long searches for requested items while patrons sat patiently on hold (usually), a dedicated "runner" to take things to a table outside, and the incessant, INCESSANT, ringing of unanswered phones, curbside pick up was brutal. Your correspondent was deeply unhappy. He was miserable.
Hi. I'm your correspondent. And today curbside pick up ended.
Oh pinch me.
In a system I devised, campaigned for, manipulated, and prodded into existence, patrons now come into the library (maximum five at a time), get their holds, use self check out, and leave. That's it.
In the design and run up to this plan I have weathered specious delays, the skepticism of (a minority of) my co-workers, and the occasionally extraordinarily obtuse misunderstandings of managers whose wrench-in-the-works random implementations have had to be deftly, delicately, and discretely undone, or sometimes stoically borne (not my strong suit).
What are we left with?
Freedom, a little.
A touch more quiet.
Less relentless, grinding work.
And it's actually very nice to see the patrons again, at a distance of six feet, masked, and opposite a sheet of plexiglass.
There is a perhaps over-quoted bit of wisdom popularized by Spider-Man:
With great power comes great responsibility.
But think about it, who the fuck of us has great power? Not many of us, that's for sure. We cobble together our moments. We work through proxies and craft, tirades, hints, and careful, tactful begging. Most of my co-workers will think this new system is just something that happened, almost on its own. And in the trenches, if I'm lucky there may be a brief thanks or two. But no rewards come our way. No power. No triumphant march. No day off. I will not be promoted, commended, protected, or given extra consideration the next time I think something desperately needs to happen.
Curbside pick up is no more.
I piss on its grave.