My Speciality: Fine Whines
Tuesday, Dec 8: I rode past my stop on Muni this morning -- in fact, I rode three stops beyond my stop. Fortunately, I noticed we were at Civic Center San Francisco, not Civic Center Oakland, and got off. I wasn't even reading an interesting book: I was reading the newspaper, and not even anything particularly interesting (ho hum, California is about to collapse financially; ho hum, most of the bailout money approved by the feds is already spent; ho hum, some large percentage of people who had their mortgages adjusted towards the beginning of the year are again behind in payments.) I have no idea what missing my stop means, other than the fact that not many people got off at my regular stop -- usually most of the car gets off there.
Friday, Dec 12: Both BART and Muni were slow this morning, so I was already stressed by the time I arrived. I figured it didn't bode well for the day, and that proved true, a bit. The patron who talked a mile-a-minute on the phone yesterday, making any reply on my part difficult, did show up, and was surprisingly pleasant to deal with: maybe she only talks that fast on the phone? I had pulled all the material I thought she could use, so that helped.
Then there was today's example of the type of patron who wants to argue with every statement or suggestion I make. I don't mind someone who says "I've seen that" for every source I suggest (I just tell someone like that that they are doing a great job of research), but someone who just says "what I want won't be in that title" drives me up a wall, primarily because I've never had a patron who explained why that title might not work. I don't ask why it wouldn't, I just plow on trying to find something the patron would deign to look at. What I would love to do is to say "look, I've been advising people on this topic for ten years, and, trust me, this IS a possible source of information." The closest I come is to say "I'll include it in the list of possible titles in case you decide to see what it has."
My favorite patron inquiry was a few years back: a patron wanted to look up person in a specific type of source. (There -- that should be cryptic enough.) We have exactly the type of source the patron needed. When I asked the name of the person she was searching for, so I could include in the call number the volume she would need, the patron said she didn't know the name! I managed to say, with commendable fortitude, that without the name, it was going to be difficult to search this title. (And no, this was not a famous person that I might be able to narrow down through twenty questions.) I'm still intrigued as to how the patron was planning on recognizing the person she wanted if she did look at the source.
I shouldn't be too crabby -- at least I had some reference work. It's been extremely slow all week, again. This leaves me feeling more tired most days than on days with a lot of questions.