Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More Things I Have Learned

This is our crazy busy season at the library. Things have been complicated by the fact that one staff member got shingles last month and that I am gone for half of this month at various conferences and meetings and oh yes, helping my mother move.

However, all this chaos has been very educational. Things I've learned this month include:

  • If you buy one head of lettuce, one tomato, one cucmber, and twenty-two large bottles of salad dressing, the checkout lady at Wal-Mart gives you a very strange look. When you pay for all this with a business credit card, the look gets even stranger.
  • Our patrons are an unflappable bunch. When a procession of library staff marches through the computer area carrying carving knives, no one even blinks. They do seem a little more aware of the staff member carrying the HUMONGOUS bowl containing enough lettuce for a hundred people, though. I wouldn't go so far as to say that they were actually startled, or even interested, by this, however.
  • Librarians - or maybe just library school grad students - are a bloodthirsty bunch. If you post a message about a sword to a listserv, you get fifty responses in fifteen minutes. Some of them will be from other libraries wanting a nice big sword to hang over the circulation desk.
  • Legal advice is better when it's free, but the little old ladies who frequent the library think it is best when delivered by a good-looking male lawyer. (Actual quote from an evaluation form: "Very informative and knowledgeable. Also good-looking.")
  • The general public does not seem at all perturbed to see their librarian roaming around in a t-shirt with the logo of The Guild of Radical Militant Librarians. They are much more bothered by giant temporary tattoos of sparkly fairies with purple wings applied to the librarian's face.
I will be taking a brief break from the insanity here to head off to a conference in Charleston this week, where I plan to use my avoiding-work-while-looking-busy skills to duck out of the more boring sessions and go on a search for pants that fit. I will then head to Columbia to help unload boxes for my mother - and incidentally try and find a new home for that sword. Which leads me to one final lesson from this month:
  • You really should clean out your closet often enough not to be completely baffled by the things you find in it. Like the bundle of swords and box of knives and daggers in the back corner.

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