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The Reference Pager; or, Things That Will Probably Kill Me

Last summer, our workhorse of a pager finally fell to bits. Literally. So we had to buy a new one, and it’s actually  not a walk in the park to find one that will transmit all the way through our library, but we landed on this one. The good news is that it does indeed transmit throughout our library.


The bad news comes in two parts. First, it turns out that “Good Vibrations” is actually stamped onto the pager — a pager that vibrates exuberantly. This is… not what I really want to be wearing on my belt buckle as I go about my librarianly work. We covered the phrase over with a slip of paper that says “Reference Pager.” Imaginative, I know, but I’m all for utterly useful things at service points.

The second part of the bad news was the extreme exuberance with which this pager vibrates. You can hear it vibrating away from across the main floor of the library, followed immediately by the poor on-call librarian’s startled scream. And at the beginning of every shift, you can watch as the librarian on duty gingerly unplugs the pager from its charger, turns it on, and cringes as it gives 4 excessively happy “I’M FUNCTIONING AND I’VE MISSED YOU AND I’M SO READY TO WORK TODAY” vibrating pulses.

I’m on call this afternoon while all my other colleagues are either working off campus, at a conference, or on vacation. If this thing goes off and I have a coronary, nobody will know what happened until everyone returns tomorrow to find my cold, dead hand clutching the maniacally vibrating pager.


p.s. Here’s the thing’s “I’m awake” war cry. (Surgeon General’s Warning: turn down your volume if you value your ears.)

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  1. Heidi Heidi


    p.s. I hope you’re alive.

  2. I’m alive! Two more on-call shifts next week, though, so stay tuned.

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