The way things have been going, I could have just come to work for a few hours on Monday and then not come in the entire rest of the week. Every day, I was thwarted in my attempts to work on my projects, and what’s worse, all the work I did do (and I was remarkably focused this week… lots to do) ended up vanishing before the end of each day. Sounds incredible, I know, but it’s true.
We have a guy who lives in town and spends hours and hours each summer in the library looking up the lives of the rich and famous from the days of yore. He’s mentally unstable, a little bit frightening, and incredibly time-consuming for whomever happens to be on call for reference duty. And this week, that unluckly librarian was, you guessed it, ME.
That would have been enough to throw off my productivity for the week, but no. I also got to experience the Revenge of the Evil Content Management System. Every so often (usually a couple of times a day), our CMS would misinterpret my clicking on “Save” to mean “Erase All My Work, Purge All the Saved Versions of My Work Back To Last January, And Then Save.” The general mantra for avoiding loss of work is to Save Often… Yeah, well that’s exactly what would kill me with this bug. What is a girl to do? So I developed a habit of switching to HTML code view (which the web developers have given only a few people access to see), copying the code into a text file, and THEN saving. But here’s the kicker, just before it decides to erase all my work, it also won’t let me into the code view. So today the web people set me up with an error console and instructions on how to copy code from several different places whenever these errors happened. Well, apparently I had enough errors today that they think they’ll be able to locate the bug… which means I had quite a few errors today… which means I’m not a happy camper.
Then there were all the normal interruptions that come with being the reference on-call person. … The phone rings and an innocent voice says that she’s off campus this summer and wanted to download EndNote and get started setting up her reference library in preparation for her senior thesis project. Heh. Oh the fun-ness. Downloading, installing, creating a library, figuring out how to log in for off-campus access to databases, searching databases, saving records, and importing them into EndNote. Thankfully she thought she could probably wait till she comes back to campus learn how to cite while she writes or create stand-alone bibliographies. … add to this finding maps from the mid-19th century, finding research on free musical improvisation and it’s link to different world cultures, and figuring out what obscure African language a speaker was referencing when he gave a talk that now has to be transcribed. It was quite a reference week, and there’s one more day to go.
With all of this, the only thing that’s saved me from finally losing the last shreds of composure was my weaving (pictures). For the first time since moving here, I’ve warped my loom and spent half an hour or so every evening weaving dishtowels for a gift. The rhythmic swish… thunk… swish… thunk as each thread slips into place is incredibly therapeutic. My cat doesn’t agree. He spends most of his time sticking his paw under the loom room door and whining that he wants to help play with strings. But for me, it’s been the best excuse to think about absolutely nothing for stretches of time every evening.