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international librarian of mystery

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Web journal thing

I was in the Head Librarian's office. Mrs Darjeeling had requested my presence as soon as I'd arrived at work on Monday morning. I went upstairs and, despite the soft cushions of the armchair outside her office, spent five uncomfortable minutes waiting to be ushered in. I finally got the call. I went in, palms sweating.

"Close the door and sit down please Natalie."

Uh-oh. I looked at her PC. My blog was on her screen. Even more telling, I could see she'd just been reading my scanners post.

"Natalie, I've been reading your web ... journal ... thing. What is it that they're called?"
"Um, a blog?"
"That's right, your ... blog."

She said the word with a slight hint of distaste, as if it was a rude word she wasn't used to saying in company.

"Yes, well, first things first, I suppose, congratulations on winning that award. I can see from your writing that you have something of a knack for story-telling."
"Thank you."
"But, well, as you can probably tell from me having to call you in here now, you've ruffled a few feathers about the place. Despite your efforts at masking the identities of those involved, some of the staff have taken umbrage at being ridiculed in public."
"But, err, I really didn't..."

The excuse failed to come, and the words withered in my mouth. Mrs Darjeeling continued...

"Well, whatever you intended, you've certainly hurt some feelings. And now that your identity is known, I'm sure it will be even harder for you to maintain any level of anonymity with regards to yourself and your workmates."
"Um, yes."
"And the less said about your comments on some of our patrons the better."
"Um, yes, sorry."
"Obviously, we can't force you to stop writing your ... blog, but I'd strongly advise you to think carefully about what you write about in future."
"I've also talked to Mr Nonsuch this morning about your role on the web team, and we've decided for the time being that it might be best to remove you from your current role, and return you to normal duties."


"He made some mention of log files that made it apparent to me that removing you from the team for a time might be a way to avoid any unnecessary problems should people become too interested in just how our work computers are getting used during work hours."

Ah, well, fair enough, I suppose.

"I haven't heard if anyone up the Council chain has shown any interest in your story yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were some questions asked. I'd like to stress this is only a short-term measure. Mr Nonsuch is actually very pleased with your work so far, and your work generally is excellent. We'll let the dust die down over the next couple of weeks, and reassess the situation after that."
"Okay. Thanks."
"Right, well, that's all. Again, congratulations. Sorry to have to rain on your parade."
"That's okay."
"Thank you Natalie."

I got up and left. The roster posted in the staff room confirmed Mrs Darjeeling's edict - the shifts where I would have been rostered on to the web team had been replaced with, ugh, shelving.

Ms. Biz, welcome to library purgatory.