Mother’s Day and a Last Meal


Yesterday, Mother’s Day, was a good day for me. Even though I had to go to work in the afternoon. At home I enjoyed Mother’s Day perks, and at work I enjoyed my last shift where I can actually feel competent at my job — more on that in a minute.

Dear husband did himself proud yesterday. (Even though it’s a day for children to show appreciation for their mother/mother-figure, I suspect Timmy actually had very little to do with it.) For a start, I didn’t have to feed anybody. At all. Everything was managed by Husband. I didn’t envy him this, as Timmy currently makes eating an athletic affair of protest.

Before I was even out of bed, he’d got Timmy up and changed, and brought him in to visit me…where I saw a wrapped present clasped tightly in Timmy’s little one-year-old hand.

The gift turned out to be a set of DVDs — Season 7 of one of my favourite TV shows, Supernatural. Timmy’s not yet old enough to read, so wouldn’t have seen from my wish-list that I wanted it. So I can only conclude that he’s a very intuitive baby. He must also have impressive skills of persuasion, if he managed to get a retailer to sell an R16 DVD set to a 1-year-old. He must have worn high shoes.

And that afternoon, my shift at the local public library was busy. Just how I like it. When I’m bouncing from task to task, customer to customer, and helping the relatively new staff who are still finding their feet, the shift is much more engaging, and doesn’t drag on. I also get immense satisfaction from being useful, to both the customers and my colleagues — especially the new ones. I get a fuzzy glow in my gut just knowing that by answering their questions, I’ve made their job less confusing, or their day easier. I’m not in a higher-ranked position — I’m just a peer who’s been there longer than they have, so is more familiar with how things work.

panic-350pxHowever, yesterday was my last day of my having that advantage: the being-used-to-how-things-work, thing. Before my next rostered shift, the region’s public libraries will be moving to a new computer system that’s lauded as being immensely better. It may well be, later, but tools are only as good as the skills of the people wielding them, and despite receiving training in the new program, it has a lot of the staff in a mad panic as the launch date nears. I hope we’ll have patient customers, in the teething period!

My own impression is that the search/browse interface the customers will be working with (either online or using library’s catalogue computers) is indeed much nicer, clearer, and easier to understand. Woohoo, for the customers. The system that the staff use however — the one that runs all the administration garb, keeps all the records, and processes issues, returns and charges — is so radically different that it gives me, any many others, brain freeze.

I’ve been sorely tempted to take my ‘maternity leave’ early (I’m just casual staff, so ‘maternity leave’ would actually just be me saying I’m not available after X date), so that I wouldn’t have to face being in a state of horrified incompetence at the changeover time. But that would just bite me in the rear, later. At least now I’m in similar company. But if I started my hiatus now, then whenever I come back the incompetent horror would still be there (and probably be worse), but then I’ll be the only one who has it, as everyone else would have acclimatised.

So, I can be embarrassed and incompetent now, or embarrassed and incompetent later. Neither inspires me.

My last hope is the ‘refresher training’ I have yet to undergo, for three hours. That’s my last opportunity to grasp this thing, before the launch date.

I’m in so much doom.

But at least I had a good Mother’s Day…even if parts of it felt a little like my Last Meal.


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