When I was a kid, there was this great magazine put out by Scholastic called Dynamite. It had a mix of popular culture and really geeky humor. I think I still have The Laugh and a half joke book and at least one of the knock knock joke posters. I lived overseas, in Honduras, so it was one of my main sources of information about my supposed “homeland.” I remember one time there was a page of “if so and so married so and so.” The only answer I remember to this day was, “if Olivia Newton John married John Travolta, she’d be Olivia Newton John Travolta.”
One feature was Bummers. Readers would send in “Don’t you hate when…” and Mike Thaler (The teacher from the black lagoon, etc.) would illustrate them. So here’s mine. Don’t you hate when for no reason you need a second cup of coffee? At 3:45, I drag myself up to the library store to get my second cup of coffee. I say, “I hope this coffee gets me through the day.” The volunteer cashier says, “you know, you are the third employee since I started at 3 that has said that.” I guess misery loves company and it’s good to know I’m not the only one.
I even went on a field trip today, for crying out loud. You’d think that would have cheered me. Time out of the building! Look at the really cool conveyor belts at Central Shipping! Today was the open house for Central Shipping, located in the West End of Pittsburgh. (Well, driving through the West End is pretty crazy right now–all these orange DETOUR signs and “Do not enter, local traffic only.” Thankfully, I was not driving.) Three of us from Tech Serv went down. And I have to say, my mood aside, it was pretty cool.
So there’s a conveyor belt, and it has 20 bins, 10 on each side. The computer knows which bins are which (as there are more than 20 libraries, there are four sort levels.) On either side of the beginning of the belt, there’s a computer where a clerk scans the barcode, and then puts the item on the conveyor belt where it miraculously goes into the correct bin. I wish I had taken pictures. It’s really cool. I did a bunch, and if I wasn’t already sold on “put the barcode on the outside of the item,” I was triple sold now. The time it took to find a barcode that was hiding behind a disc, or you had to open the book…the books that had barcodes on the outside got processed like quickly, and you if it was an AV item, you didn’t have to make sure you shut the case back before sending it onto the conveyor belt.
I still have a quarter cup of coffee left, and the sky is still GRAY GRAY GRAY, but I have to say, I feel a little better.