Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Just a fifth of Patience, Black Label, please...

I have three inmate library clerks to train, and it is amazing how little they know about work and life and the library. I have had much success training real workers in the past, they understand work and what kind isn't a problem, for all real work is similar. If I get someone with good life skills I can train them also, great attitude and harmony with the lesser universe and work is just a different instrument to play on and they dance through our work day. I could blame lack of library knowledge on the school system, television or credit cards and book stores -- but it could be they just shouldn't be library clerks if they were never real library patrons - how much customer service can you explain to someone that has never been a customer?

Less than a week on the job and they already want the library to be run differently, they want more creative time, they want to expound on their previous job and how wonderful they did there, they are becoming afraid to ask questions of me (have I been biting their heads off, or just am snappy having little tolerance for stupidity). I emphasized that they must look at the computer screen as they scan barcodes, and make sure they are doing what they think they should. But they know everything about computers and it doesn't look cool to keep looking at work instead of holding a wonderful conversation. Another shot of patience, please.

They don't understand they have so much more to learn, one shouldn't spend time sitting when the boss spends his time on his feet, that fellow needs more time shelf reading and shelving. When they get a chair and abuse it, it becomes a throne and overthrowing Kings is part of my past I don't like dwelling on and hardly want to repeat. My work is cut back and I have only two more days to try and finish February well - which is only a personal goal, but it is one of the only man I respect almost completely -- me. I do know a bit too much about his dark(inner)side, still he doesn't have much faith in excuses performing to expectations.

There is one advantage in their slow work habits, they can't get ahead of me, even when they try they are falling behind the power curve - it is all mine. The experienced clerk and I laugh a lot about the new guys, but then we keep hoping tomorrow they will be a bit better and learn another lesson or two. We are making them earn that forty-two cents an hour, shouldn't I get some extra compensation, too? Another shot of that patience, please. All my rewards are waiting in Heaven, going to get stuck in the library there, too?

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