Friday, May 06, 2005

Weight, Throwing yours around

From time to time you may be asked to be in charge of the library, particularly when you have reached the status of “senior librarian.” This is a good time to see how much you actually intimidate people. You may be surprised at how much authority you seem to have, particularly with newer employees who have only known you as a “senior librarian” and therefore believe you can cause them problems, such as getting hassled by their supervisor or losing their job. This will probably come as a complete surprise to you, because you still think you’re 20 and goofy, even though you’re pushing 50 and, apparently, respectable.

The best method of exhibiting your superiority is to cruise through the building, stopping by to check on everyone. Have a quick word with them, and LET THEM KNOW YOU ARE IN CHARGE. If they don’t appear to be extremely busy, ask them if they need something to do. You don’t have to provide a chore (unless you just want to) but this lets them know they had better shape up! If they are not at their workstation, go and find them, see what they are doing, and ask them if everything is all right. Otherwise, you imply, they should be where they are supposed to be--working!!!

You may also wait for them to return to their workstation, and then ask them where they have been, how long they have been gone, and what they have been doing. Even someone who was not in the office because they were scheduled to be on the reference desk will blanch and quiver, and over-explain, giving you, the person in charge, the opportunity to become impatient, doubtful, and, above all, threatening.

Just so you don’t start to fade at the end of the day, make sure you have closing instructions for everyone. Look for open windows, then point them out to whoever is left at the end of the day, giving them the completely unnecessary instruction to MAKE SURE the windows are closed and locked. Doors too. If you really want to have some fun, come up with some insane micro-management pet peeve, such as instructing everyone to lower their blinds half-way when they leave for the day, so that the building will have a pleasing uniform appearance from outside! Then CHECK, to see they’ve done it.

If you are fortunate, there will be no actual emergencies or other events that need any sort of attention or judgment, and you will be able to spend your time flexing your temporary muscle, and showing everyone else who’s boss.

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