Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Late-ish Post


I'm posting a bit late this morning! Dave, Olga and I all had a lie-in. It seems none of us wanted to get up, and it's so gray and damp and chilly outside, there's barely any reason to.

Dave thinks he figured out how the plastic lid got in the egg frittata. When he took some leftover potatoes out of the fridge, he removed the lid and tossed it aside onto the counter. Only it didn't land on the counter -- it landed in the baking dish for the frittata, which he was mixing in a big bowl nearby. He then poured the contents of the bowl into the baking dish without looking, et voila -- plastic lid frittata.

I'm loving Shaun Bythell's book "The Diary of a Bookseller." He expresses really well the frustrations of dealing with customers and their many demands -- frustrations that I share in the library. Customers who say they want something and then, when you find it for them, change their mind; customers who want to tell your their life story ("I am going to get a mask and paint 'I DON'T CARE' on the forehead and put it on when such occasions arise in the future," Bythell writes); customers who say, "I want a specific book but I don't know what it's called or who wrote it or what it's about."

My particular pet peeve is, because I sit at a big desk out in the open, and sometimes I'm not directly engaged with anyone standing in front of me, people assume I'm doing nothing and come up and start talking to me about any old thing -- when in fact I'm often doing something on my computer and they're breaking my concentration. My co-worker and I agree that the interruptions are the hardest part of the job. It's hard to maintain focus on any task.

Anyway, I don't want to sound like too much of a crank, but I'm identifying with Bythell -- even though he said booksellers don't like librarians because we fill up books with stamps and cover them with stickers and plastic laminate, thus all but destroying them for the book trade.

I guess the thing about book people is, we'd all rather just be reading. Unfortunately we have to make a living.

(Photo: A display of vintage luggage in a Starbucks at Dulles Airport in Virginia. I thought it was pretty inventive!)

19 comments:

Marty said...

Love the solution to the frittata mystery. And full confession - I would have eaten it anyway, too!
My powers of concentration are pretty sketchy. I'd be crazed at the end of a day full of interruptions.

e said...

Interesting photo...

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I love that top picture. Geometric but every suitcase contains different human tales. You know how people will often have name plates on their desks? May I suggest that you have a new name plate specially made to put in front of you - containing just two words - "FUCK OFF". I am sure your beloved boss will be happy to reimburse you.

Alphie Soup said...

Well, life's a bitch isn't it? All these irritating people wasting your time.
I see another possible use for the 'I don't care' mask. In another form, an artistic but meaningful version could be used as a one-off blanket response to comments left on your blog.
Then again that might be a little harsh. Feelings might be hurt, people might be deeply wounded and there might be tears.
That would never do.
Best to remain silent.
And I'm happy to hear the frittata lid mystery has been solved.
Alphie

Mary said...

Thanks for identifying the location of the luggage. I kept trying to figure out where I had seen them before and, of course, it was Dulles--an airport I use when flying internationally.

I am old enough to have had several pieces of luggage similar to those shown with those lovely snap locks--each case weighing 10+lbs before you put anything into them. Probably not many younger folks have heard of a train case (e.g. the chunky gold case at the top upper right hand corner). Still have one I used at a teen.

Steve Reed said...

Marty: Why throw it out? It's perfectly good food! I had the rest for lunch today, actually.

E: Thank you!

YP: I loved that display. I thought it was such a great way to use luggage that otherwise would just wind up in a landfill. I think "F OFF" might be a little, shall we say, VIVID for a school library.

Alphie: Ah, but I DO care about my blog commenters. They are people with whom I have a relationship, which is a different thing entirely.

Mary: We had some of that snap-lock luggage, too. American Tourister! I don't think we had any train cases, though.

Ms. Moon said...

Love the photo!
I think I would love that book. I'll see if I can find it in a library. Haha!

robin andrea said...

I love that photo. And, I love the quote from the book, "I want a specific book but I don't know what it's called or who wrote it or what it's about."

Red said...

Multitasking is a flippant expression. Some of the things we do are difficult to do while you're involved with something else.

Sharon said...

I love that luggage display. You are right it's very inventive. I'm guessing almost all of us have things that bug us about our work. I'm glad Dave figured out how the lid thing happened.

Angelicastar said...

