Thursday, February 03, 2005

Stress Relief

Chocosphere: the place to go online for most, if not all, of your chocolate needs. It ain't pretty, but it is chocolate.

Been ranting on Occasaional Blog, talking about books on Shelly's Book Shelf, and nattered on a bit and posted a link over on Presto Speaks!

Stress at work continues, though we seem to be past the most stressful aspects of trying to get service to someone of privilege who likely won't actually use the service because we really don't have the materials he needs or wants. There's such a level of frustration built into this process. Similarly, we have people who insist on sending their requests to the branch head or calling him directly instead of just dealing with the reader services staff because they think they'll get better, faster service. And they won't, because if he's out for whatever reason (illness, vacation, meetings), the request just sits there for anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks because we don't usually open his mail or listen to his phone messages. And even if he is there to get the request, he'll just hand it to me to handle, anyway, because it isn't his job. It's mine and my staff's. But we can't explain that to some people. They just don't grasp the concept that sometimes, the folks on the bottom of the work ladder are the ones they need to talk to.

When you add that sort of thing to the usual phone calls like this one today (a brief excerpt, and I'm paraphrasing the patron's dialogue a bit because it all sort of blurred together in my at that point numbed mind):
Patron: Are all the books listed in the online catalog?
Me: Yes.
Patron: So I can find all the books you have in the catalog?
Me: Yes.
Patron: I can look in the catalog and find out what books you have?
Me (torn between laughing, crying, and banging the phone receiver on the desk a few times): Yes.
It took 3 repeats of every answer to satisfy this woman and then she had more questions. Thank goodness for the woman who blessed me on Tuesday for helping her and the man today who thanked me and told me what a great job we're all doing. Leaves me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside and I can almost forget the more challenging patron transactions.