Saturday, April 29, 2006

Where old librarians go to die

A customer just came up to the counter while I was running a search on the database for another customer, waiting on the other side of the counter. 'Bear with me please, I'll be right with you,' said I. The man looked at me and asked 'Are you busy?' I said 'Yes,' and carried on looking at the computer screen, typing in keywords to do with copyright and intellectual property. 'What are you doing?' 'Serving that customer,' 'You don't look like you're busy...' Do people do this in shops? Well, I suppose they probably do. But The Public's attitude to local council/ public service workers is so weird. I'll never get used to it. The other day I got into a real pickle with a customer. I was at a different library for the day, where I'd only worked for three hours previously. Sitting in the reference section chilling out. He came in and asked for the electoral roll. I turned to the colleague next to me and asked 'Where do we keep the electoral roll? She told me there was no copy in the library. Much surprised, I rang another colleague downstairs in lending. He told me there were no longer any copies- they'd been moved to the Town Hall. So, slightly bemused, I redirected the guy to the Town Hall. He said he'd just come from there and they'd sent him here. Right, I thought, I'll call the manager. Manager was on lunch break; spoke to Duty Manager. When I'd explained to the Duty Manager exactly what an electoral roll was, she told me we'd never had one. Customer was now becoming irate. I tried the manager's office again, got her assistant. He told me to try the Town Hall. When I came back from my tea-break twenty minutes later I found the customer was now being served by my manager. He had gone downstairs and asked in lending, been sent back upstairs and demanded to see the manager. She asked me to make a copy of a page from the electoral roll. I asked her exactly where I could find it and she pointed immediately to a shelf directly behind where I'd been sitting. Rather embarassing for everybody working in the place, if they only cared. I'd be the last person to claim that the customer is always right. But it's useful to bear in mind the possibilty that they might not always be wrong.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Smart Talking

Last weeek I was in Ireland, where I kissed the Blarney Stone and finally acquired the Gift of the Gab. If you haven't kissed the Blarney Stone, it's very high and scary. You lean over backwards off the edge of a castle while a dirty old Irishman holds you firmly around the chest. Also to get to Blarney I had to travel for six hours each way (one hundred miles) on Irish public transport, which is pretty Irish. Not since Croatia have I bought a train ticket only to find the buses are much faster and more reliable. Why build a nationwide rail network if it's not gonna be used? They should have just spent the money on coaches in the first place and not bothered with rails at all. But now I officially (although I didn't bother buying the certificate or photo, three and ten euros respectively) am eloquent and loquacious. It was worth going to Ireland with three people whose average age is 70 (my presence brought that down to a youthful 60) and a senile, incontinent and malevolent lap-dog who could tell which was my car-seat and piss in it every time to fulfil this lifelong ambition. Other ambitions now include:
  • Leaving my job for a new one where I can use the internet and where less than 33% of my colleagues have BO. Cos here, it's at least one in three. One in seven dribble when they think.
  • Being the queen of the world
  • Not having that feeling in the pit of my stomach everytime I hear the words 'council tax'
  • Tracking down every single person on this planet who tells you to 'watch yourself' when they mean that they are about to get in your way and should therefore be saying 'excuse me' and killing them
  • Getting a six-pack. (Obviously this is to compete with someone I know who has a six-pack. Why else would I care?
  • Finding the perfect summer dress. I saw a red one with white spots, sleeveless with a scooped neck and a mini-skirt in Ireland. Anyone who knows where I can buy such a garment in London, please let me know.

I keep meaning to have a party now I'm not actually starving through poverty. My sister had a great party a couple of weeks ago while my mum was on holiday. When she got back from holiday she assumed it was me! (That's a great compliment to my sister, I think.) But since I have my own home it might be slightly less sad to have it at my own, spacious and comfortable flat. ( Who cares about Lovebird and flatmate? Not me!!) Well, I'm still undecided. Suggestions to our usual PO box, thanks. Maybe fancy-dress...?

One of my best friends from school called me on Wednesday night. She's getting married this weekend. I remember us designing our wedding dresses together in the back of maths class in about year nine. Seems like yesterday- she's by no means the first girl in my class to get married but the first of my friends. I hope she's really happy. Dunno what to wear for the wedding- shalwar kameez ( but mine is a bit risque for the afternoon) or just a skirt (but I might look like I didn't make the effort.)

It's so nice to see the sun shining again. And not to wear horrid black tights. The council has planted beautiful orange yellow and red tulips all around my work and in about a week it will be warm enough for me to eat my lunch in Central Park. Not the one in New York, obviously. A different one.

My work is closing for six weeks for (half-arsed and cheap) refurbishment from next week. this is the bestthing that has happened to me for ages. I still have to come to work (God knows I need the money) but the public aren't allowed in the building. So we can play music and eat doughnuts while working!!! Even NOT WEAR UNIFORM!!! I can't wait.

