Saturday, September 8, 2007

IM in the library

I just read a thing at LibrarianInBlack that talks about IM'ing in the library. I brought that up to the tech people a couple of weeks back and they said, "What? You want to help people. Sure, we can do it, but you won't like it."

And I agreed. I already have enough trouble with the virtual reference desk where people ignore all the comments on the login screen about chatting with a librarian anywhere in the state who may not be able to help you with local problems, and still, every night I get, "where is my book?" "where is my card?" "where is my baby?" "the dingo ate my baby;" etc.
Nobody reads instructions and then they get mad when I say the dingo got away.

So I damn sure don't want a "bell" to signal me that someone using the wireless in the toilet wants me to reach over the door and press Delete because whatever he's doing doesn't allow him a free hand after holding down Ctrl and Alt (I'm not even going to suggest the word "StickyKeys;" Sir, have you tried StickyKeys? "That's what I'm trying to avoid.").

In order to for this to be successful at my service desk, I would need a script like this:
Hello, this is the Alert System Service Library Assistance Department (ASSLAD). ASSLAD is a service of your library to assist you with problems and issues and questions and requests you may have with using the Internet or computer software. ASSLAD allows you to communicate directly with a library technician who can assist you with your problem or issue or question or request.
It is possible that you have initiated the ASSLAD unintentionally or that this request has been generated as a result of spam-producing software or adware. In order for the service to differentiate between a real request for ASSLAD and a false request, the following mathematical question must be answered correctly; this is a challenge question that a human can answer but a machine cannot.

Please do not attempt to use a calculator for this challenge.
325 is to ¼ as Ø is to __

Please type your answer now.
A correct answer will fulfill the request for ASSLAD and a technician will assist you.
An incorrect answer will cancel the request for ASSLAD.
ASSLAD, indeed. I'm crazy like a fox.

[just re-read this and thought that Alert System Service Help On Line (ASSHOL) would have been funnier...what do you think.. but ASSLAD sounded funny enough at the time.]