Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Left behind at the front desk


In addition to the random things library patrons leave behind at the front desk; water bottles, driver's licenses, small toys, keys, and so on, my co-workers also leave items behind when I replace them at the front desk. These are usually the uninteresting detritus of workers everywhere; water bottles, coffees, and assorted unfinished business, but there is also something a bit more interesting- web pages. I really enjoy finding my co-workers' leftover web pages.

Some of these pages are in interesting foreign languages like Polish and Urdu, which gives me a wider sense of the world. My travel-focused co-workers leave behind scintillating pictures of places I didn't even know existed but look so charming I could weep. One food-obsessed colleague can usually be counted on to leave behind menus from idiosyncratic local restaurants representing international cuisines. I may find the site of boutique hotels, book research, or fancy dress suitable for the celebrating Muslim man.

But sometimes it's not nearly as straightforward as all that. Why is there a taxidermy site on my computer, or a picture of a single coin, or directions to a distant parking lot attached to no businesses of any kind? Right now on this computer, someone has recently divided 137 by 5. Somewhere in the backroom one of my co-workers is doing something with the number 27.4. I don't know what and I probably never will. But whatever it is, I'm glad they have interests. I'm not the only one:

Sometimes our bodies are here, and our minds are far away.

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If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

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