Community College Library

Community College Library

Up until recently I worked at a library at a community college.  One of the first things I discovered was that the front desk was the best place to be and that, due to the laid back supervisors, deciding who would be going upstairs to shelve books and such was more or less decided between coworkers mostly.

Often when I came in during the morning I had a coworker who would tell me to go upstairs and shelve books while she would remain downstairs at the front desk browsing the internet and checking out books.  It was annoying but infrequent enough that I put up with it.  (I’m also very averse to conflict so I let her run over me in this way)

However, after a couple of months there, lo and behold, she got a job as a supervisor over me.  She then began implementing a number of changes at work,some good and some bad.  I was okay with that, until the book shelving incident…

The winter break came along and we were going to do some shelf shifting, putting in new shelves upstairs and moving all the books over. This meant that during the break all of the front desk workers were moving the whole collection on the second floor over.  Naturally the supervisors were not involved.  However, due in part to the incompetent supervising going on, we ran out of shelf space before finishing the shift, which was a problem because some shelves were still overstuffed with books towards the end of the shelves.

At this point winter break is over and students are upstairs studying, as it is the only place in the library where they are guaranteed a quiet environment.  But, I come in one morning to discover that we are asked to start over from the beginning and move the whole collection of 25+ shelves over.

 I was upset because it wasn’t neccessary, nor was it good sense.  Me and a coworker measured how far back we’d have to go to fix things without starting from the very beginning, I then asked our head supervisor if we could start at that point.  He said “okay”, and we started doing that.

Three days later, the supervisor under her, the coworker who used to boss me around, finds out about this after we’ve already been implementing my common sense idea.  Five minutes after she finds out my head supervisor tells everyone to start again from the beginning.  I try to have a rational conversation with him about it, where he acts all phony like he’s open to things, but then he calls in the female supervisor under him and it isn’t happening.  I explain that the students need quiet and there’s no need to do the whole thing when everything they want would be achieved by starting over towards the end, that I’ve measured the shelf space and it’d be fine, but they don’t care.  And I realize that my boss is afraid to cross this woman underneath him when in a follow up conversation with him, he says to talk to her and see if we can work it out.

Well, I was exasperated at that point and sent him a friendly email over the weekend telling him I was gone.