Friday, September 26, 2014

Kind of the goal

Drumroll, please, for my new place of work:

*The downtown branch of a big public library system in the Midwest!*

Previous readers of this blog will know that I have been preparing for this moment for years. I'm very excited. The New Branch has:
-A 50-year-old building with a dumbwaiter
-An ominous basement with 100+-year-old periodicals in it
-Security guards
-A list of 'currently banned patrons' half a mile long.

I love it already. Most of this week has been administrative orientation that repeats things I didn't really need to be taught (Here's how to use Microsoft Outlook, don't give away patron information to random strangers, people are confused by our e-books, etc.). But my coworkers are already starting to fill me in on the regulars. During checkout desk training, the circulation supervisor produced not one, not two, not three, but four patron first and last names completely from memory while she was showing me different potential problems with accounts. My boss, the 'Head of Public Services,' filled me in on a rude and probably disturbed patron who calls in repeatedly with demands like "Go to Google and type in..." My boss: "Sometimes she's rude, sometimes she's abusive, sometimes she hangs up on you...well, that last one is kind of the goal."

In my very brief time on the desk so far:
-Guy comes in: my wife never returned this book, the library sent us a bunch of notices and sent us to a collection agency but we ignored the issue for months and months, now she is being credit reported, can I pay this stupid forty dollar fine?
-Woman wants to know, does each individual DVD inside the same set of a season of a TV series count toward her 10-DVD limit? No, the whole box of them counts as one. She is relieved!
-Old black guy wants Queer as Folk, season 4
-Young white guy in sweatshirt wants a book by an author, John Sun, Solon, Saul, something like that. Does he know what any of the guy's books are called? No. Does he know how the author's name is spelled? Any guesses? No. Can he tell me anything about what the books are about? No, maybe they are in horror or sci-fi?
-White woman wants a DVD, there is a hold list, never mind, she doesn't want to wait. I have never understood this--there is no downside to getting on the waiting list for something except that it takes about five seconds of your time
-Discover you can read the log of security incidents for every single day! So excited!