3.24.2008

Current Reading vs Current Complaints

I am currently reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It's a fascinating book about learning to observe your emotions rather than letting them over power you.

Being at the desk today was a great way to observe my emotions. This is due to a laundry list of general complaints and pet peeves that has grown over six years of working here.

Here is the List. Anything with a star next to it really peeved my off that hour:

*1. Patrons who act as if they are the first person to ever come up to the desk to check out a book/pick up a hold/or do some other perfectly normal thing.
2. Patrons who explain the entire process of putting a book on hold in order to 'prove' they have something to pick up.
3. Patrons who do not have their library cards ready.
4. Patrons who have multiple problems on their account and neglect to tell you so it takes ten minutes longer to help them.
*5. Patrons who aren't sure why they are standing at the check out counter.
6. Patrons who expect special treatment.
*7. Patrons who tell you why they are standing at the desk when all they need to do is check out a book/pick up a hold/or do some other perfectly normal thing.
*8. Patrons who are rude for no reason.
*9. Coworkers who aren't even trying to do their job.
10. Coworkers who randomly leave their assigned station to avoid work.

The list is bigger than ten, but the five things that set me off gave me a chance to observe how I was reacting. I was literally feeding the horror going on in my head, not only with the pet peeves but with pettiness. A patron here who spelled their name in an unusual way. A patron there who looked nervous about even trying to check out a book. It was terrible!

The situation was made worse by the inability to have a cool down period where I could take a breather (enter #9). Knowing that I can be pretty tactless when it comes to expressing my anger, I just kept my mouth shut. Unfortunately, I have long ago perfected the Look of Death and that carries over when I can't open my mouth and say what I want. All of these things can really make my anger spiral out of control and make for an unpleasant experience both for me and anyone in a five mile radius.

In observing it, I noticed all these things, but the hard part is figuring out how to combat it. Do I just spend the hour on Cute Overload to assuage the coming storm? Or do I go with imagining Sephiroth making mincemeat of my 'enemies?' Neither will actually work long term. The book says that constant observation of the situation will actually ease it, so I'll go with that. I learned a lot in one hour as it stands.

3.12.2008

Hope Springs Eternal!

I constantly lament the fact that the vast majority of college students not only do not know how to do their own research, but see wikipedia as a valid source of information.

But, today, hope has sprung like the crocuses that are starting to push through the permafrost!

A large group of high school students came to use the library today and demonstrated that, not only did they know how to use a library, but they also knew how to do their own research! Hooray!

Perhaps there is hope after all.