Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Library day in the life, Round 7, Day 3 (Day 1 for me!)

This is my fourth time participating in Library Day in the Life; I am late to the table this time because I was off on Monday and Tuesday, recovering from dental surgery. For more on me, see here and here (or here, for the facts, all official-like).

Work-related things I did at home on Monday and Tuesday, while on Oxycodon (wheeeeee!):
  • Replied to three e-mails (I put myself on a strict e-mail diet. This is quite impressive. Please pat me on the back)
  • Checked voicemails (only once)
  • Blogged about the Man Booker longlist (what? It was time-sensitive!)
Needless to say, I hit the ground running today!

My day began with a meeting at 9 am at our Nepean Centrepointe Branch about a unique request for group volunteering that OPL has received from a local high school. Volunteering at the library falls under my department right now, but since this was more than your usual teen community involvement hours, a few colleagues and I met to decide whether we can provide this leadership opportunity, and, if so, how best to provide it.

Basically, my volunteer coordination tasks generally involve triaging incoming volunteer applications (via phone, library volunteer e-mail address, or paper application form), liaise with branches seeking volunteers or needing support regarding volunteer procedures, sitting on a city-wide inter-departmental forum for volunteer coordinators, compiling statistics. Some of the things I've done about the volunteer portfolio since starting in my new position in March include: writing a standard reply for applications in both French and English, indicating which branches are recruiting and listing other volunteer resources in the community, designing a spreadsheet for branches to update their information (contact, whether they have and/or are seeking teen or adult volunteers), designing a stats sheet for # of applications received, and in what format, every month, and updating the monthly volunteer hours stats sheets.

After my short volunteer meeting (those two colleagues rock - our conversation diverged into about five different tangents and I swear, we could have solved the world's problems, given another 3 hours), I headed to my "home base" at Greenboro Branch, where Bookmobile's offices are located. Right now, I am splitting my time about 60/40 - I'm at my office at Greenboro most of the time, and I also spend a few days in a vacant office that is mine for now, at Main Library (where Homebound Services, which I also supervise, is based).

Upon arrival, I excavated my way to the bottom of the mail pile in order to find my desk (shudder). Seven inter-office mail envelopes and more voicemail later, I decided to tackle the inbox. Joy! My colleagues and staff were all happy to see me back, and I answered lots of questions about the dental surgery. It was great to see them, too; I did miss them, even in my pained haze.

In addition to hacking through the Outlook jungle throughout the day (several volunteer requests, administrative procedures and forms, things I just had to file away or thank people for...), I also:
  • Hosted a colleague in the cubicle who wandered in to ask if I was attending a meeting at Main Library this aft (I hadn't heard the date had changed; decided to not attend), and to ask some advice about a staffing issue.
  • Met with an employee who advised me about a few vehicle issues (mechanical and otherwise); we made notes for work to be done and, in one case, a diagram!
  • Was on the phone with HR about a giant, complicated mess of an overtime question. Just don't ask. The collective agreement was cited numerous times. It was hairy, but I think we resolved it!
  • Read and posted this online, creating a raging debate. Catch up on other Google Reader news while eating rodent-sized bites of a boring peanut butter sandwich (sigh).
  • Met with two other employees to give them tips about dealing with a problem patron. Lots of specifics, but some general advice: don't engage. Stick to the script!
  • Tried not to cry when Monday's to-do list reminder popped up in Outlook. Gave myself a stern talking-to about Leaving On Time.
  • Dealt with seven long, drawn-out emails (each with follow-up Qs and two with a misunderstanding that needed to be ironed out) about the same topic. Gah. All new information that I need to collate into a report. Hooray!
  • From 3 to 3:10 I just kind of stared at everything in a panic: voicemail to return, lists, piles, reports, emails - AAAHHH! Then I discovered the stitches in the back of my mouth by accident ... ewwwww.
  • 3:10: Pause for panic over. Instead, I responded to a call to send out info about a modified Bookmobile schedule tonight. One of our buses is waiting for a replacement toilet, so we use washrooms at the stops when we can. Today, the local school at our stop is closing earlier than we normally close, so we have to close early, too, unless, um, we want to hold it in for 2 hours..... Sorry, too much info?
  • Trained an employee on a certain fancypants Outlook task...
  • Played hardball with someone (else) ... in the metaphorical sense.... and won, at least this round.
  • Faxed a time-sensitive city report - ya, shuddup, we still fax.
  • Strategising with a colleague via e-mail and planning to attend a meeting of circulation services supervisors to talk about Bookmobile services (info, how to contact us, specific borrower policies on the buses, etc.) Sometimes, in a big org, it's hard to get all the info to the right people in the right format (email, in person, training manual?) and at the right time (eg. when they need it: evenings? weekends?)
  • Made a big to-do list for tomorrow. It makes me feel better, k?
  • Dammit there's a fly in my office!
  • Watered the plant :)
  • Answered some of those voicemail messages....!
  • Fled the scene at 4:20ish to run various errands on the way home. Stopped at the Caribbean grocery story for some cassareep and an impulse Jamaican patty (turns out I can eat parts of it even with my lack of teeth! I basically eviscerated it...), then Loblaws, Italian grocery, and home (collapse). Dinner: tofu, sweet potato, and beans with Quebec maple syrup. Not bad, but I could go for a hamburger.....

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