Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Day in the Life

I haven't done this in a while, and today was one of those perfect days....

First, it is day four or five of the heat wave along the shore of Connecticut (and day 9 inland where my daughter is working at camp). So, there are A/C problems all over the place. Only one branch has major problems (the two controllers fried in a storm before the heat wave, and had been causing trouble for a couple of years before that), but they have A/C in the library part, just not the meeting room. Of course, the Mayor had an open forum there on Monday night, but it may lead to getting the problem fixed faster....two City Council members are on the case.

Today started with the small group meeting for "Library Services" as part of the City's participation in the ICMA's Center for Performance Measurement statistical service. Of course I'm still pissed that I only heard on Tuesday afternoon about the mandatory meeting at 9 (flipping) am meeting on Wednesday which was a 2-hour waste of my time. Not only that, but the email about it was framed as a "reminder" about the "previously announced" meeting. I never heard about it, and if it weren't for the electronic reminder would not have been there! This morning was not a whole lot better, but at least was shorter. I still am skeptical that this additional data entry is going to result in anything for the library. After all, we get statistics more quickly from the state that we will from here, and they are pretty much the same statistics. Today's meeting should have included the Library Business Manager, but she was at a CLA Board Meeting (she is Treasurer), and that could not be re-arranged on less than 48 hours notice. The folks who called it were damned lucky that the key Library staff were not on vacation! I am further annoyed that the CAO for the City did not arrive until the END of the Library session, he was there for the Housing Code (and subsequent sessions). I did give him an earful about the stupid financial system the City currently uses....that could be a whole different rant!

After the meeting, my Assistant and I waited for about 15 minutes for the Assistant Director of Public Facilities to talk about ADA access issues for the building. He had promised me the day before that he would be available for a chat. He still has not had the courtesy of calling me. Yet another issue unresolved.

I came back to the office to deal with the usual emails and phone calls. One of the calls was from the folks who installed the fiber optic cable to the building which lets the main library connect to the Connecticut Education Network (for free) at very high speeds. To say the original installation was sloppy would be an understatement. However, after three emails (including photos - I love my digital camera!), the installation is acceptable.

The rest of the morning was pretty uneventful. I headed out at noon to swim at the Y. I have been doing that for a couple of weeks now. I swam just over 1/2 mile in about 20-25 minutes, and did not feel winded. I then went to the bike shop. Last week I had an "incident" where the back wheel of my bike suddenly bent. It was bizarre. I ordered a new wheel, and the shop installed the old gearing. However, last night I could not get it to fit. Today, the shop owner said, "Well you just have to pull it out and make it fit." (Of course, that was easy for him to say. After the wheel incident, I was trying to be more careful with my 30 year old bike (see the discussion in: Downsizing - In a good way). I was only a couple of blocks from one of the branches, I decided to check and see what was happening. I let the office know, and walked in the door. By that time, the office had already called to let me know about a problem at another branch! I said a quick hello, looked at the crowds waiting to use the Internet, felt that while it was cooler than it was outside, it was definitely not chilly!

I then headed out the door to the other branch in the eastern part of the City. The police were there when I got there. The branch was hopping. This particular branch has huge issues with latch-key children in the summer time. The Library is one of the free, air conditioned places available. This branch serves a neighborhood which has huge economic issues. I chatted with the police...the incident merely happened at the Library and involves gang issues and some recent gang-related shootings and deaths in the City. At times it is really ugly.

I headed back to the office, where the A/C is not nearly as effective as it had been (probably a result of the continued high temperatures outside). I'm fighting issues of staff ignoring the City's "Personal Appearance Policy" including wearing flip-flops to work! Now I don't expect everyone else to wear a suit and tie every day (which is how I usually dress....although Monday was khakis and a polo shirt), but flip-flops are not work shoes!

I guess I am getting grumpy in my old age. And this has not been a particularly good week, addition to incoming email notices interrupting my composition of this piece of deathless prose.


  1. I hear you on the flip flops. And I'm not a curmudgeon by any stretch.