I might even be able to blog a bit more regularly during that time.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Time V Money = No Contest

Bravely didn't call in sick yesterday. Instead I came into work, hung around doing nothing for two hours, then went home sick. I have no idea what that proved; it did mean that I missed having a fry-up in the cafe with lovebird and his friend JC, instead I had to fry my own bacon at home. Less calories? I doubt it. I bought three Easter eggs (early to 'prepare' for Easter): I have now eaten two of them. Sainsbury's were just messing with my head with that whole 3 for 2 'offer ends April 5th' shit. Fuckers have now 'extended the offer'. Extended it so all those weak people out there can replace the Easter egg they didn't have enough respect for Jesus to keep their dirty, greedy hands off. Well, they (Sainsbury's) can fuck right off. As an atheist I can eat Easter eggs as and when I want and not feel guilty. Three more days of work and I can go to Ireland. But mysteriously work is no easier because of that. I have a little nest behind Horror; every afternoon I spend half an hour there reading Janet Evanovich. It helps a little. But I can't stay there any longer that 30 minutes or someone might realsie. Annoyingly, since I established this routine some of the other assistants have taken to having a post-prandial gossip, for approximately 40 minutes, in sci-fi, right next to my cubby-hole. They have no sublety and they're dangerously close. When they get caught I'm probably going down with them. I miss all my college friends again. had the cutest text from Liam: he called me grrrl.Makes my worries lighter to think that someone out there thinks of me as a grrrl... More later. For now, upstairs to the hell hole.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

How long can this go on?

I'm so fed up of not having any money. I'm fed up of my flatmate. I'm so fed up of my job I'm tearing my hair out. And I'm really really really fed up of not having this blog to moan at. It's like my therapist. I've been realising I have issues both with assertiveness (don't laugh) and anger management. People who have been saying I have had issues with anger management all my life can fuck off. These are new issues. Basically, where I would once have happily gone ape, I now think of the consequences of my actions. This leaves me unable to act on my anger, but unable to do anything else either as I usually am so furious I can't speak or breathe. It's a bastard. My face goes red, the pounding starts in my head, and then I think 'don't say that, you'll lose your job and then how will you pay the council tax?' And all I can say is something like 'OK, then, that's fine.' And the I kind of internalise the rage. And by the time I've calmed down enough to clearly and assertively explain my point of view, I've already caved in at the height of my wrath. So I'd just look stupid changing my mind. This is a huge problem, especially right now, where none of my problems are earth-shattering any more, but all of them are niggling and infuriating and highly frustrating: Problem 1.) My flatmate has completely stopped talking to Lovebird and me. Lovebird and him had invited a friend over on Sunday night, but flatmate texted him (the friend) that morning to say he couldn't make it, with no explanation offered. Then he spent the evening in his room. He spends all the time in his room or at his girlfriend's. He only comes out to prepare food and to wash. When he thinks we're not around. This is a wonderful solution to the problem of Flatmate being a tosser, and I am truly grateful to him for making this sacrifice. God knows how he'll get out of the situation. Not only was he in the wrong in the first place (mostly very clear-cut council tax/rent issues) but he's the only one losing out by his sulks. (Apart from the playstation having gone into his room with him.) Actually this is not a problem at all, is it? Hallelujah! Problem 2.) I hate my job. But in 7.5 working days I will have ten days off. In Ireland, no less. That's only 61 hours left to work. Doesn't seem so ba- yes it fucking does. This is not a problem that's going away unless I make it go away. So self-inflicted. So when I said above I was internalising my anger, in this case I should only be blaming myself anyway. And of course XXXXXX council for providing such an atrocious library service to it's quarter of a million council tax payers. (OK, not all of them pay council tax). Fuckers. And I can blame this crappy council alone for bringing out my OCD side. I have to wash my hands every ten minutes!!!! There are GERMS EVERYWHERE!!!!! Where are my antibacterial wipes?!?!?!??!? At least the pay's better. BUT THAT DOESN'T COMPENSATE FOR THE AMOUNT OF IT I HAVE TO SPEND ON BEER AND EASTER EGGS TO CHEER MYSELF UP AND CALM MYSELF DOWN AFTER A DAY IN THIS ABSOLUTE STINKING RANCID SHITHOLE!!!! I feel slightly better now. Problem 3.) The usual. Money. But I can't blame First Direct, who are lovely people. Actually I can only blame myself here too. Well, obviously I blame society, for not respecting library workers enough, and that bastard council again, for not paying me what I'm worth (although I guess since the only thing they're asking me to do is 'look busy' that's not a particularly skilled occupation) But I have enough money, oddly enough. I've just got into the habit of stressing about it and now I can't stop. Beat that for a stupid problem to be tortured constantly by. Problem 4.) Shit, do I have any other problems? I gave up smoking, didn't I? OH yeah, the TV's broken, but I'm rather enjoying that. And it's only the aerial, so when we want to ('we being the two GROWN_UPS living in my house- hah, take that, Flatmate) we can just buy a new one. Pas de probleme. I do have a slight ache in my left ankle, though. I think I'm the happiest person alive!!