Monday, January 30, 2023

Musical chairs


My ideal workgroup at my library is a lean, self-sufficient, and harmonious collection of mildly committed co-workers who like libraries. I have had this on occasion. And maybe I will one day again. But right now at my library it's a lot more like a bunch of random people of vastly different capabilities shoveled into a giant pile with the hopes that it will all... work out.

As the command structure of my library (always anathema to me by its very definition), has become even more layered, removed, and bureaucratic, the staffing has gotten increasingly disorderly. While there has always been a tendency towards this here, it has never been a more strongly held approach that if one just sort of shoves enough random workers at the library job it's bound to get done. 

We currently have a collection of old timers who tend to be very bad or very good at the job. We have some middle timers who tend to think they're better than they are, but who I will concede are generally... fine. And lastly we have new people, lots and lots of new people. We have people sent here from other county agencies that closed down, but who can't be let go (and rightly so), and whose skills and inclinations have nothing to do with library work. We have a whole group of people that have been sent here from one of our library branches that reduced to a skeleton staff during a year long refurbishment of their closed building, and we have a couple more people who I'm not sure where they came from or what their names are, but they seem to be around a lot and occasionally show up on the schedule. None of these people are particularly good at this job, or the alphabet. Also these people tend to not be such good co-workers, missing cues and lacking social understanding. They kind of clog up the hallways.

But despite all this we are a team. So nevertheless we must set all of this negativity aside. Yes we are a mass, an unruly undulated horde of labor, but in the end we are all here united in one common goal:

To find an available chair to sit in.

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