16 March 2012

How to succed in library management

Part 3 of an occasional series.

Marking time

Don't you agree that a row of pansies in a flowerbed is so much more attractive than a haphazard wildflower garden?  I do hope so, because if not you have no business to be reading this post.

Today we are going to look at a particular problem, that of orderliness in the messy area of human activity.  I shall describe my latest success in shaping staff to fit the particular constraints of time.

I like to imagine my staff consist not of arms and legs and other curious anatomical protuberances, but as tiny colour-coded rectangles which I can move about in tessellated patterns on my new timetable database*.  As well as being satisfying aesthetically, it provides me with a representation of human activity in attractive pastel shades, and looks especially gorgeous on my 2048 x1536-pixel resolution at 264 ppi iPad.

It is all due to the introduction of my latest technological solution, the Homochronosphere.  This gigantic timepiece, 10 ft in diameter, hangs immediately above the staff entrance to the library and is programmed to recognise faces and physical dimensions even when the lights are turned off.  Each member of staff is matched to a unique identifier (anonymously coded to represent a member of the insect world) that is in turn represented by a coloured cube on the online Staff Rota database, to which only I and my colleague Igor have access.  If any member of staff appears on the database at an unexpected time, for example 5 minutes late in the morning, an instant screen alert appears before me, a 115dB alarm is activated at the entrance and a Supaweight Grabble Hook drops down from the ceiling, seizes the miscreant, and suspends him/her upside down by the ankles.

It is an ideal solution to the age-old problem of employee time and attendance monitoring.  Despite the cost of setting up and implementing the database (and I had to sacrifice two key members of staff to afford it, imagine the pain that caused me) the Homochronosphere ensures complete equality of opportunity.  So even those working hard and conscientiously can be assured that they are being treated no differently from the slackers.  The alternative, having to find out which ones aren't pulling their weight and dealing with the problem face to face, was such a timewaster and fraught with interpersonal challenges.  I am convinced that my working day (and I spent at least 10 hours a day at work, and then take papers home) is better spent checking through the data for each individual and making the occasional adjustment to the Homochronosphere and the Hook (it can get so dreadfully messy).

*Unfortunately, commercial confidentiality forbids me from revealing the details of this product.

Part two : Communicating with your staff
Part one : How to get your own way at meetings


  1. I hope you have patented your homochronosphere. I can see it having multiple uses.

  2. I love it - especially the bit about manipulating minutes in my favour, and telling staff not to worry about upset customers etc.