Despite the title, there is no picture. Except in my mind.
I arrive for work in the late morning, walk through the back staff entrance, and the array of my co-workers is spread out before me, scattered through all the work of the library's staging area.
"Click." My mind says.
It has never done this before. But somehow everything laid out before me seems like a snapshot in time, both random, and entirely representative.
So let me set the stage:
Due to the usual staff shortages (vacations, appointments, illnesses), combined with a couple of unprecedented snow days wherein we closed a couple weeks ago, our shelving is a little backed up. The workroom is filled with carts of library books. Otherwise things are pretty much under control.
One co-worker is in the managers' office talking to the manager. It is a social visit.
Two co-workers are chatting. One is sitting, one is standing, and both seem relaxed into it.
At the phones a co-worker is striving to entertain themselves on the Internet with mixed results.
One co-worker seems to be walking with extreme purpose on a trip to... nowhere?
One co-worker is slowly, slowly, methodically, putting a cart of books in order, as if hoping not to finish.
One person is wandering around the unshelved carts, just sort of looking at stuff.
It is a curious picture of activity without production. I don't entirely object, feeling that everyone is owed a living, but it did explain something about the persistence of the unshelved carts of books. It also seemed to capture a kind of essence of each of the co-workers on the job, telling a tale in a random frozen moment of what they are up to at the library.
And what was I up to?
I was late.