On a recent night here at my library everyone of my five co-workers was either off for surgery recovery or simply called in sick in a tragic-comedy one-by-one domino falling that became increasingly predictable. In the end it was just me alone to face the night shift. A day shift co-worker took pity and decided to stay for the evening for the incredibly valuable exchange of getting to not be here at some point in the near future, which is a thing weighted among some of us greater than gold!
So in the end it was just we two instead of the usual six.
Three would have been considered the absolute bare minimum.
But we were not busy.
While both of us are quite capable, and could have fared well in trying conditions if we had them, the truth is we had modest amounts of work to do and chatted away good portions of the evening.
We're top notch chatterers.
If there is a third rail of working at the library it is possibly that no one is to ever mention that we are functionally overstaffed by a significant margin. The reason that this is unmentionable is because the truth of this reality cannot be entrusted to any managerial, administrative, or supervisory staff- they have proven, historically, unerringly incapable of doing the right thing with information of this gravity and import.
And what, you may wonder, is the right thing to do with this information?
I'd love to tell you but I'm super busy right now.