Thursday, October 19, 2006

Vacation No Longer

This week, I studied up on the sort of diplomacy I'll need to better develop if I want to be a branch manager when I grow up. The Boss had to take a call from a patron who "tripped on a pebble" in our drive, hurt herself, but didn't come back in because she was running late. The Boss expressed all kinds of warm concern and sympathy, jotted down some notes, explained that she'd write up an incident report, and said she'd go take care of that "pebble." Which we did.

I also practiced working from Plan B. After just over a week with our proud, new online events calendar and meeting room reservation software fully running, the inevitable happened -- to our branch. All computers were down when we arrived yesterday morning and remained out until about 12:35.

The first thing I did was call another branch: -Um, could you print out, or read, our room reservations? I can't tell if our rooms are booked because we have no computers.

Then the calls started:
"Could you tell me if there's still room in that computer class?" -Not without a working computer.
"I don't understand the bounce-back message I got from your new room reservation system -- do I have the room or not?" -Your familiar group will be approved as soon as our computers work again.
"Can you tell me if a meeting room is available on the xth?" -No! Okay? No.

In person work was a little better:
-Sorry, we're not sure how long it will take to get them working. A technician (where did I get that word?!) is on the way.
- Resume books? YES! I do know where those are!
- Information on bilingual special ed?? That doesn't sound like the sort of book we'd have, but you can browse in education (if I can find that area).
- A particular diet book? Yes, that title sounds familiar, let's browse. When we didn't find it, I called another lib to ask them to do a catalog search for me: Nope, no titles like that in the system.
- A dictionary? YES!


cnb said...

Hmmm... sounds familiar. For the past two weeks I have had to tell the children that there isn't a working copier or printer in the library.

The best part is that the ETA on a new copier or printer is about the last week in November.

And all I can do is just shake my head and smile.

Lisa said...

Maybe we should have spent more time in 557 practicing saying "I'm sorry"?

cnb said...


That would have been the best comps question - "This is a role playing situation - explain in the most explicit and minute detail (so that your patron's eyes roll back into their heads), why your technology is not working at a level to satisfy your patrons.
Be sure to include the following phrases:

WAP (but don't explain the acronym!)
Intranet vs Internet

Please use the entire blue book for your answer."

Hee hee hee! I'm feeling like the wicked librarian this morning!

And, by the way, you, my friend, are the hostess with the most-ess!