Friday, June 26, 2009

Look, You're Getting These For Free, What Else Do You Want?

Before I leave you for a week I have something to get off my chest.

Yesterday I took some books back to the library and picked up some I wanted to take out.

"You can use the self-service computer to return and take out books," says the library assistant at the counter where there is no queue.

So I try to scan the books I'm returning and there is a malfunction. A teenage library assistant clears it for me and takes away the book that doesn't scan.

I try to work out how to scan my library card to take the new books out. The screen demonstrates a hand feeding a card into a slot. I have a hand and a card. But I see no slot.

I go back to the original assistant. There is still no queue.

"Can I take them out here? I can't work out how to use the computer."

"It's very straightforward once you've done it once."

"Well I haven't done it once."

"Maybe next time you'll get more help."

"Is it now policy to direct customers to the self-service computer?"

"It's very easy, you know."

I was trying to bond with her, to agree how terrible it was that stupid rules meant that even though there was hardly anybody in the library, library assistants like her weren't allowed to do the job they'd been trained to do. Of course the reality was, she was thinking...

"They employ these young girls to do nothing. I'm not going to work my arse off while these young girls are walking around the library with nothing to do, getting paid for doing nothing. I've been here for five years. Does seniority count for nothing? I'm going to have it out with the senior librarian. That young slip of a thing should be explaining to customers exactly how to use the self-service computer. She should stand over them while they do it, correcting any mistakes, making sure that the next time they use it they won't come running to me. I am more important than her. I shouldn't be spending my time behind a counter checking in books and checking them out, rushed off my feet, when some young thing who hasn't been here five minutes can't even pull her finger out to help the public properly!"


  1. I have a hand and a card. But I see no slot

    Oh I would have found a slot to shove it into REAL fast!

  2. Her silence spoke volumes.

    You should have gone home and rung her up, and when she asks what you want you say "Just Browsing!".

    Or you could go back to the library with your books rolled into the bottom of your trousers and when she asks what you are doing you say "That's a turn up for the books".

    Try some Welsh libraries.

    Have a good hols!

  3. Charming 'service'. How come the libraries I work in always have queues? When the computers break down and the copier has a blip and the little horror finally pukes up after running around and eating cake..
    Lazy cow.

    Happy holiday.

  4. MJ - They don't like it up 'em! (see Corporal Jones, Dad's Army).

    Rog - Welsh libraries must be good because the Manic Street Preachers said they are. Thank you. Looking forward to visiting Anglesey Abbey.

    Arabella - Most people seem to use our library for children's books, dvds, games and the computers. I suppose it's a novelty having to deal with someone who wants to read fiction for adults. Thank you.

  5. You need a holiday Geoff - have a good one.

  6. What I need is a new brain. Had a panic attack last night and can't face the driving.

  7. C'mon admit it..
    her coy little act and passive/aggressive posturing got you a little excited didn't it?
    That hard-to-get schtick is part and parcel of the "Librarian" scenario.

    That snooty repressed vixen may appear aloof on the outside, in those monstrously oversized eyeglasses and her hair pulled back in a tight little bun..

    *wipes bead of sweat forming on upper lip..

    but as every schoolboy instinctively understands.. beneath that thin veneer rages an uncontrollable nymphomaniac who can never-ever-ever be satisfied!

    say NO more Geoff.

  8. That is classic 1960s erotica, Donn.

  9. i can't do libraries after a bad smelling man rubbed himself up against me in post-war history.

    i do however, relate to the mind-reading-of-random-strangers-based-on-a-raised-eyebrow syndrome.

  10. Certain libraries do attract bad-smelling men. There are no men at all in ours.