Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Story during lunch

During lunch today a colleague told a story about "Mike," a guy who retired. She used to work with Mike @ the law liberry, and one day asked him to call about 30 publishers and ask for magazines they didn't receive. So, Mike spent all day calling the publishing companies, or so he thought.

The next day the mailman (ext. 1800) comes into the liberry and says would someone please tell Mike that he needs to press 9 before dialing? I got 30 messages.

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Hello, this is the mailman, leave a message.
Hello, this is Mike. We didn't receive our magazine; please send it.

Hello, this is the mailman, leave a message.
Hello, this is Mike. We didn't receive our magazine; please send it.

Hello, this is the mailman, leave a message.
Hello, this is Mike. We didn't receive our magazine; please send it.

Hello, this is the mailman, leave a message.
Hello, this is Mike. We didn't receive our magazine; please send it.

Hello, this is the mailman, leave a message.
Hello, this is Mike. We didn't receive our magazine; please send it.

Hello, this is the mailman, leave a message.
Hello, this is Mike. We didn't receive our magazine; please send it.

Hello, this is the mailman, leave a message.
Hello, this is Mike. We didn't receive our magazine; please send it.

Hello, this is the mailman, leave a message.
Hello, this is Mike. We didn't receive our magazine; please send it.

Hello, this is the mailman, leave a message.
Hello, this is Mike. We didn't receive our magazine; please send it.

Hello, this is the mailman, leave a message.
Hello, this is Mike. We didn't receive our magazine; please send it.

Hello, this is the mailman, leave a message.
Hello, this is Mike. We didn't receive our magazine; please send it.

Hello, this is the mailman, leave a message.
Hello, this is Mike. We didn't receive our magazine; please send it.

Hello, this is the mailman, leave a message.
Hello, this is Mike. We didn't receive our magazine; please send it.

I can't believe he didn't realize that he kept calling the same voicemail!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bernice & her mad turkeys

Once again it's time for Bernice to call all the mad turkeys...

First one didn't answer. She glances at the list and says, let's see, who else can we call to see how mad they are...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bernice v. Angry Customer

Bernice came back from lunch armed to argue with the angry customer of the day. She was "fired up" on hot sauce. The assignment was to call "Mr. Smith" because he had already argued with the branch for over half an hour about The World is Flat. Because there are 86 people on the waiting list, we can't renew it for you. (He probably thinks the world is flat). So Bernice listens to him yell-- My dad told me to share and share alike. If I have to wait six minths for the book, others should too. Come on, would you be logical. It's lots of pages.

Bernice: I'm sorry they didn't explain the policy at the branch, I understand, I'm sorry, I understand... I do not have the authority to solve your problem.

Then Bernice passes the torch to our Deputy Director. DD somehow kills him with kindness. At the end of the conversation, Mr. Smith said have a nice day, Happy Thanksgiving, and please send my apologies to Bernice. DD: It's unfortunate, that's her full time job. People yell at her all day every day.

Sarah says...

as I was "encouraging" folks to leave the library last night at 8PM, one guy yelled out to me, "Since you're going to be closed on Thurs and Fri this week, you should stay open until midnight on Wednesday and open at 12 midnight on Saturday morning!" I told him it was a good idea!! :)

Grand Opening

We opened a new branch last week and the place was packed with regional big-wigs and customers who had waited a long time for this liberry to be built. In the midst of the reception and everyone oohing and ahhing, a customer asked me for help on the computer. I thought "Cool! My first reference question in the new branch!" He couldn't understand why he kept getting an error message when he typed in the web page he wanted. "Well sir, I'm afraid that web sites of this nature (it was a porn site!) are blocked by our filters. Might I suggest that you view this at home?" And do it now, before these politicians see what you're up to!!"

Elizabeth?

A high school aged girl asked me for a biography of Queen Elizabeth. I asked her which Queen Elizabeth she wanted and got a blank stare. I explained that there were several Elizabeths in English history, including the one who is queen now. She rolled her eyes and said to her mother "See what I mean? That teacher is always giving us impossible assignments!" I asked if she had the assignment with her. She dug through her overstuffed backpack and finally found it crumpled at the bottom. "Here. The book I'm supposed to get is 'Mary, Bloody Mary' by Meyer somebody." OK... that's not Elizabeth and it's not a biography, but we do have it.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Bigger than we realize

A customer called my colleague Bernice to chew her out-

Do you know that I received this notice many days after it was postmarked from zip XXXXX?

Yes, we've recently had problems with our notices. Our notices are sent from zip XXXXX. True, it isn't close, but it usually takes a day or 2 at the most.

Do you realize you are wasting billions of dollars by sending notices across the country like that?

-------------

And do you realize you could help us cut our costs if you'd sign up for email notification?

Favorite Question

From Sarah (t minus one more day left with our madhouse)---

Do you know where the Liberry X is?

Right here.

No, I mean the public liberry.

This is the public liberry in City X.

The county?

Yes, this is the county's branch of the public liberry in City X.
------------------------


He left the desk still looking quite unhappy. Clearly I did not help him get to where he wanted to go.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sky = literally the limit






A few weeks ago we had an all staff retreat to talk about change and the future. In a brainstorming session, someone suggested we get a plane to fly a banner (like the kind over a football stadium) saying Come to the Liberry or something similar.

I got to thinking, why can't we get search lights like the ones @ big malls, or have people stand on the corner and hold those huge signs, like the ones that advertise condos are for sale? Or what about a blimp with Snoopy- instead of Get Met have it say Get Carded!

The sky is literally the limit!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Isn't that something?

