I'm a 36 year old librarian who loves to run, read, do yoga and hang out with my friends and family. I ran the 2008 & 2009 Boston Marathon for Team Eye & Ear to support the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Go Team Eye & Ear!







Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Case of the Missing Stapler

I sit across from a group copier/scanner/printer combo, FAX machine & high capacity stapler area. These machines are often on the fritz and due to my proximity to these clunkers, I'd say 70% of my work day conversations are related to them. Most of the time, people just want me to acknowledge their frustration. Someone will walk up to the printer, realize their documents weren't printed, and sigh loudly enough for me to look up from my computer. We'll make eye contact and I'll shrug my shoulders and smile, but quickly turn back to my screen lest the person ask for help.
Truth be told, I don't mind helping people out, but I can't troubleshoot the printer. I worked at BC's library in college and could never even remember how to replace the ink cartridge, much less assist someone today with why their documents aren't being stapled.
The only piece of equipment I fear more than the printer is the microfilm machine.

I hate you.

The first question I asked the Senior Reference Desk supervisor at Simmons when I worked there was, "Do we get a lot of microfilm questions, because I can't for the life of me load the film correctly. " He assured me we didn't, but I would get a question at least once a week and was thus motivated to become a corporate librarian where microfilm machines are not usually present.

Yesterday, I got asked about the stapler. Having no aversion to trouble-shooting the stapler, I listened as this person told me that it's been empty for quite some time now, but we lacked the correct staples to load back into the stapler. This morning, he came by to tell me that he'd received notification that the staples had arrived, but now the stapler was missing. He walked away in frustration, and a few minutes later I saw someone stop by the work area long enough to drop off the missing stapler. A few more minutes go by and a third person comes by and takes the stapler again; however, in between the stapler being replaced and taken again I notified the guy who sits next to the original requester to let him know that stapler was back.

Why is the stapler constantly being removed? Is someone purposely trying to frustrate this one guy? Will he resort to using a large binder clip? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!

10 comments:

Suldog said...

My fear is that someone will ask me to send a fax. I'm never sure if I've put the paper in the right way, so the person on the other end could get nothing but blank pages.

Personally, I found your tale gripping. Of course, see my tale above and maybe my commendation won't seem so significant.

Got 2 Trot Librarian said...

I had the same fax anxieties until someone pointed out to me that there's a small drawing of a piece of paper with a folded corner where you load the doc you want to fax. If there are squigglies on the drawing (to represent writing) then you load the doc writing side up.

Anonymous said...

I feel for this guy. He sounds like one diligent, kind, community minded guy who has been bedeviled by poor equipment, and less than helpful staff.

swift said...

Can't you chain the stapler to the desk, like they do at the DMV?

Got 2 Trot Librarian said...

It's an electric stapler- not sure that would lend itself to chaining it to the desk.

ron-newman said...

Is it a red Swingline stapler?

Got 2 Trot Librarian said...

No, but I have one of those at my desk. :)

Not Whitey Bulger said...

Those microfilm machines are the bane of my research existence. It's easier to read 4000 year old papyrus than the census records at the Mass. Archive with the projection machines. And the BPL newspaper collection looks more like a Rorschach test, with massive ink stains that blot out half the page. Evidently, they make the original copies back before quality control was invented.

Staplers are another matter. I'm surprised yours isn't locked down with a hardened cable like in most offices. Stapler borrowing is a crime against humanity, office-wise.

Nick P. said...

Wait, is the stappler in the copy machine or a separate machine? That would pretty funny if someone wheeled the copy machine away whenever they felt like it.

Anonymous said...

Argh, nothing worse than that microfilm machine. It's become a very occasional (read: once a year) question for me. When it happens, I accept that I will look like a fool as I try many times before successfully assisting the patron with the reel.