Tuesday, September 24, 2013

At the Intersection of Inaction and Apathy

Perhaps you recall the story of trying to get shelves moved in one of my libraries in order that I may return several thousand books to said shelves.  Perhaps you recall the hindrance I faced in the form of an administrator more concerned with the comfort of faculty during meetings than the efficient functioning of the library for the sake of students.  The first chapter occurred three weeks ago, at which time a formal work order for moving the shelves was submitted.  The second chapter, wherein the shelves remained unmoved occurred two weeks ago.  This week I returned to that library after finishing a rotation at my other school.  In three weeks the shelves are still not moved....and there was no computer. 

The library is still in disarray.  There are over 100 boxes of books still waiting to be unpacked.  A week ago the principal told me I could re-shelve this week.  I asked if the shelves were in place because, ya know, shelves move better, far less hernia-inducing, without books on them.  I received no answer.  Upon my return I had to tiptoe around standardized testing.  It didn't matter, I had no shelves.  I had no computer.  I was given no roster even after asking for it twice.  Essentially I had none of the tools necessary to perform my duties....after THREE weeks and multiple requests.

I did however have several teachers ask me how soon circulation would begin.  They asked this while standing amidst the chaos of all the boxes, a circulation desk with no computer, and shelves in bizarre positions.  I merely responded with, "When the books are on the shelves."  Some offered sympathy at the great task before me.  Others asked when that would be, to which I answered, "I can do that when the shelves are in place. I put in a work order three weeks ago since they are too heavy to move by myself."  One snottily intoned, "Well that's not working out.  Guess you'd better come up with a better plan."  She's lucky I want to keep my job otherwise an alternate plan might have involved using her as a furniture slide. Another was quite put out when she came looking for fairy tale books and I told her they were still in boxes.  She wanted to know if they'd be available by next week.  Not likely, sweetheart, but thanks for your interest.  One inexplicably asked if trombone lessons were being held in the library.  Oh, of course, because that's the most rational place for trombone lessons to be conducted.  Hand to God, I am not making any of this crap up. 

In the entire building, exactly one teacher welcomed me back.  In fact she came looking for me specifically because she was concerned since she knew I had been out on medical leave and she hadn't seen me in three weeks.  She wanted to make sure I was doing ok and offer me a place to vent because she couldn't believe the way the library had been left and that I was being offered no help.  God bless this woman.  She's not even at the building full-time.  She's just a sweet person with a sense of decency...much appreciated on such an aggravating day.

Since I was advised to "come up with a better plan,"  here is the email I sent out to all faculty and staff, including the principal and the assistant principal.

Greetings all,
If you have been to the library you may have noticed it is still not ready for circulation.  Since circulation is my job and I'd actually like to be able to do my job I need to get the books on the shelves.  However, three large shelves need to be moved into place before I can begin putting books on them.  The sooner they are in place the sooner the books go back.  The sooner the books go back the sooner I can get your classes down here to use the library for its primary purpose...checking out books and materials to promote the love of reading and enhance the education of all the kids in this school.
Here's the problem.  The shelves are too heavy for me to move alone.  I need some folks willing to lend their muscles to the task.  I know you all are busy and have an awful lot to accomplish in very little time.  I know the morning before students arrive is prep time.  I am asking...no...I am begging for a few of you to come to the library tomorrow morning by 8:15am to help me move THREE shelves.  It should take 4 people about 15 minutes.  More people means less time.  Shelves in place allow books to be put in place.  Books in place allows the library to be used (also once my computer is set up).
If my entreaty on behalf of the library and students is not enough to motivate you then allow me to bribe you with baked goods.  Yes, there will be a treat for any staff member who helps with the heavy lifting.  Books and baked goods.....be there or go hungry...both intellectually and gastronomically.
Thank you for your consideration.
I figured offering baked goods would be less likely to get me in hot water (with both Mr. Lime and the administration) than offering blow jobs. To that end I baked this.  And lest anyone thinks I make idle threats or hollow promises, ONLY those working will partake of it.


Craig said...

Yeah, BJs are probably not a good idea. I mean, you don't know where some of these guys have been. . .

Jackie said...

I would have helped without you having to ask me; where are the folks who have their eyes open around there!
Maybe I'm naive...(put two dots over that i)...but had I been a teacher in that school and walked into the media center and had seen that the shelves needed moving, come h__ or high water, I would have gotten someone in there along with myself, and we would have moved those shelves.
I'm still shaking my head over that principal. Does he have principles!

Hilary said...

You'll get results.. I hope. Let us know how it works out.

Trombone lessons... sheesh.

joeh said...

I think you will get the shelves moved...well done (in advance.)

Trombone practice should be in the basement...after school!

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip said...

I wonder just which of those folks you mentioned is the bad Apple who soured the rest?

Then again, maybe it's caused by outside sources who ultimately control the purse strings.

Bijoux said...

How many people showed up to help?

Anonymous said...

Really? You have to resort to begging to get your job done? The people who are supposed to do this cannot be bothered? In a school? In the LIBRARY? Are you f-ing kidding me?

If I was around your parts, I'd be there in a flash, even without the promise of backed goods.

IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

Due to blog rationing you have to wait until tomorrow for my gift to appear

Leave It To Davis said...

I bet that if you sent notes home to parents asking for help, you'd have a hundred parents up there to move those for you the first day! I wish I was there....Hubby and I would have already gotten it done! And no bribe would be necessary, other than you get yourself strong again!

Secret Agent Woman said...

I don't understand why maintenance has taken care of that? You shouldn't have to be baking anything or even asking for help.

Ryland Grace said...

Unfortunately I am never surprised at the level of apathy these days someone has to face.