Oh well, you didn't get sick on the first course, so why not eat it all. (lol) I know Dave is glad he didn't have to throw out his recipe. Maybe he will make it again with the plastic top cooked inside. (laughing)

I know how annoying people can be sometimes when you are in your position. I can remember this lady had nothing to do all day but sit and call me on the phone and talk about nothing. Around the 3rd day, I refunded her down payment back that she paid down on her insurance premium and told her she had to find another agent. When you are working on commissions only, your time is really precious. I've also had people to leave the office with the children they are not discipline. I wasn't being mean at all but each minute I lost was crucial. You don't wake up in the morning to take life through someone else problems. It's bad when I go shopping. Every time I go somewhere, someone is going to try to start trouble with me. As of yesterday, I was leaving Walmart and I just stopped because this lady was pushing her cart right on me and I was just standing there looking and she got angry with a very bad tone telling me she is sorry. I didn't say a word but just stood there looked at her and walked away. To myself, I was saying, no, not this morning. I donot want to go to jail at 68 years old. (lol)I just got in my car and left. I hope you have a great day.

ellen abbott said...

I do like the vintage luggage display. I know what you mean about being interrupted. it's why I couldn't get any work done while the house was being worked on. Thursday was that way here...cold and drizzly all day. I did get up and go out in the morning with my sister but after that I sat on the couch under a blanket under the heat vent all day. I swear I didn't warm up til 6:30 PM.

Colette said...

I quite like that photo of the vintage luggage. You always have such interesting photos.

Fresca said...

LOL--I am going to get that book IMMEDIATELY! (It's in at the library---all thanks to librarians!!!)

Just yesterday I asked one of my coworkers at the thrift store (though not in my book's section--I work alone there--) how he deals with difficult customers.
This guy is a former boxer and an all-round tough and rough guy,
but I've never seen him lose it with a customer.


"How do you do that?" I asked him.

"I'm always high when I'm at work," he said. "So I don't care."

HAaaaa!!!
I told him I was taking CBD oil (hemp without the high) to get through cashiering shifts.
Whatever it takes to get you through the shift.

Of course I have had some of the *best* experiences with customers, but those ones who get under your skin---it's hard NOT to let them get to you.

Catalyst said...

That picture of the luggage is fascinating.

Beth Reed said...

I love the luggage. It is really awesome to see it all stacked so nice. I could never do that but it is nice to see that it can be done.

Glad to hear that the frittata mystery has been solved and I can actually see how that happened.
My daughter gave my son instructions... Take the roast out of the wrapper, put it in the crock pot and I will season it later.
So he followed the instructions but forgot to take off the bottom wrapper that traps the left over juice and cooked that as well.
She is not adventurous and threw it out lol.

Have fun with the lie in day and your book. Sounds like I should check that one out.

The Bug said...

The luggage picture makes me very happy for some reason. I also hate to be interrupted. That happens a lot at my job, but at least I have my own office so I don’t get many random interruptions.

jenny_o said...

I absolutely love that luggage display. I just like older luggage to begin with, and then that display case looks like it was made especially to showcase those pieces.

I understand about the interruptions. I fill two roles at work at different times; one is full of interruptions and one is not. I dread doing the one where I'm constantly interrupted.

One of my bosses uses the time management technique of limited incoming calls to afternoons only, so he can work uninterrupted in the mornings. But that doesn't work when your desk is so public and your interrupters aren't on the phone. Can you keep a huge pile of paperwork by the computer to give the visual cue that you're busy? hah

Steve Reed said...

Ms Moon: It's a fun book!

Robin: That's actually my paraphrasing of a situation Bythell and I both often face at work! LOL

Red: Exactly! Multitasking just ensures that neither activity gets done well.

Sharon: Isn't that luggage great? And, to be clear, I am NOT talking about being interrupted by kids. That's my job, and I'm always happy when kids want to talk to me. I'm thinking instead of a fellow faculty member who likes to come up to me and deliver 20-minute monologues about the state of Republican politics. (sigh)

Angelicastar: Exactly! If the first bit didn't bother us the last bit won't either. (I ate it for lunch yesterday, in fact.) I think some people are lonely and feel they've paid for your time when they've struck a business arrangement with you -- like your insurance customer. But there are limits to what anyone can accommodate, particularly in the workplace. We all have a job to do!

Ellen: Sitting on the couch under a heat vent sounds really nice!

Colette: It was a cool display, clearly well thought out with the specially-built shelves. I wondered how they chose those particular bags.

Fresca: You would LOVE this book, considering your own experiences working with books! I'm not quite ready to begin smoking it up before work but I understand your co-worker's impulse to do so. LOL

Catalyst: It was a great display!

Beth: I don't think it's the kind of thing a person could do in their home. Those suitcases are big, so a display like that would take a lot of room.

Bug: Oh, for my own office! (Of course I couldn't do my job in an office, but that's another matter, LOL)

Jenny-O: Sometimes people (adults) come up even when I've got a stack of paperwork in front of me! They say, "What're you doing?" I guess I'm just being cranky.