Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I am Spock.

There's a thing going around about librarydayinthelife where some librarians are posting info about their actual job duties; maybe they're trying to inform or even inspire others. Dunno. Or maybe they're just attempting to chronicle their work life before their budgets get cut and their jobs get axed.

If the latter's the case, then let me add a little nugget of what the.effing.librarian does at work before I find myself out on the street selling wilted carnations to you on your way home from work at that intersection in front of the library where the drunk guys beg for change.

We have a library regular who's been a pain in my ass. He always looks for me to help him with something. But my help doesn't seem to get him anywhere. Whatever I find for him, he loses, and ends up back at the reference desk three days later expecting me to find it all over again.

So a while back (April?), he asks me for all this information on oil viscosity, fire extinguisher classifications, ladder heights and safety, etc. Again, just a seemingly endless quest for stuff that won't make his, or my, life any better.

So I find it all, and for ten minutes I am Spock. It's like I've just completed a mind-meld with my mind to his mind and I've experienced both his joys and horrors. I've been submerged into his world of Class A-B-C flame retardant chemicals and 30-weight motor oil. For that moment, I know what he knows.

And then I forget. He leaves with his prints and I forget. That's why it's so annoying when, three days later he comes in to say he lost some of the papers and to ask for that same stuff all over again.

But then, guess what? He comes back two weeks later and says that what I gave him helped him get a job. And guess what, still? He hasn't bothered me now for two months. Yeah, he still comes into the library, but he doesn't need my help.

And that, my friends, is what's it's all about. Making it so our patrons don't need us anymore; so the reference stats go down; and so I'm out on the street on my ass, and unemployed. Except for that flower business, of course.

Live long, and prosper.