Wednesday, May 11, 2005

So, I'm not sure how much I've talked about what my summer looks like; rather than look back and see, I'll just put it out there and if it's repetitive, feel free to skip.

Depending on how you count, I have anywhere from 2 to 4 jobs this summer. I'm working in the Law Library as a research assistant, working at the Law Library reference desk, and working for a professor as a research assistant. I'm also managing the apartment building where I'm subletting; that's not a job in the sense of getting paid, but I am getting a nice rent break. No doubt there will stories there, some of which I may even be able to tell.

Today, though, it's more about the law library jobs. I finished my training today. Some of the training involved watching old videotapes and listening to old audiotapes, and then answering quizzes that looked like this:

1. A patron comes up to you at the desk and has questions. Which of the following best describes how you should react?
a. Continue playing on the Internet, and make it clear that they are putting you out.
b. Punch them in the face; that'll teach 'em!
c. Answer their questions courteously.
d. Fake a stroke.

2. Your shift is over but your replacement hasn't shown up. What should you do?
a. Call them, and if you can't reach them or they aren't going to show up call around for a sub; if no one is available, you'l have to take the shift yourself.
b. Immediately put up the sign indicating that someone will be back shortly; set several small fires on your way out out of spite.
c. Pull the fire alarm, grab your stuff and run; explain later that you had no way of knowing your successor hadn't shown up.
d. Fake a stroke.

In addition to taking the quizzes, I got to wander around deep in the closed stacks on the new employee tour. You know you're deep in the stacks when you find such crucial resources as Mauritius Supreme Court decisions. (And before you ask, no, this was not nearby; Mauritius materials are stacked in the British Commonwealth area.)

Finally, while on the tour today I came across this book, which was very jarring. The reason? When I was considering grad schools in 1998, my decision came down to Delaware or USC. Had I gone to Delaware, Gary May (the author, if you didn't follow the link) would have been my advisor. I've often wondered if I would have ended up at Delaware if it had been raining the day I visited USC and sunny when I visited Newark, instead of vice versa. Who knows. But for an instant it was a brief glimpse into the alternate history of Joe.

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