“A thank-you never hurt!” “But your FACE does!”

(In which the Librarian calls together his Intrepid Crew for the annual post-Inventory appreciation ceremony [no coffee or Danish allowed….])

2014_Certificate_CarlosAt right is a sampling of the certificate of appreciation we created last year.  This year’s looks the same, the only thing that changes is the text.  I just don’t feel like the aggravation of scanning right now.  Sorry.

Inventory 2015 goes as well as can be expected under these trying circumstances.  No one quits, or gets canned, or earns a disciplinary report, or gets lugged to Segregation.  There is plenty of incompetence, but incompetence tends only to hinder, it doesn’t stop us.  And it gives us plenty to laugh at.

Inventory takes five full days to account for a little less than 17,000 items, and we use no automation, only manpower & drawers of shelf list cards.

Everyone gets mocked & made fun of in these presentations, not a surprise, since that’s what they do to each other every working day.  During these five days, I pay close attention to what is done and said, recording the flubs, mistakes, & funny things people say during the process.  These flubs/mistakes/bon mots get recorded on the certificates.  The certificates are then distributed to the clerks while the Lending Library is closed.

Since refreshments aren’t allowed, we must make do with our wit.  Most of this wit is not suitable for family viewing.  Suffice to say that it is decidedly un-politically correct, which is the way we like it.

A sampling of this ‘wit’ is tthank-youhe title of this post, which comes about when one clerk moans about having to be in the library when where he wants to be is in the Yard.  Another clerk chastises him with “Y’know, getting a thank-you like this never hurts!”  To which yet another clerk replies, “No, but your face DOES!”

We pass out 11 certificates.  A good time is had by all.  Only one guy fails to show, so we read his in absentia & make fun of him anyway.

Clerks enjoy getting these thank-you’s, as they’re not often the recipient of appreciation.  I try to say “Thank you” each time someone does something for me.  Which means I say ‘Thank you” many many times a day, because clerks are always working & making library services what they are.  They are sick and tired of hearing me say “You’re only as good as the people you have,” because I say this several times each week.  But they’re people, and people thrive on praise, and if there’s one thing a manager must refrain from is taking your people for granted.  Show them you admire, respect, and appreciate all that they do.

The ceremony itself takes only about 15 minutes.  We read the certificate, everyone laughs at the guys’ expense, he comes up, we shake hands, and everyone applauds for him.  The rest of the time is spent talking shop & making more fun of each other.

as the people

After all certificates are distributed, one clerk asks me, “Now where’s YOURS?”  I gesture toward the other clerks and say:  “THIS is my thanks.”  A clerk on the other side of the room hears me and says, “I like that!”

Thanks, guys.