Not A Turn Up For The eBooks

, , , | Working | June 13, 2018

(One of the librarians I work with is close to retirement age, and it’s no secret she despises technology and doesn’t even make an effort to help patrons with any questions that are even remotely technical. This means when I work the reference desk with her, I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to help everyone at the public computers while she sits at the desk staring off into space. It’s not unusual for me to come back to the desk and find a line of people waiting for me to help them, as she’s told them, “I can’t help you, but [My Name] can when she gets back.” I come back to the desk after helping someone print a document and she tells me there’s a phone call that needs help.)

Coworker: “It’s a [downloadable eBook service] question, so I put them on hold.”

Me: *resigned* “All right.” *I answer the phone* “Thank you for holding. This is [My Name]; how may I help you?”

Patron: “Hello! Thanks! I just had a quick question. How many books can I check out from [downloadable eBook service] at one time?”

Me: “You may check out five titles at a time.”

Patron: “Great, thanks!”

Me: *thinking there must be more, as even my Luddite coworker could have answered that one* “Did you need help downloading titles to your device?”

Patron: “Oh, no, I just wanted to know how many I could borrow at once. Thanks, bye!”

Me: “You’re welcome. Goodbye.”

(I hang up the phone and look at my coworker, trying not to get frustrated.)

Me: “[Coworker], you could have answered that. It wasn’t anything technical; she just wanted to know how many books she could borrow at once.”

Coworker: *defensive* “Well, I didn’t know! She just said she had a question about [downloadable eBook service], so I put her on hold.”

Me: “You could have at least asked what her question was! She was on hold for over five minutes for a question you could have easily answered in thirty seconds!”

Coworker: “Whatever. I don’t understand all that stupid technology stuff.”

Me: *sighing*

(Yes, I have complained to our boss, and no, nothing has changed. Occasionally she’ll make a half-hearted attempt to help someone with the printer, only to come back to the desk and get me because it’s “too confusing.”)

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