Yes. You read correctly. I have been picking up crazy extra hours at the library. Hence my sporadic updating. I am ashamed to admit that pulling so many extra hours is making me exhausted. Even though it only puts me at 34 a week…Naturally something always falls by the wayside when life happens, and it appears it is my blog-life. I am endeavoring to do better about juggling everything. We’ll see. In the meantime, have some amusing Reference Department stories.
I’ve been working at the Reference desk a bunch these last few weeks. Which has been, interesting. It definitely confirms that I made the absolutely BEST decision to go the Children’s route. So, unexpected career confirmation bonus! Maybe it would be different if I worked during hours when I could potentially help teens, but that hasn’t been the case–in at 9 and out by 1 means all the teens are in school. At least they should be. Anyway, having this time slot is good….except you get hit with a lot of interesting characters. Most are harmless and just looking for a little conversation. I’ve gotten to know quite a few really sweet people. But others, I’m fairly certain, are just talking to test me. Like there is a great Reference Department god that wants to see how much I can handle before I lose my mind.*Yeah, I see you, Library god. I am not taking your shenanigans.*
While subbing for the reference desk I was called several times by the same woman who was looking for phone numbers. Now, I can understand one or two. But she called, literally, seven times and asked for 2-4 phone numbers each time. And I’m not talking about doctor’s offices, or schools or anything like that. Things that, in my personal-qualifying opinion, are useful numbers; numbers that she needs for survival. I am talking about, “can you find me the number to Stacy Louloubon*? I think she lives in one of the Carolinas. The area code is something like 690, or maybe 740. And it might be near Greer, but I’m not sure.”
I had to stare at the phone for that one. You want me to find a personal phone number, of someone not related to you, several states away? You clearly have nothing else to do, why don’t you come in and use the computer yourself, because the line of 4 people I have while covering a desk that isn’t mine, isn’t really the best situation to be in. And while I try to track down this elusive number, and try to get more information from the caller, I am the one getting berated because I’m not finding it fast enough. “What do you mean you can’t find it? What kind of librarian are you? Transfer me to someone who knows what they’re doing.” Talk about a low blow. I may not be a full-time reference librarian, but that does NOT mean I don’t know how to track down information when I have a reliable lead.
I did eventually find the number she needed, but my mood for the rest of the day ranged from miffed to pissed. I was assured that I passed the trial by fire with flying colors. She is a regular who calls with inane questions every day. Sometimes to the effect of, “What was the DAY of September 17th in 1864? Monday? Tuesday? Was it sunny? And can you also get me the temperature in kelvin?” It was at least comforting to know I passed the reference test by Reference department standards.