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Ten On Tuesday

Welcome to this week’s Ten on Tuesday. I am doing this one because I like participating in this but I do have to say that I prefer positive lists. This one, 10 Things That Annoy You About Work, is less than positive. And yet, I didn’t have much trouble coming up with ten things!

1. The most annoying thing about work? Having to show up. Seriously, can’t I just stay home and still get paid?
2. The telephone. I hate phone calls from annoying salesmen and people wanting me to buy their book and people wanting me to book their act. Can’t you all just send me an email?
3. Scheduling. Every week I sit down with calendar and the schedule and every week someone’s taking vacation time or personal time or sick time. This is especially true in June when it’s “use it or lose it” as the end of the fiscal year approaches.
4. Finances. The town has no money and things are getting tighter and tighter. Postage is up but our postage budget is down. Supply costs are up and our supply budget? Cut by 5%. I hate to be a pessimist but I don’t see it getting better anytime soon.
5. Unattended children. The library is a public building and yet there are parents who drop off their small children. I’ve been known to call the cops and have them get these kids just to teach the parents a lesson. Okay, I only did that once and it was because the 5 year old child was crying uncontrollably, didn’t know when his mother was coming back to get him – she had brought his sister to the dentist and left him here – and we were closing.
6. While we’re talking about children, how about noisy children? I know the library has changed and we aren’t the temple of silence that we used to be but when your kid is screaming and screaming and you’re just ignoring him while you check out books that really gets annoying.
7. Waiving fines. I get asked to waived someone’s fines constantly. Ya know, we make it pretty simple. You check out the book, we tell you when it’s due. You bring it back on time or renew it (which you can even do online now) and it doesn’t cost you a cent. You bring it back late and we’re going to fine you. There are very few times that I’ll make an exception to this rule. I’m a bitch that way.
8. Money. They don’t pay me enough. I didn’t go into this profession to make a boatload of money but if they are going to require advanced degrees then they really should ante up.
9. Processing bills. The whole procedure is entirely antiquated and involves way too much of my time.
10. The fax machine. Can someone please make a fax machine that can send a whole stack of papers without having someone stand over it and feed the sheets in one at a time? This machine is located right outside my office door, by the way.

And now let me say that I really do enjoy my job. I work with great people, I have a good relationship with the other department heads in town, and I enjoy helping patrons find the information they need.

Of course, if I won the lottery I’d quit in a heartbeat. Bah-bye job.

This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. Great list! I can relate to several of these things as a loyal and frequent library patron. I’ve heard some interesting “discussions” between the library staff and patrons who didn’t want to pay fines, were mad because the book they ordered from another branch didn’t show, lost books, etc. I wanted to smack these people, so I can’t imagine what the staff was thinking.

  2. I still cannot believe that people drop their kids off like it’s a babysitting service – and such young kids, too! My dad just retired from working at the library and he told me the same thing.

    I love my library and I’m so happy it’s here. Libraries are a wonderful invention. 🙂 I’ll have to tell my librarians that when I drop my books off today.

  3. I don’t get the “dropping off kid” thing either. I don’t know your library, but mine is very large, wide open entrance, tons of people going in and out–I’d never have left young kids there unattended! I saw someone do that at a yarn shop once. Drop a little girl off with a $20 bill. The parent didn’t even bother coming in. The little girl didn’t know how to knit. The kindly shop owner made the best of a bad situation and gave her a private knitting lesson.

  4. Seriously??? People just drop off their kids like you guys are their own personal babysitting service? A five year old child? Alone? I just can’t understand that line of thinking.

  5. Oh my gosh – somebody left their 5 year old unattended at the library??? I don’t leave my 13 year old because I don’t feel right about leaving her! What do some parents think???

    I relate to the fax machine – ours is the same way. What a complete waste of time.

  6. Oh goodness, I could have written this list! It’s good to know that we librarians are at least all in the same boat. 🙂

    The kid thing really bugs me. My library is across the street from one school and less than half a mile from another, and after school we are just *inundated* with unsupervised children. Yesterday when schools closed early because of the heat, it was even worse than usual. Ugh!

  7. Amen, x 10! I tell the staff to tell parents that the library is no safer than Walmart. You wouldn’t leave your 5-year-old alone at Walmart, would you? And I seldom waive fines either. Especially if the patron heads toward tantrum territory. Yelling at the librarian is NOT the way to get a fine waived.

  8. Ah, yes, the wonderful world of the Library. Been there m’self a few times. Be glad you’re not in an academic library, dealing with the snotty adolescent crowd who think that because their parents pay their tuition, the Library staff are supposed to write their papers for them (after doing all the research, of course).

    (end rant) I’m better now.

  9. There are automated fax machines, now adays, that send and receive messages electronically on schedule without someone having to constantly stand at a fax machine and waste time. I’m pretty sure that there are even some free e-fax services…

    P.S. I love the library. Thanks for getting that advanced degree. ( I know a thank you isn’t as good as a pay raise, but its the best I’ve got.)

