(written Monday night--sorry for not posting sooner!)
So I head out the door at 8.24, as usual, then remember that I was supposed to be at work at 8.15 in place of someone who is on annual leave. I run there and fortunately all that happens is my line manager tells me I'm getting old and am losing my memory. Great start! A boring two-hour shift on the enquiries desk ensues, then after 10.30 break--something new happens.
On Sunday, a diffuser (aka plastic light cover) from one of the fluorescent light fixtures in the children's library fell down, nearly hitting a little old lady. This little old lady drives one of those scooters, and is just shy of being small enough to be classed as a 'little person'. She talks in a squeaky voice, has no teeth so her speech is nearly unintelligible, and every day she comes in and either asks for a book of knitting patterns or for the phone number of the Coventry crematorium. No, I'm not making this up. She looks exactly like one of those little dried apple dolls, and whenever she comes rolling through the library doors, there's a collective small groan from enquiry desk staff. She's had her share of trouble in the library. A few Sundays ago, she fell asleep in the corner and was missed by the member of staff who does the final look-round for customers and she got locked in. She got out by tapping furiously at the window when a member of the public was passing by, because she couldn't figure out how to get an outside line on the telephone. The police came and got her out and the library sent her a letter of apology. So anyway, she's had bad luck at the library and nearly got cold-cocked on Sunday. (She'd just pulled away on her little scooter when the light fell). You'd think she'd give up on the library, but nope. She's back every single day. Maybe she feels it's worth the risk.
Well, today when he was told about it, the head of libraries, in his wisdom, decided that the entire library needs to be closed until the maintenance crew can come in and put plastic ties on every single light fixture in the place, to secure them. The light fixtures were installed in 1962 and apparently the plastic has shrunk making them loose in their fittings. To be fair, this is not the first light that has fallen; we have had two fall in the work room, and if one hit someone on the head, it would be a pretty serious injury. Apparently it is going to take 4 guys until Friday to finish this job. So, today all staff were told to either take time owing, annual leave, or go to another library in the division to work for the day. Just choose one and turn up there! And that's why I spent today in a different library, apologising to customers for not knowing where anything is and answering the phone wrong. 'Hello, this is Carla at Nuneaton-I-mean-Bedworth library, may I help you?' (I don't have any time owing and I've already planned the rest of my annual leave for the year--there's no way I'm taking it today and missing my holiday!)
Library was closed Monday afternoon, Tuesday and Wednesday. Staff were in, library closed. It's long day in the library with no customers, I can tell you! Wednesday was my day off, and I had a driving lesson. More on that later!