I’m just taking time out for a little cleansing rant and then back into the chaos that has been the first hour of today.
It was always going to be a fun day as I was on with only a casual who has not worked at our branch before. The usual tour of the library would be required and run down on where stationery and other important venues (the W.C. for instance) are all while opening a library. Still when the big hand ticks up to five minutes to nine and not casual in sight, the panic starts. I don’t expect casuals to start work before 9am as they’re not getting paid for it, but I do expect them to be here, eating breakfast or walking around getting a feel for the place. I have to ring around to get the casual’s mobile number and then ring him to find out where he is. On his way, can’t find the library. As usual, we are in the arse-end of the arse-end of the LGA (Local Government Area) and no one can find us.
Now that I know he’s on his way I go outside and chat to our customers who are waiting patiently for the library to open. They really are. On the whole, give me this libraries customers everyday over customers in the well to do suburbs. It’s library policy to not open the library with only one staff member. Nothing to stop me from going out to them though. So we talk out there for five minutes…it seems like hours but it could not have been much longer than that, and then our casual marches across the grass to the library. We’re open.
Now the fun begins.
As soon as we have the doors open and the casual starts logging in we get a phone call in the office. It’s Circulation at the main branch with a claims return. If I had been out the front I could have looked up the customers record but our the back all I could do is scribble stuff down and run away (oh please can I run away). Claims return not on the shelf or trolley, so claims return paperwork needs to be filled out and explained to the customer over the phone. Done, well almost.
At the same time I was looking for a rather natty craft I did only just last week. It is a set of cards on the Very Hungry Catapillar that children can take home and retell or even invent their own version of the story. A mother needed the story for a Book Parade. It would be perfect, if I could find it. In the end I just printed off a couple of copies, she seemed very pleased which does make life worthwhile on a day like today.
Then, when I think we will have some peace, one of our regulars comes in to make a partial payment on a damaged book. She’s been paying it off, $5.00 a week and she’d tried yesterday but POS (point of sale, money management program) would not do a partial payment . Of course it’s still doing the same nonsense it was yesterday so…ring IT.
IT fiddles around for the infinity that makes up the ‘I’ in their name and still can’t fix it. The customer has gone, IT can’t tell me if our version of POS is corrupted, or there’s some glitch with the customer record or it’s my login. They want me to ring them back when we get another customer for partial payment. How often to they think we do these? We have to leave the procedures at the desk for staff to check each time they’re so infrequent. If we get another partial payment this week it will be a record and it will probably be that same customer.
While IT is moving the mouse around my screen trying to figure out what was going on with POS (it’s called Shadowing and it’s very cool seeing the mouse roam the screen doing stuff seemingly without aid) that machine could not be used for anything else. As I was by myself this morning and as the library deems it more benefitial to have Internet booking diary eletronic…not online, that could be useful, just as a Word document…and it was on the machine that IT were playing with…well, you see hastily scribbled notes about computers and bookings were soon required for customers wanting the computers. I was just waiting for there to be a booking issue that we couldn’t check because we didn’t have access to the diary. I really have to push for the diary on GoogleDocs I think.
Not over yet! Some time amongst all that the nurse from the Early Childhood Cente came over to discuss a library tour for young mothers. We do it every so often, this one is not until November. So I sat down with her for a few minutes planning what date only to realise after she had left that I’ve double booked myself (idiot!). I’m told she will be back in half an hour so I’m keeping an eye out.
A large mysterious parcel arrived in a post bag sometime…I don’t know when. As far as I know it appeared by magic. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a post bag before as we usually don’t get a lot of mail. This parcel was from the US and instantly I’m suspicious. Sure, the lousiest Tuesday that I can remember, why not get blown up! We don’t get parcels from the US, ever…well hardly ever. One other time. Can you guess? If you said Scientology donations you would be very correct. Beautifully boxed, 9 CD and book sets. Which we can not use. We do have scientology stuff our on the shelves, but if we put out all their stuff it would take up two shelves on their own. We do not have that sort of room for material that does not move. At least I don’t need to deal with that box, I just put it aside for my team leader.
Saw the nurse. I’ve messed her up too but at least I’m not alone today.