Friday, September 2, 2011

Reference desk? What reference desk?

I'm at the end of the second full week of being back to work, and I *just* thought that I was getting the hang of things. The mornings, while still very busy, are less frantic, and I feel mostly caught up back at work. Well. I should have taken it as a sign of things to come when Anne managed to squirt poo right onto the changing table in the 10 seconds it took me to whisk her old diaper off but before I could scoot the new one on.

I arrived at our monthly staff meeting this morning feeling remarkably refreshed given that my sleep was interrupted at least half a dozen times. I had some coffee by my side, and the knowledge that the only things on my calendar today were this meeting plus a chat reference shift that I'd volunteered to cover for someone who is on vacation today. You do those shifts right from your office so they're easy as can be. I contentedly took a sip of coffee. Suddenly:

Colleague: "Tiffany! I see that we're on the reference desk together shortly. We'll have to leave early to make it there in time."

Catholic Librarian: *blank stare*

Colleague: *inquisitive look*

Catholic Librarian: "The reference desk? Are you sure? I don't think I'm on the reference desk today."

Colleague: "I thought I saw your name on with mine for 11."

Catholic Librarian: "Uh oh."

The problem was manifold. For one thing, our meeting was scheduled to go until 11. And I need to pump within 30 minutes or so of 11 am, lest I get painfully engorged. Not only that, but I had *volunteered* for this chat shift that now I was double booked for. So I'd have to find someone to cover for me who was covering for someone else. Oh Lord. I impatiently squirmed throughout the meeting and prayed for my colleague to be losing it and therefore wrong about the reference schedule. Although the sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach told me that more than likely, *I* was the one who was losing it.

It's just that I have set reference hours every week to prevent this very calamity. Monday and Wednesday mornings you'll find my smiling face on the reference desk. Therefore, I can't forget my regular shifts. And I'm anal enough to be pretty careful about being where I'm supposed to be, despite many brain cells being killed off from having 2 small children. Surely, there was some mistake.

However, I was paranoid enough that around 10:30, I slipped out of the meeting early, just in case. I hurried back to my office. I warmed my computer back up and pulled up the reference schedule:

Catholic Librarian: "#&*!@!"

Well there you have it. I was wrong. I *was* inexplicably on the reference schedule for 11 and it was already 10:45. I yanked my pump out and hooked myself up. I had to call yet another colleague to see if he could save my bacon and cover the chat shift for me. He could. I finished pumping right at 11 am, and had to rush downstairs to the desk. Luckily, I remembered to make sure that I wasn't flashing any body parts that I didn't intend prior to leaving my office.

I arrived at the desk all flustered, but I wasn't late. Then I spent 2 hours helping students who were looking for their text books, sigh. But I made it.

I'm just glad that we have a 3 day weekend. Clearly, the lack of sleep is making me loopier than usual.

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