Sunday, November 30, 2008

At least once a day

We have a print release station for the public InterWeb computers. If you want to print, you go to the little computer at the printer, log in and print your jobs. It's not entirely transparent, so people often need some help. No problem there, but there is this big button on the screen that says in big letters "Print Your Job."

When I point this out to people and tell them to click on the button that says "Print Your Job." When I say this I point to the mouse, which is right next to the keyboard which is below the screen that has the button on it.

About ten times a day, the person I say this to will jab the (delicate, expensive, new) screen with their finger, since we are all used to touch screens now. " need to click on the button. With the mouse," I say. Most of the time this is sufficient to get them to try the Old Skool Mouse Thang. But at least once a day, I get a rejab of the screen. At least once I have gotten a rerejab.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


This will come as a surprise to longtime readers (all two of you), but our public InterWeb computers have been acting kind of hinky lately, so for many hours a day for the last week or so, the boys from IT have been spending a lot of time at them. Tweaking, installing, deinstalling, praying, the usual what-have-you. There are two of them. We'll call them Sam and Dave to protect their identities. Sam is the boss. Dave the young guy. They are both very nice and diligent. While Dave was at one of the computers, I used the software that controls reservations and printing to pop up a little window on his screen that said something like "No porn, sir, this is a library" or something like that. Good clean, harmless fun and Sam, who was standing next to me, got a chuckle. It was funny in the way professors' jokes in college are funny, which is to say not really. But you aren't in class for the humor, so when anything remotely amusing comes your way it's funnier than it would be outside the classroom.
Later on, Dave came up and asked me to send a message that said "Stop Cussing" to Computer 12. No problem I thought and quickly sent a message that said something like, "Quit cussing for F#¢k's sake." Or something equally classy. Without the nice swear-hiding characters I just used. I looked up at Dave who had a kinda funny look on his face. Not understanding, I looked over at Sam at Computer 12. Only it wasn't Sam. It was the crazy mom of a feral child that I do not like. She is loud and disruptive and I have kicked her out of the library several times. She looked a bit freaked out and quickly left.
I shrugged. Dave shrugged. It turns out that he just didn't like the fact that she was using bad language. We both got back to work.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Etiquette: an udpate

If you are scolding your child over your left shoulder and decide that you must move quickly off to your right and you bang into a DeskSlave who happens to happen by, be sure to give him a dirty, "if-looks-could-kill" sort of look. Thank you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn't

We have these spiffy "atomic" clocks here at DeskSlave Central. The clocks aren't really atomic, actually, no plutonium to worry about, but they do have some sort of fancy satellite uplinks that connect them to the atomic clock in Colorado.* Or so they say. I really have no way of checking. It could just be some old cheapie quartz clock like I have in the kitchen of stately DeskSlave Manor, repackaged with an impressive-looking atomic logo and a hefty upcharge. In any event, some of the clocks here have adjusted themselves to Daylight Savings Time, but some have not. It has been more than 24 hours since the putative switch, yet the clock at the circulation desk is still unaware. I am told this several times a day by helpful patrons, so I just have to shrug and give them the "shortcomings of technology" spiel.

* Question for you: why does the Navy had an observatory in landlocked Colorado?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Let me clarify

Patron asked for her husband's death certificate from another state. I said I could print a form she could send to get a copy of the certificate. She insisted I could print the actual death certificate from my computer and she additionally insisted that the librarian yesterday printed her son's death certificate (so why couldn't I?!).

So I went to the Ancestry database and found a listing for the record of his death in california's death index. I printed it out for her and she basically said, "Told ya so." Well, let ME tell YOU, lady! Printing out a page from the Ancestry Database that lists your husband's name, birthplace, and date of death is not the same as having an image of his actual death certificate. So there.