Monday, September 25, 2006

honey, I'm home

I've never had a good answer to the "what do you do at work?" question. Not because I'm presumptious, but because I don't know how to describe it succinctly. "Computer stuff" is too vague, "book and article delivery" is too obvious. So here is a breakdown of my day:

8-9: Perform triage on the incoming e-mail system, which includes answering questions myself or assigning questions to specialists ("borrowers" or "lenders," etc).
9-9:30: I process the documents that other libraries scanned and sent to us. I use a simple program to make sure we know to whom they're going, from whom they came, and convert them to a .pdf to be read by our patrons.
9:30-11: Most Big Ten schools (and several in Chicago) ship and receive ILL books through a private mailing system. I scan them in and put them in bins to be delivered to each school. This is one of my favorite parts of the day, since the task is repetitive and simple and I can listen to my iPod while I work. The Real Time with Bill Maher podcast has come in handy here. Unfortunately I'm only supposed to be the backup for this job, and it will soon be handled by a different person.
11-12: Desk hour. I answer phone calls, check out books, and generate the automatic e-mails telling people to bring back their books because they will be due soon.
12-1: Go home for lunch. I usually have lunch made and eaten in the first 25 minutes, and sit around doing nothing for the rest of the time. I wish I could shorten this break and leave earlier.
1-2: Respond to more e-mails and handle another round of electronic article delivery.
2-3: Finding books in the south building. Again, I use the iPod here, which makes everything better. But this can be frustrating because often I'm sent on a hunt for a journal that doesn't exist, or squinting at Russian microfilm trying to find a word that looks like "February."
3-3:30: Combine my two 15-minute breaks into one long one. I usually go to Wendy's and read the paper, or get a snack with whatever friends are around.
3:30-5: Another round of electronic delivery, then cleanup tasks like checking in overdue microforms.

Throughout the day, I'm one of the tech support people too, so I'll be the one fixing computers or hooking up speakers or adding hard drives or formatting Word documents as time allows. I like how well everything is broken up. It makes it nearly impossible to get bored or frustrated. And no matter how difficult things are, my brain shuts off at 5. Out the door, out of sight, out of mind. It's wonderful sometimes.

1 comment:

Whitney said...

i should make sure to break stuff so you have even more variety in your day :)