Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Yes, I'm a Bitch, Pt. 2


She won't let the work studies have a television at the desk to watch the big basketball game! Ack, for shame, Vampire Librarian! FOR SHAME!

Never mind that University Z wasn't even in the big game. So why the hell should I care? Actually, I wouldn't care even if they were.

There are only two times during the week that Library X is empty of full-time staff. They are Friday and Saturday nights. I am in charge of hiring graduate students to cover those nights and close the building. I think the semblance of power has gone absolutely to their heads.

Last Saturday, Cedric, one of my work studies (as in I sign his time sheet) decided to set up a television at the circ desk, and turned it to the basketball game. Not really anything I could do about that. I am off on Saturdays. And if Cedric had put it back Saturday night, we wouldn't have this post.

When I came into work on Sunday, the television was still set up at the circulation desk. The day staffer for Sunday told me that he didn't know where it'd come from, but he'd left it alone. We sometimes do set up a television to a particular channel for various things. The last time we did was for President Ford's funeral.

I decided to let the television be for the time being. Nobody was paying attention to it, and I still thought maybe a staff person had set it up for a valid reason, and I would have an email telling me why.

Cedric came on shift shortly afterward and told me, "Oh, the television is still set up. Cool. I put it there on Saturday."

I quirked an eyebrow at him. "You set up the television?"

"Yeah, I wanted to watch a basketball game. It wasn't that busy."

"Well, you're not supposed to do that, and the television isn't going to stay."

He tried to backtrack. "Well, it also helped with the community members and drunk students who came in on Saturday night. They would zone out in front of it."

I quirked my other eyebrow, but didn't call him on this unlikely benefit seeing how the television was very squarely pointed at the circulation desk. I tried to do some work while Cedric and another work study manned the circulation desk. After a little while, I noticed a lot of students around the circulation desk.

I went to the front to better see what the situation was. All of the students were staring at the television. One jokingly asked if he could come behind the desk for a better view. The students were practically three rows deep watching this television.

Seeing the desk swamped with all these sports fans, I decided something needed to be done to clear up all the congestion at the desk. During a commercial break, I moved the television to point out to the floor. I announced to the gathered students they could move some chairs around so they could all watch more comfortably. Cedric instantly complained, "Don't move the television, there's only two minutes left in the game."

"It's a commercial break, and I want to free up the circulation desk."

"At least slant it this way."


"But you don't get it-" and he looked anguished.

"If you want to watch it so bad, go ahead." (I know, I can't believe I said it either. You can't even tell how mad I am by this whole affair.)

I hung out at the desk, helping students, and the game was eventually over. Cedric decided to complain to me again that he was the one who put the television up so why did I move it.

"First of all, don't tell me to not to do something. Second of all, you're on the job, and your job description does not include watching TV. And third, nobody can get to the desk to check in or out stuff with all these people blocking it."

He wouldn't let it drop.

"It really did help with the drunks and the community members."

I took a deep calming breath. "Drunk students are not allowed in Library X. You can tell them to leave and call UPD if they became unruly."

"Well it's hard to tell that they're drunk when they come in and go straight to the bathrooms."

"That's fine. As long as they aren't bothering other students, they can come in and use the restrooms."

"Yeah, but then they sort of hang around and talk loudly. With the TV, they went glassy eyed and stayed quiet."

"Okay, but you saw what happened tonight. We don't have a television set up here because in the past, students clumped up and blocked traffic. You should have seen the crowds when we had a television for the world cup. A television near the circulation desk hinders circulation activities. That's why we don't want one here."

(Quick factoid: Cedric also works at another university library.)

"Yeah, but the Science Library has televisions set up sometimes at various desks, and it doesn't seem to bother anything there."

Okay, that was it. The arguement was over because there shouldn't be an arguement. I pointed at the television. "Go put the television back wherever you found it and don't ever set it up again."



(And this isn't even the end of the brouhaha with Cedric that night. That will come in part 3.)



Anonymous Dances With Books said...

Sounds like someone needs to be reminded of:

1. Who is the boss.
2. That work comes first, and that he is paid to do work, not watch television.
3. That if he prefers to watch TV, he can forfeit his job and then watch all the TV he wants at home (so can the drunks: they can go watch the game at home or the sports bar).

I hope you document all this, in case you need to move to fire the sorry sob. Personally, I have no sympathy for people who do not do their job, and then make the excuse "it has some benefit."

11:19 AM, March 27, 2007  
Anonymous Woeful said...

Cedric is in dire need of a smack down. He's totally out of control.

1:36 PM, March 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you handled the situation well. (Or at least much better than I would have.)

6:31 PM, March 27, 2007  
Blogger Katya said...

Much better than I would've too. Watching tv at work? Since when does anyone who does not review tv shows for a living think that's an acceptable thing to do while on the job?

7:11 PM, March 27, 2007  
Blogger Happy Villain said...

Go get him, VL! He needs to respect your authori-tay!

12:50 AM, March 28, 2007  
Blogger The Topiary Cow said...


The humble Topiary Cow, not knowing of these "breaks" but only of simple things such "pruning" and "shears" nevertheless offers the following comments:

--Libraries shouldn't be turned over to student, non-professional staff. Ones such as Cedric are obviously too immature to run their own job, much less be in charge of a multi-million dollar facility.

--If University Z won't provide funding for professional staff to be hired and to be present at all times when the library is open, hours should only be when sufficient professional staff is present.

--Analogy: Were this a museum, with said multi-million-dollar collection of exhibits (instead of books and computers) NO WAY would the entire institution be turned over to a tv-watching student to run.

--"the community members and drunk students..." another argument for an admission charge (see museum analogy, above) to keep out those without legitimate business dealing with the library, and entitled by standing (student, staff) and sobriety to use it.

Forgive the rant. The humble Topiary, as a former librarian, becomes enraged at the lack of respect granted to professional librarians such as the Vampire Librarian.

Lack of respect by faculty, students, and those who do the budget for University Z.


3:19 PM, March 28, 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home