Thursday, August 25, 2011

I am not a Librarian! (Mrs T's Search for Employment 1)

Right folks, it's time for me to start a new aspect on my blog called Mrs T's Search for Employment. Yes, the time has come for Mrs T to return to work as life is just getting too expensive!

So, to set the scene. I haven't worked in the conventional sense since 1998. Right, stop that groaning now, Readers. I have been working very, very, hard, as you know, keeping my house clean, cooking delicious meals and picking the dead heads of the hanging baskets. There was the matter of the three children which has, on the odd occasion, caused a few sleepless nights. (Well, when I say a few sleepless nights I mean acute insomnia coupled with an addiction to non-prescription drugs and fine sherry. Still, it's made for an interesting life.)

Anyway, I haven't applied for a job for about 3 years. At that time, I had a little spate of applying for jobs and only got one interview at a local school which I didn't get. (So pretty successful really.) Apparently, the student panel at the school thought I was "too defensive" about their clever and subtle probing into my personal weaknesses. (What are your personal weaknesses?) From which I gather "chocolate" was the wrong answer. Hey ho. Interestingly, they gave the job to a woman who I'd never met but who stalked me on Facebook. Still, it's reassuring to know that someone at their school knows what a Facebook status is. I wonder if the lady in question stands at the front of the class and the kids pick up her instructions on their phones;

"Sit down! U r  interfering with my Wifi. Thx. Oh turn the pg we are doin' bit when Romeo tops himself.xx"

Anyway, I recently applied for a supervisory job at the library and I didn't get it. Now I don't want to brag but compared to my previous management jobs I think it would have been easy peasy. No disrespect to you folks who might work in a proper library (ie one in a city or one with those annoying academics who come in and ask for " Issue 32 of Remote Ancestry by Professor Unknown published somewhere between 1845 and 1910.") This is a small provincial library where the highlight of the day would probably be pinning a new notice to the noticeboard and getting your kicks by overcharging on the late books and pocketing the difference. And, let's face it, libraries are so PC these days you can't do anything controversial at all...

For example, in the days when I worked in retail management it was best practice to get the nutters out of the door as fast as possible. My record was about 30 seconds. Basically, nutters are always looking for something you know you don't have - so you must keep them moving because once they're sitting you're doomed for a minimum 3hr chat about their cat or some long lost relative or in the worse case scenario - their health.

Talking with a nutter about their health is the most serious issue for anyone working in the retail sector because you know you are in it for the long haul. These people will be back, time and time again, to give you the latest update on their big toe/bowels movements/voices in their head. So you must keep them moving  at all costs. Whilst nutters are talking, you must do lots of nodding and smiling (so they trust you) and pretend to search for whatever it is they want (usually a replica collectible teapot, an Irish whiskey glass or if they're really bonkers - a watch with 21 jewels) whilst you discreetly move them back towards the doorway. Then you open the door for them and say;

Well we don't appear to have one of those. I'm soooooo sorry. Mind you, I heard they sell them in Harvey Nichols. They are so wonderful! The last time I was there they even brought me a cup of tea whilst I was choosing an outfit. Marvellous! 

Then you point the nutter in the direction of Harvey Nichols, wave and relax. Job done. Finally, return to your post and congratulate yourself on screwing up the day for staff at the opposition.

Hmm, so where was I going with this? Oh yes. So in retail you aim to get rid of the nutters asap but in libraries you have to be PC - so all I would have done is shown them to the big print section (which hopefully would be tucked alongside the health section) thus keeping them occupied for hours, possibly even weeks.


Anyway, I didn't get the job at the library. I don't know why but it could be because I didn't have one of the listed criteria which was an ECDL or for those of you like me who'd never heard of it - European Computer Driving Licence - which is roughly equivalent to a GSCE in IT. Now I don't want to sound too bitter and twisted but I've seen the PCs in the library and they are so old they probably crank them up with a key like an old car...

Deirdre, Deirdre! It's nearly 9am. Get your gloves on. It's time to start up the engines - it looks like we've got a rush on returns!"  (Queue of 3 people outside entrance - one of whom is obviously a nutter as she is clasping a chipped floral teapot.)

Yeah, the computers are so old at the library I think I could work it out. In fact, I'd be pleasantly supervised if they had a keyboard.

You know, I think it would have been very, very amusing working at the library. Perfect fodder for my blog. Hmm... maybe they discovered my blog and thought the same!

No, actually I'm not admitting I write a blog on my CV so no one will know ever know! Unless of course, they stalk me on Facebook....


  1. Oh this is brilliant Mrs T! ;o) Had me giggling all the way through even though I'm multi-tasking dinner, wayward toddler, laundry and telephone!

    Brilliant. More of the same please!


    Cheryl (aka Mrs Fergie!)

  2. Welcome Cheryl:) Glad you enjoyed it!

    That's some serious multi-tasking going on! Hmm...sounds like you're actually overdoing it. I recommend just leaving it all for someone else to do. (Except the child care bit of course. )

    (Never was any good at household tips - it probably shows.)

  3. You should get a job as a secret shopper - you'd enjoy that!

  4. 'Getting the nutters out of the door' is an essential life skill but one they never teach you in school. There is something wrong there. Much more useful than a degree in, ooh, Pet Care with Sharpening Pencils.

  5. I have to agree Mike I would excel at being a secret shopper - of the nutter category. I could time the sales consultants to see how long it took before they lost their temper! Fantastic idea - how do I go about being one?!

    Mrs B - Now I hope there's no insinuation about Mrs T overstaying her welcome at times?! I mean, I know I talk A LOT but I have never come bearing a teapot:)

    Ah yes, some of the modern degrees leave me flummoxed, I'm all in favour of the traditional degrees which is why I encouraged Master Sam do do history and philosophy which means you can bullshit in a superior way as opposed to bullshitting in a media studies kind of way. A reference to the Napoleonic wars, Thomas Aquinas or Descartes is soooo much more impressive than a reference to Piers Morgan, David Beckham or Sky News. Not that I'm a snob or anything...:))

    Happy Holidays Mrs B:)


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