Monday, March 10, 2014


Doesn't the very word fill you with dread? There's something onomatopoeic about the drudgery implied by it's hollow vowels and coughing consonants.
Worse still are the implications: queueing, and all that.
In the library today I went to reduce some big drawings.
Downstairs, one of the librarians was photocopying. 'I'll be ages', she lied.'There's another photocopier upstairs'.
I hauled my lazy legs up the stairs. Yes, there was another photocopier upstairs. She'd forgotten to tell me that it had a laminated 'Out of Order' sign on it though.
Back downstairs, she'd stopped and was sitting rubber-stamping and stapling sheets of white paper at a desk next to the machine. So I headed over and got started.
I felt a vibe.
Agitated, I punched in the wrong instructions, again and again. Once, a plain piece of paper even photocopied itself.
I wasn't doing well.
Slowly she rose to her feet, papers in hand. Like knives, they pointed at me obliquely.
I felt more vibe, and made more mistakes.
She stood there.
'Are you going to be long?' she asked eventually, moving almost imperceptibly towards me.
'No, no, no', I blustered, 'Only two more to go!'
Well, it would have been only two more to go if she hadn't been vibe-ing there beside me. The machine swallowed two five pence pieces and didn't like them. Paper floated everywhere.
I started to perspire.
Her A4s slanted menacingly.
So I came home with the wrong sized copies, triumphant.
Why triumphant? Because she'd managed to slow herself down by slowing me down by being so rude, and in so doing had managed to infect me with her own petty spitefulness.
I'm off to give my brain a refreshing shampoo, and then I'll be back free of jobsworthyness!


Cazz Blase said...

I loved my library's photocopiers, I tended them on a weekly basis and fed them paper. I was a bit upset when they got replaced with MFD's (Multi Functional Devices) but I am warming to them now, and I do sympathise with your experience. I'd've been nice if it were me, honest!


Helen McCookerybook said...

I love the library! I know you would have been nice Cazz. I was quite surprised to find such an officious person there, to be honest- most of the staff there are lovely!

Cazz Blase said...

We were market researched recently and, while the students reported finding the library terrifying, they did say the staff were nice/helpful, so it could have been worse. We could feasibly be the model for Unseen University Library, so I do sympathise with them.