I thought I knew exactly what Monday was going to involve; wander in at 2pm, do some intertilling, lead the team briefing, catch up on some emails then do the late night until 9pm. Easy, and a nice introduction to my week. But life in Customer Services is never easy, mores the pity. Instead, the member of staff who was supposed to be supervising all day rang in sick, so I found myself flung straight out to supervise upon arrival.
Let me tell you a little bit about how supervising works at my library. The role of Supervisor is basically that of Duty Manager and is usually filled between 8 and 5:30 by a Customer Services senior*. Each day is split into two shifts and we each do 2 or 3 shifts a week, so it takes up a lot of our time.
This is our Seat Of Power:
We call it the Sortation Room. I know, don’t even, I wasn’t here when they started calling it that and I don’t know why Sorting Room wouldn’t do, but there you have it; the Sortation Room. So called because it contains our Sorting Machine, that big grey monstrosity at the back. This room is behind the Helpdesk and next door to the Staff Office, so it’s perfectly placed to run the whole building. Because that’s what we’re doing when we’re supervising, essentially, we are responsible for managing the building. So we’re not only dealing with difficult enquiries and students referred to us by the Helpdesk, we’re also making sure the building is a safe and appropriate environment for students to work in, which means a lot of patrolling and a lot of dealing with Facilities Management.
It was a busy afternoon, allow me to bullet point some of the issues I dealt with between 2pm and 5pm**:
- spent 15 minutes explaining to a student exactly how he’d run up a £54 fine, but then waived half of it when the book was later found on the shelf at another site
- counted up the change machine float because someone put a £5 note in but got no coins in return.
- talked to someone about filming an interview in the LRC and what would be an appropriate location***
- fixed the Returns Unit when it started playing up
- Radio’d Security to get them to unlock one of the plant rooms so some engineers could work on the boiler
- Fetched some books for a partially sighted student
- Answered a query about software availability on the Macs at a different campus
- Fixed a printer which was defaulting to the wrong tray
- Explained to a member of staff that he wouldn’t be able to use staff printing facilities at 2am as all the staff offices were locked at that point and our overnight facilities are provided for students
- United two people with their lost property
- Explained to someone that the reason her photocopying had jammed was because she had used the feeder tray, despite the dozen notices explaining that the feeder tray isn’t working and one of them being TAPED OVER the feeder tray, which she had moved. !headdesk!
- Printed off a dozen ID cards
- Restocked the Helpdesk and Reception with forms and stationary****
- Gave impromptu Aleph training to Helpdesk staff, even though they should know these things by now
And that’s actually a pretty nice day; there were no arguments, no tears, nothing caught fire, nobody collapsed or got stuck in the lift and there were no fights. Those are the things you dread when you Supervise and if you get a shift without them you’re grateful, even if you are on your feet 3 hours which I pretty much was today.
My day is not yet over, I’m here till 9pm but I’m not supervising anymore and I’m currently taking it easy at Reception. I’ll do the Helpdesk from 6:30 to 9:00 and I’ll be sure to add an addendum to this if anything interesting happens, but I’m mainly planning on writing up my training plan for the Library Assistant who’s returning from maternity leave on Wednesday and emailing the systems team about the invoicing procedure.
So, that was Monday!
*Due to lack of CS seniors this morning, subject staff had to cover until I got there, which some of them were Displeased with.
**I took notes! I’m taking this seriously, you see :p
***”No, that spot probably won’t work, because not only is it right in front of our self service machines, it’s also right in front of the door to the stairs…”
****why am I the only person who does this? Gah!