Wednesday, January 07, 2009


What band am I?

Last week one of my field agents accidentally wrote the incorrect times and dates on a standardized form. The next day, the incorrect form was handed to a clerk who transcribed the error onto a larger document and distributed copies to a half-dozen co-workers. The workers then unwittingly disseminated the erroneous information to the public. Lots of the public.

I was enjoying an unusually smooth day at work. I had nothing urgent to do and was chatting with Big Tony, who is my ace Book-keeper.

"Tony", I ventured, " today is a fine day. We have kicked butt without even breaking a sweat."

"Yeah", said Big, "I hope the rest of the week is like this. That would be awesome."

We were interrupted as a call was transferred to me. There was a librarian who wished to speak with me. An angry librarian.

After a perfunctory introduction , Bookwoman set about chewing me out in a stern, authoritarian manner. Why, she asked, was her library full of people seeking to take the Bureau test? The conference room was reserved for tomorrow and not for today. She wanted me to assure her that this would not occur again or she would be forced to reconsider her stance on letting us use her facility. Yikes! I bet no one dares to even whisper at her library. God help those with tardy books.

I had no idea why those people were there, but I apologized and set some clerks to the task of re-scheduling the disgruntled job applicants...then I went on a paper hunt until I found the original document that started it all.

Sure enough- wrong numbers written in a shaky scrawl.

So I called my agent and "coached" her in a stern, authoritarian manner on how important it was to give us accurate information on her standard forms. If she continued to disrupt the testing process, we would be forced to reconsider her position with the Bureau. From now on, she was not to conduct any sessions until I could contact the facilties and confirm the dates and times.

That might sound unduly harsh, but it's not. The agents are trained and the form is simple. A numerically defined date and time is not a complicated written construct, but one wrong digit can ruin the days of dozens of people and generate significant negative word-of-mouth about our operations.
Plus, I hate being dressed-down by a Librarian. I was always a a "good reader" as a kid, librarians were probably the only "authority figures" that I never intentionally pissed off, but now, at the age of 42, I am suddenly the disruptive target of feminine, bookish ire and it bums me out, making me feel all guilty-like, even though it wasn't my fault.

One little mistake= dozens of problems and a personal earful of Librarian.

Now I gotta go write a memo.

And a memoir.



Anonymous said...

No fair posting such a cute snow monkey photo to distract me.

yellowdog granny said...

and having to write"I will not piss off the librarian" 1,000 times sucks too.

McRaven said...

What is about a librarian that scares even the toughest kid? But like you said one wrong number can turn the world upside down for people.

Craig D said...

Welcome to Hell, kid.

Be sure to leave a paper trail documenting any verbal or written warnings.

I've been in the QC biz for about 30 years now, and it is frustrating to take abuse for your division's mess ups. I spent all day, Tuesday, inspecting dish racks because our customer found 6 units with a minor wire a couple millimeters out of position. All it take is one missed minor detail...

NYD said...

I'll never forget my grade school librarian for two reasons: 1. she took my entire collection of football cards way from me when I was using the reading room for something other than it's intended use and 2, She had a wooden hand. Spitefull and spooky.

AC@45 said...

Here is another way you may want to think of librarians. Depending on your type you may look forward to the call.

whimsical brainpan said...

I know the answer but won't give it since it would be cheating.

Are librarians required to be evil?