08 December 2003

Ups and downs

I am at job #2 tonight. The evening got off to a stellar start when I came in to find yet another memo from our psychotic computer guy in my mailbox about the almost hourly needless changes to the computers.

What? I didn't tell you about Crazy Computer Guy (henceforth referred to here as CCG)? Huh. Prob'ly I was just trying to maintain some semblance of professionalism by not revealing inappropriately malicious ranting. This guy is insane. Just trust me on this.

Anyway, this means that, again, the rules for letting patrons use the computers have changed. What that means is that, as Reference Girl, I will have angry patrons asking about inconsistent rules again all evening. Fun.

I have a headache. I am starting to get more and more stress from this place that I love. I am starting to dread coming in because I know there will always be some new, irrational rules and behavior (from CCG, not the patrons) that will cause problems and complaints.

So far this evening, I have had some teenage girls bitch at me after I remind them of the "one person per computer rule." Heck, the rules around here are so elastic and inconsistent that I almost can't blame them and consider caving, but I know that will quickly cause a descent into utter chaos, so I stand firm and am later rewarded by their better behavior and apologies for their earlier behavior.

A woman called and yelled at me because we do not have books about silicon for her daughter to use for science fair. I offered to get something through interlibrary loan and she started yelling at me that the paper is due tomorrow and what the hell is wrong with the libraries? We know the kids are doing these projects! We should have the book here! NOW! She was disgusted with me for offering to get her information from our seven zillion different (and pretty current) science encyclopedias and ended up hanging up on me.

Another satisfied patron.


Did I mention that I seriously HATE science fair? No, we do not have any books on working underwater with paper or that specifically spell out the result of your child's project. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT OF DOING THE EXPERIMENT! Maybe I am suffering from senile nostalgia, but I swear it wasn't this complicated back in my day -- and I'm only 30. I built a simple water filtration plant out of tubing and some other crap -- or rather, I tried to and, when that failed, I drew a lovely diagram of what my plant should have looked like. I wrote a paper explaining what I had learned from my experiment and...

Oh, why do I bother complaining? No amount of bitching will change the fact that these parents want me to do their children's science fair projects for them.

On the other extreme, an elderly gentleman patron told me I was a "credit to [my] whole profession" this evening after I had answered some simple request.

How odd to have a job that you can love passionately but dislike a bit at the same time ever once in a while.

I guess as long as the scales stay weighed to the side of love, I'll be all right.

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