  10. Great list. I totally agree although I’m happy that I don’t have to deal with many of those issues. the telephone thing is a big one for me. I need a sales person screen. I can’t stand those calls.

  11. Its not an acutal machine. Its a computer application, that works through email, and usually uses pdf format..and theres something about OCR, not sure what that is. There are a bunch of different service providers, just search efax on google. I don’t know how much the monthly cost is, I’m sure its more expensive if you buy the actual software than if you use a monthly service.

  12. I use the library a lot, and consider all my overdue fines to be my “donations of support” to an underfunded public treasure.
    But drop off my kids there? uh-uh!
    And I hear you on the phone thing. I hate the phone. I want everyone to e-mail me instead, so I can rant out loud while reading their e-mails, but they just won’t cooperate. 😉

  13. i am shocked that young children are left there unattended. i remember going to the library on my own with a friend when i was 9 or 10 years old but it was never assumed that the library personnel was going to babysit me. and some of the creepiest people hang out in libraries because there are so many children there.

    the parent deserved to have the cops called on her ass.

  14. I have always wanted to work in a library! I can’t even believe people drop their young kids off. Yikes! You should call the cops. My daughter is 6, and I can’t imagine her being alone like that. As for those pesky fines, people need to suck it up and pay. It’s not like libraries charge $1.00 a day for a book. Although, mine does charge $1/day for a movie, and I have made that mistake….once!

  15. Unattended children! That is crazy. This past week I had a few hours to kill since mother had a sitter – and I didn’t want to go too far – so I headed up to the library. I love my library and was a member of their board for several years…

    And, there were two little kids in there with no parental supervision running all over the library like it was a place to play and scream…it was very annoying!!!

  16. You just perfectly described my “10 Things That Annoy You About Work.” I really, really hate when people let their kids run completely loose without any supervision even near the steps leading downstairs. I would add the catalog to the list. Our’s is soooooo out of date and horrible for the patrons to use.

  17. A friend of mine who’s a pediatrician told me that people show up at the ER on New Year’s Eve ***in formal dress*** and try to leave their kids there to get “checked out.” The whole free-babysitting thing really ticks me off.

    And I’m happy to pay my library fines (yep, I do get them). It’s usually less than $1. C’mon, people, you know this is a legit obligation, and you should pay for the postage to send you an overdue notice.

  18. I LOVE the library and I would work there in an instant if you all were paid better!
    We take out lots of books and we are MOSTLY good at getting them back on time, but if we don’t we pay our fines happily – we know it is our fault.
    My dog chewed the cover of a book this last time we went to the library and I feel TERRIBLE about it – but I have no problem paying for that either.

  19. Holy crap…someone dropped off their 5 year old and left them unattended?? YIKES…the cops should have been called.

    The downside to working at home….if they can’t bug you on your office phone, they call your home phone..aggh

  20. i really do not get those parents living their kids unattended even in libraries. no matter how i see, i cannot put my mind at ease if my child does not have company.

    mine is here! hope you can drop by. thanks

  21. Gracie once held on to a couple of DVD’s for so long that the fines got up to $75. They were in her room…I had no idea she didn’t return them. I think it was while I was in France…and a month after I returned. They made the fee much less but we made HER pay what they charged. It was awesome. She did every horrible chore I asked to make money. I despise organizing the Tupperware.

  22. AMEN to all of it! Especially #8. I spent 9 years in school and live in one of the most expensive places in the country. Seriously people, this salary is just silly.

  23. I’ll admit to not be perfect in many ways, but one place I fall short occasionally is in returning my library books on time. I think I just love having them around too much and am reluctant to let my new friends leave. However, I have never nor will ever ask for a fine to be waived. It’s more like I’m renting the books, than getting something for free. Doesn’t the money just go back to the library anyway? Can I make myself feel better by saying that I’m supporting the library in a small way?

  24. I’ve been out of school for years — so long that I’m just about ready to go back — but it never ceases to amaze and appall me that libraries and academic institutions can offer such lousy pay and insist on advanced degrees. My college roommate worked for 10 years at a famous academic library in Pittsburgh that insisted on masters’ degrees for positions paying less than $20,000. (Even adjusted for inflation, I’m sure those positions aren’t paying much more than that today.) It makes me berserk.

    Ah, well…maybe I’ll join you in that lottery queue. 😉

  25. Libraries are perpetually underfunded, more’s the pity. Writing grants helps, but dang, you have to be creative to make do.

    The governor of Wisconsin has declared that there is a 2% cap on the property tax levy increase, which means that our county’s revenue can increase by no more than 2%. Fuel prices are through the roof, which impacts the sheriff’s department (fuel), the highway department (fuel and asphalt), and everyone else (fuel prices ripple through the economy like a tsumani), so that means we have to cut elsewhere — human services, public health, county library, staffing in every department. That sucks bigtime.

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