Wednesday, December 27, 2006

So much for my master plan

When I originally decided to work between the holidays, I made sure I'd have enough coverage to permit me to work "off-desk" for at least half of the week so that I could finally tackle a couple of projects I've been chipping away at during my down time -- some policy stuff, such as exploring the possibility of turning our desk into a full-blown Reserves desk for rare and noncirculating materials, and finally assembling all of my emails about existing procedures into a searchable online archive using our new iSite capabilities. Then my number two staff member called in sick, and I've been tethered to the desk all day today as a result, with the distinct possibility that tomorrow will be the same drill.

It's not that I dislike working the desk in the slightest -- on the contrary, it's the public services nature of the job that I find so enjoyable and energizing. But it's very hard to work on large and open-ended projects here at the desk, since it's impossible not to work with one ear open at all times. Being at the desk means committing a significant portion of one's energies to being available at a moment's notice, preferably a moment or two before the patron even is aware of the fact that he or she needs your assistance, and even on a slow day like today it keeps me from doing anything that is sensitive to interruption or which requires me to have more than one window open on the old desktop. Monitoring the email for requests, questions, and communications with the staff is just about the limit of my attention span while on-desk.

And maybe, of course, the occasional blog post as well...

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