Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Creating a copy library - Part one: Learning the hard way

Shaky beginnings

I will be the first to admit that when my new manager first booked a meeting with me called ‘Copy Libraries’, I was a little sceptical. Plus, it seemed a bit pushy. I immediately sent back a meeting request entitled ‘Get Coffee’ and she accepted. Okay. My manager and I had taken our first steps towards understanding each other, and our almost crippling dependence on caffeine.

A writer prepares

Not wanting to lose momentum on this exciting (if somewhat eccentric) new directive, I got started right away. I adopted the Stanislavski method favoured by acting greats Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman and Alec Baldwin. Speaking in hushed tones for the days leading up to our meeting, I looked disapprovingly over my spectacles as I lent books to people knowing that they would be returned dog-eared and overdue.

Lesson One

It was two coffees into the meeting with my manager that I realised I had seized hold of the wrong end of the stick vis-à-vis “copying libraries”. The hours I had spent categorising my local newsagent’s stock in increasing numerical order relating to three digit classifications were wasted. Thanks anyway, Dewey Decimal. Sorry for the mess, Mr Patel.

So! Okay. We were going to set up a library of copy for our clients. What a great idea. And, in retrospect, it does make a lot more sense than mimicking a book depository. Lesson learned.


Jordan said...

Wow. You are learning the hard way. Or are you being taught the hard way? Let that marinate for a minute while I regale you with a story of my own learning.

I just received a letter in the mail from Westpac, they've decided to open with the line "1 in 3 men have a chance of being diagnosed with cancer before they turn 75".

Way to bum my stone Westpac. You see, they're trying to get me to buy insurance in the event I get sick or injured at work. Being that my profession has me working in an office I'm trying to imagine what this would look like.

Maybe a photocopier explodes and takes my leg off, maybe there is an accident when safety takes a back seat in my swivel chair Olympics, maybe paper-clips are a choking hazard.

So maybe I should get this insurance? But then I think, no. I'm being taught to be scared. "Statistics" are being "presented" to change "my" world-view.

The last time this happened was when Westpac phoned me to try and sell me life insurance. I pointed out to them that since I didn't have any dependents it was a waste of time. The sales person tactically asked me to 'think about the future'. I said I planned on winning Powerball, check and mate. In the meantime, if I died, I'm pretty sure my continental parsley could maintain its lifestyle.

So Kate, before you consider that you're learning the hard was, consider that maybe you're being taught the hard way - and really, you've learnt nothing.

Kate.Elinore said...

Hm. Good point. Well! I'm off to chew paper clips next to the photocopier.

JoPaul_10 said...

Copy library? That sounds like an oxymoron (in tasks) similar to "creative programming". ;)

Kate.Elinore said...

Hence my confusion. ;)