I spent all week researching digital cameras with my colleague who has the liberry credit card. We drove all around town and went to several computer stores with no customer service. We finally located a store that had 14 in stock.

We talked to the guy and told him that we can spend a max of $2500 a day. He initially calculated that we could get 7 cameras for that price. Then, magically, he figured we could get 8 of them when we told him we'd need to order about 30 more. He was so happy- here's my business card, let me know if I can help you!

Probably on commission.

The Dumbing Down of America

My mom is a Reading Specialist. Last week she was helping a group of fourth graders read about the Statue of Liberty. One paragraph was about the tablet- it has the date July 4, 1776. Question one-- what's a tablet? Better question- what do you think the date July 4, 1776 signifies? Total silence. Then a kid raises his hand and guesses- is that the day we turn back the clocks?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Eraser Man

@ lunch today I was talking about Colander Guy- I think he's probably the same guy in the comic. However, a colleague remarked- each branch has their characters. After all, Branch X has Eraser Man, the man who always wears pink erasers in his ears.

Crisis

During the past two days our tech people have been playing with the firewall and proxy settings. Result? Patrons can't log out of anything: ebay, email, their liberry account, etc. So, we had to send out a message- immediately turn off all computers until this gets fixed! I'm sure liberrians were so popular today @ the branches.

Colander Guy










Since we don't see our Colander Guy anymore, I think he migrated elsewhere and met the creators of Unshelved. No way could there be more than one of him!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Please Exit

I miss the announcements over the PA before closing- The liberry is closing in thirty minutes. If you'd like to apply for a card, fill out the form @ the Circus Desk. If you'd like to check out materials, go to the other Circus Desk, have your card ready. If you need help finding material, go to the Liberrian's Circus Desk.

Same announcement repeated @ 15, 10, & 5 minutes. Then another one at closing-- The library is now closed. We will reopen tomorrow @ 10.

When my friend Katie would do the announcement, she'd add- Thank you for visiting us; please exit through the main lobby (a la Disneyland).

When I told her I missed her sarcasm, she remarked one day she'll say:

Check out and get the heck out!

Choose a path

Two of the advance reading copies we got in yesterday:

Sex.Lies.Murder.Fame by Lolita Files

and

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Reminds me of Max

I was just reminded of the time Max asked me if I brush my teeth, floss, and use Listerine.

Today I'm @ an all-day FrontPage training, and I went to "Bagel House" for lunch. I ask the guy if I can have a plain bagel with melted cheese. He says no. Then I ask if I can have a tuna melt without the tuna. He says no. So then I order a plain bagel and take it into the sun. A couple minutes later I go inside to get a napkin. The guy says, excuse me, you must get this all the time, but godDAMN you have beautiful blue eyes. Beautiful. GodDAMN. My name is Caesar, welcome to Bagel House.

-------------------------------

And I'm thinking... are you sure I can't have melted cheese on a plain bagel?

She Loves It, but it's not a service we provide

We can't get the "suggest a title for purchase" part up on our catalog fast enough. Almost daily this woman goes to our online reference service to suggest erotic titles which get passed to Marian to order. She just loves it, but it's always a big hassle since the librarians who work the online system come from all over the country and have no idea what she's talking about.

Says Marian, she may be a little wacky, but she has great taste in books--the ones she's requested are collecting holds like ants on sugar.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Marian found

Marian found these stories from a bookstore in NYC. They aren't much different than the gems of this blog. My favorite is the one about unfiction.

Gone to Collection

Today one of our favorite customers had to be called, because she's in collection-- for the 4th time. Today the problem was that she never returned The Joy of Simple Living, among other titles. We think her joy of simple living is disregarding due dates. Our tech who does the calling (& is on a 1st name basis with the customer) said God I hope she read that book! She continued, she's a nice lady, but she drives us nuts!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Never the same again


As I was setting up my new desk at headquarters, I put Nancy Pearl on the shelf. One of my colleagues walked by and said- she's not shushing, it looks like she is picking her nose.

Oh, I'll never look at her the same way. And, I have both of her arms down.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Still have to pay

My colleague gets to call all the people who don't pay their fines. This am she called the number and received the voice mail- a full minute of Scripture reading.

---------

God Bless You too, and you still have to pay the fine!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Tara's Tidbits-

"I'm applying for a job with the county. I know they do a background check. Can you help me find a list of all my convictions?"

---------------------

Um, did you say list?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Another one I can't forget

Last year a blind woman and her husband attended most of my computer classes. They tape recorded it. She listened carefully, constantly corrected her husband- no honey, not 2 clicks, just one!

My Cast of Characters

My cast of characters hasn't left the liberry, some/all probably haven't even noticed their director has left. But, THANK GOD my colleagues provide updates (yes, that's a service they do provide so I can be virtually there)--

Frank writes, "Max is alive and well and still talking to himself. I've been seeing him around the library since then. Our page said he met him this morning in the grocery store. Max asked him, "Where you going, all dressed up?" Our page said he was just going to work. Max said,"Ok, I'll see you over there pretty soon." Looks like he's back to his normal schedule. When I asked him last week where he'd been, he told me he was home watching his movies. In fact, just about the whole cast of characters is still around."

Sarah says, "he still can't remember my name!" She tried to give him the book review newspaper, but he said those aren't my kind of books. Then what are? James Bond.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A good time to go home

I sit near my colleague who handles collections, i.e. argues with those who owe over $100 in fines (plenty of customers). Yesterday I heard her arguing in Spanish- couldn't understand it, but it didn't sound friendly. I heard audios! and she said, I know it is time to go home when they yell at me in Spanish and English!