Supposed to meet teacher for an independent study today for the first time. We've been exchanging emails, so there has been regular contact. We agreed last week to meet "in the library" at 10:30 this morning. I emailed her the night before to a)confirm and b)ask for a specific meeting location. The teacher emails back confirming that we're meeting... and that's it. Okay, thanks teach. Real helpful. So I email again, quote, "It's a big building. Where, specifically would you like to meet? I don't even know what you look like!" No response (it was getting kind of late). So I get to my university library at 10:15 like a responsible student and plant myself in front of the door, prepared to interrogate anyone who looked old enough to be a professor. "Are you..." "Excuse me, would you happen to be..." and so forth. No dice. Fortunately I knew someone at the front desk, so I asked her to keep an eye out for me while I ran upstairs and checked with the offices. (I'm a library school student, the library school offices and some classrooms are on another floor of the library, maybe the teacher was just thinking of the library school, as opposed to the building proper.) No teacher. Finally, half an hour after I'm supposed to meet the teacher, the teacher emails me (I had been regularly checking for one as I have no other means of contact). She wanted to meet me at her library. Her public library. Now, if I weren't one of those insane students who doesn't google their teachers before class starts to dig up any dirt, I would never have known that this woman was the director of Public Library X. Fortunately, she accepted blame for poor communication skills and I ran over to her library which fortunately was only 15 minutes away. Of course, my class was then shortened from 1/1.5 hours to 20 minutes. Oops. Then I had to rush to work. Oh boy.
Okay, I'm going to relay this in the order I heard about it.
- Co-Worker 1: Is going to be out for 1-3 weeks because she just had her knee operated on (maybe replaced?). This wouldn't be news, except I was out for a week taking intensive classes.
- Co-Worker 2: Has breast cancer. Will be out for the foreseeable future.
- Co-Worker 3: Her grandson, aged 17 or 18, has a brain tumor. Passed out while seeing Harry Potter over the weekend and stuck in the hospital. Outlook unknown.
- Co-Worker 4: Is missing. Missing, missing. His wife called in and said he's been missing for over 24 hours, police report filed, please please please any information.... His car was found in a strange place, no sign of person. Oh shit. This was one of those eye opening times where I really got a new look at my co-workers. Everyone was gossiping, this is what we do... we work in a library, knowing information is what we do. It's a compulsion and it's understood. But as part of that standing, there is a silent line between gossip and shut the f*** up. There was a big re-hire about 2.5 years ago and there was a huge turnover in staffing. I've been around for 7 years. Missing Guy has worked at the library for ~20 years! Once upon a time he worked full time at the library, though this was probably 10 years ago. Then he dropped down to part time. Since the rehire, he's been a sub, working about 10 hours a month. The people hired since the big rehire were just gossiping for juice. Those of us from before were beyond gossip and moved on to concern. I actually spoke harshly to a co-worker I normally like a lot because of the gossip levels, and was supported by another old timer who I normally don't see eye-to-eye with. I'm a mouse at work; I don't say boo to anyone. I *really* hope he is okay.
On a good note, the night did end with a patron coming in and being unusually, retardedly polite. She asked me for information, not expecting results since it was a pretty academic question and we're a public library, but happy with whatever I could give her. I'm feeling pretty sick from all the bad news all day, and I just want the day to be over, forget about doing a complicated search. Fortunately, the co-worker I snarled at for gossiping (we're friends, I swear) talked the patron up while I was researching so I didn't have to worry about talking and working at the same time (talking really isn't my thing). After many stumbles, I found a search term that worked and I got the patron her info. The patron then thanked me by name. Very strange. I guard my name like nobody's business. You know the medieval myth about names holding power? Well, you give a patron your name, they have the power to call and complain about you. And that is all they'll ever use it for. Sure, call me cynical - I say experienced. But this patron was the exception - so uber polite. Cool.
Went out and celebrated a friend's birthday. He really liked his presents. Good time.
I pull up to the driveway and see my dad's car is missing. I know he had a 4:00 meeting. Not good. My dad collapses at 10:00 sharp since his heart attack five years ago and it's about 11:00 now. Sometimes he has to stay at the office very late and can't drive himself home, so I or my mother have to pick him up. I call my mom before I even get out of the car and ask where he is. He just ran out to get some milk would be a really nice answer, but not likely. Fears confirmed, he has yet to come home from the meeting. So I go inside and mom texts dad for a sit rep. He doesn't answer. Five/Ten minutes later she just calls him. He's still in the meeting, no idea when it will let out. Forgive me, but after today, I'm feeling a little on edge and I want him home.
EDIT: 1 AM, and he's home. Jeez.