Saturday, November 08, 2008

You've noticed, I know.

Things have slowed down 'round these parts; apologies.

I started a new job, now part time, but for the past two weeks it was 39 h/wk + the fucking commute. It's 45 white-knuckle minutes there in the morning—if I drive like Batman—and usually a good hour plus of continuous stop/go street traffic on the way home. Thankfully, that lessens now that I'm cutting hours.

That's right! Now I'm a part time library slave. Four hours less per day of

MOVE those books.
"Yes sir, I understand that the new location of DVDS/BIOGRAPHIES/REFERENCE/XX is INCONVENIENT/CRAMPED/DIFFICULT TO REACH/XX and you wish it magically appeared in your hand at home instead. You could always apply for shut-in status."

...and wondering why everyone else working there is bored senseless. I'm still endlessly fascinated with The Library and how it works. Everyone has a very small job that they do the same way every day—Librarians, Support Services, The Friends OTL, etc. Some lucky souls (circ Clerks, mainly) have multiple small assigned jobs that they rotate through over the course of the day. I do everything else, and shelve the collection.

Shelving the collection isn't as bad as it might seem. At Borders I was about as eager to haul out a cart of books as I was to lick the banister on the main staircase. There was never enough room for the product on the shelf, or too damn many of the product to fit anywhere in the store, and usually a combination of both. There are very few crowded sections in the library. It is generally sprawling, with multiple odd-shaped rooms and two levels and vaulted ceilings. Beheld glorious by these tired IPT eyes.

And full of books! Well, not completely full, I guess, which I'm counting as a plus due to the nature of my job. 'Handling media' is probably the most succinct job description I could come up with, though 'shelving books' describes a damn big portion of my time spent on the clock. My department is Circulation, an apt name. It resembles the inventory process at Borders in many ways, but one difference delighting is the constant variety the patrons drop off in my bins every day.

The DVDs especially. I've been watching that section closely for two weeks now (the allotted check-out time) and am positive that I've only seen maybe 70% of the discs available. The selection doesn't come close to Borders out on the shelf, of course, but I think it'd be a fair fight if everybody brought back their checked-out discs on the same day. Collection size aside, it's the day-to-day variety that's really refreshing. At Borders the same 25 DVDs (or CDs, or books, too) came in pretty much every day, 15 or more of those with 5+ copies, and usually 1 or 2 with 25+ copies per. It would change up a little every week or so, with a total rotation of all new popular material taking 3 to 4 months. At the library I see new stuff, very low repeats, every single day.

This I like.

OK, I'm running out of steam (it's almost 10 on a Friday night, and I'm ready to drift off to sleep), but there's lots more to tell. I'm learning cool new stuff every day, like how to mount newspapers on the big sticks. Important stuff. I'll tell you about it now that I've got a bit more time (for the [hopefully] short while before I snag a second gig) and I'll rumble out the link machine and get it going again to boot.

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