Wednesday, February 22, 2006
hazards of the job
In-post training Came to work this morning to find my boss had enrolled me on a 6-week course at another library on Deaf Community and Culture. I spend every Tuesday morning off-site and wind up taking an exam; thanks a lot, big Zee. And stupidly I forgot to milk it, and came back to work as soon as the class finished. Whereas with a little bit of thought I could have spend a happy hour every week being paid to check out Whitechapel market. It's only for some kind of deaf-awareness-quota-box-ticking-equal-opps-stats-bullshit my boss has to complete. In future I'll remember to keep the receipts for my cappucino and claim it as expenses. Working with the public Just got into the lift as a member of the public got out. (Normally I remember not to do this, but I was holding a heavy crate of books) The smell of body odour hit me as the doors closed. Had to hold my breath (and my crate of books) all the way down. Thank God it's only one storey. How do people get like that? A professional atmosphere Just spining a few books. One large-print book looked like this: Antonia FRASER Marie Antoinette On the front-cover was a picture of an 18th century lady in a tall white wig. Someone (i.e. A LIBRARIAN) had stuck a post-it to it marked 'please spine: ANT'. WHO THE HELL IS WORKING WITH ME THAT BELIEVES MARIE ANTOINETTE IS STILL AROUND AND WRITING BOOKS ABOUT ANTONIA FRASER? I need to know who did this so I can educate them. Or at least, stop being left alone with them. Missing Persons My colleague Bavissimo has vanished. This is not the first time he's taken time off to pursue his own mysterious agenda. But the supervisors' behaviour hints at some kind of foul play. No one will answer a straight question about his whereabouts. When pressed, they have conflicting stories. 'He might be working at the BBC.' 'I think he's gone to a wedding.' 'Wasn't he sick?' 'I can't talk about it,' So obviously the grapevine says he's been sacked. The thing is, if they don't tell us, our instincts are to sympathise with him (fuck knows it could happen to any of us) whereas if they told us the truth, we could form objective opinions. Unless the gossip was really really juicy... in which case they're just being selfish. Iniatiative wins over common sense every time I have a colleague; call her 'Happy'. Happy only works part-time, twenty hours a week. Consequently (although she's a supervisor) no one ever knows what she should be doing and she's not telling. Occasionally Happy gets a bit bored chatting to her friends on the phone or listening to Hindi film soundtracks and Celine Dion in the workroom. And what does she do then? She tidies up. Prances through storerooms and offices poking into boxes and folders that people have left there because they're TOO BUSY WORKING to organise all their stuff perfectly. And because she's part-time she hasn't a clue what any of it is there for. And doesn't seem to realise storerooms are there to store stuff in, not to look good. So we're constantly catching her chucking stuff out; books, leaflets, personal things, card-board boxes, papers; anything she gets her hands on. And her cry is 'I took the initiative! We can always buy some more.' Firstly. Initiative is an asset but not a reason to do stuff. I could take the initiative to walk out of work and go shoe-shopping but it wouldn't look good on my CV. 2nd: Buy some more? That's your children's fucking world you're destroying by buying more stuff than necessary. And poor people's council tax you're spending on it. 3rd: Happy is the only woman on an all-male supervisory team. And to be honest, she's not making women look good. All the supervisors are lazy but a girl who spends all day conforming to stereotypes and then opts to spend her time TIDYING UP instead of doing something constructive... she might as well have just married one of them to have the same influence on what goes on at the library.