Tag Archives: laziness

A Tale of the Tape

Okay, I truly hope work people who may see this will see it more as humor than as me slacking. Yes, I have another short-cut to save time, but already the word ‘short-cut’ does not jive kindly in a work context. Laugh, just laugh. I am trying to reduce everyone’s blood pressure.

Okay. I was doing some work in the forest of bookshelves. Yes, I could probably get lost in there for inordinate amounts of time, read a chapter, and not be found, but I emphasize: I didn’t do that! Instead I was adjusting some labels and call number ranges to make them reflect more accurately to the items that were actually on the shelves. All this to make the lives of patrons a little bit easier for when they try to locate resources.  My intentions are good! Give me a raise! Okay, maybe not, especially if you read on to the next section.

When I got back to my desk I realized I left the roll of tape in the shelves. Fortunately, I remember exactly which book I left it beside. In fact, after working with call numbers for an hour, I even remembered the exact call number of the book near the tape. For my amusement, I just took a short-cut and left the tape there. Call it lazy, call it a short-cut, call it slacking, call it illogical, call it irresponsible, even call me evil, but please don’t say that I don’t care. I care greatly for your health and your tension.

So whenever a patron asked me to borrow the tape, I would say: “Did you try going on the computer and searching for it in the online catalogue?”

When they responded with quizzical looks, I elaborated by insisting: “Really, trust me. If you go on the catalogue and look up this book title (the title I had memorized from before), copy down the call number, and go to the shelves, you can find the elusive collector’s edition of the tape that you are looking for.”

Some who had the time to play along, did the search, went on a short treasure hunt, and I heard them laughing somewhere in the shelves. For others who didn’t want to go on the computer, I just gave them the call number.

Then I went into the back room and made a request to the cataloguer with an air of seriousness and urgency: “I’ve been getting a bunch of requests for the tape this morning. Would you mind quickly making a record in our system and assigning a specific call number to the tape?”

Everyone in the back room stopped what they were doing and just froze, trying to comprehend and make sure they had in fact heard what they thought they heard. Yes, I was dead serious. A few more seconds of awkwardness, and then bursts of laughter all over. You could almost hear, or at least imagine, the blood flowing smoothly through all our veins.

Have a great day at work everybody!

-Patrick Law


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Filed under Short Cuts, Working

Dusting Off the Brain, So it can Think of Ideas on Why Not to Dust

Is there a short cut to dusting? Open the windows to let the breeze blow it away? Yes, but then more dust will come in. Cover most furniture and items with plastic or some other kind of protective layer and then just throw away the plastic after a certain amount of time? Yes, but is this really a short cut? The time it takes to wrap valuables in plastic and then remove them, and rewrap, could be spent actually doing the dusting.

So, what could be a real short cut? Don’t dust. At least, don’t dust with a duster. I know it’s quite the leap going from methods to reducing dusting time to totally not dusting, so perhaps an analogy can be helpful. Would you only do a little bit of the hornet’s nest? You poke and prod a little bit, stick your nose in briefly, and the whole thing is likely to explode on you.

Could this be the same with dusting? My sneezing and allergies are manageable, but they totally go into overdrive once I start dusting. Is it better to leave the dust concentrated, undisturbed, in a certain area, rather than dispersing it over a wider range and having the particles fly airborne?  What’s that expression? Don’t wake up sleeping giants? Can this be a possible approach to take with dust? Or for those of us who are more mythological, could we be opening up a Pandora’s box when dusting?

I would continue this, but someone just threw a wet rag in my face as I’m typing this, to offer a not so subtle hint about the solution to my problem. Damn. I guess I’ll be wiping dust with this rag for the next hour. Indeed, despite the dangers, we end up getting honey, don’t we?

-Patrick Law


Filed under Short Cuts