Its is a stressful time in the library as I am in an edit war on Wikipedia about the role of obnoxiousness for librarians. For some reason, the user named librarians_suck keeps removing my updates about how relevant the skill of obnoxiousness is for the future of our profession.
Just while I am completely engrossed in a new paragraph, the phone rings. Well, that is a nuisance. Looking at the display, I see it´s not someone I know and therefore very likely a l-user (library user), so I ignore the phone. But it keeps on ringing. Now, this is disturbing as I am losing my train of thought.
I pick up the phone: “Library” (sounding as disappointing as I can)
“Librarian, this is Kevin from sales”
Wait, Kevin from sales. This rings a bell.
“Librarian, 3.5 years ago you got me fired from my job. I vowed to take revenge for this, so I plotted and schemed for several years to come back to Hades Inc. And now I am back as senior executive vice president of sales. And I really, really wanted to call you and tell you that you are terminated, finished, fired! But….”
“I cannot fire you. It pains me to tell you this, but I need you. Actually, I need a big favor from you on which the future of my job and partly the company depends.”
“I am listening…”
“Librarian, I still hate your guts. But as you know, we have been trying to sign a deal with the royal prince of Hydra to access the extremely valuable natural resources in his country. After countless visits and proposals he has told us he will sign a multi-billion dollar deal with us for the next 25 years, but with an exotic requirement. He demands from us that Hades Inc builds him a library – a royal library, with marble floors, leather bound books, a handwritten card catalog and golden signs asking people to be quiet.
This stupid request is now the one thing that we need to fulfill in order to get this deal and put the competition behind us. So, librarian, would you be willing to go on an all expenses paid sabbatical for the foreseeable future to build a library for the prince?" Money and staffing are not an issue, that is completely up to you.”
“Well, Kevin, of course I am flattered. But it sounds like a lot of work, and I don’t know whether I can leave my job here….”
“Librarian, you are a tough negotiator. Let me sweeten the deal. We’re not only going to pay for all your expenses, put you in an exclusive resort, providing you with a personal assistant, cook, driver and cataloger – but we’re going to allow you to hand pick a collection of first prints of Elbonian poems, which I know is something you collect.”
“Kevin, perhaps I could indeed hand over parts of my duties to my passive aggressive assistant Sue and provide some management remotely. It will be an honor to do my duty for Hades Inc and live in luxury, while I construct the worlds most exclusive, expensive, astonishing and insanely awesome library for the royal prince.”
“Wonderful, librarian, wonderful! If you can pack your bags this afternoon, I will have the company limousine waiting outside and bring you straight to the company jet.”
I put down the phone, and all is well in the library again. A sabbatical may just be what I need after fighting bureaucracy, clueless managers, soul crushing meetings and l-users.
So for now it’s goodbye, my readers. Who knows I will return one day to tell more tales of the obnoxious librarian – but if I do not return, it has been a pleasure to share my stories with you. And don’t forget: we can all use a little obnoxiousness in our lives!