Thursday, May 30, 2013

Assuming the guilt

Have you ever felt yourself apologizing for something that you were just tangentially connected to, but for which you weren't in the least responsible? No? Then you weren't raised Catholic.

Today I was minding my own business, copying title pages and title page versos (the back of the title page but I had to show off) so they can be sent to the Park Service librarian in Seattle so the books can be added to the library catalog. The copies were from books that were oddly enough on the shelf, complete with spine labels and call numbers, but weren't on the shelf list, the item-by-item inventory of the library. Don't ask me how they got the labels because I don't know. The labels come from the librarian, presumably when the books are added to the catalog, but maybe I forgot something about the process since library school. In any case, the books aren't on the list.

As I say, I was at the copier, finished my stack of books, and went back to the library. A while later I went back to the copier with a couple more books where I found the Chief Ranger staring at the copier, willing it to work. He said it wasn't working and pointed to a gigantic stack of identical copies sitting off to the side. Holy crap. The stack was copies from one of the books I'd taken down earlier. There was no sense playing stupid because it was clearly a library book image.

So what's the first thing I do? I said the only thing a good Catholic-raised girl can say, "I was raised Catholic and have to assume the guilt for this but I didn't do it." I don't think anyone in the office believed in my innocence despite them all saying, "It's OK! Don't worry!" in precisely that tone that says I'd better start worrying, except I'm a volunteer and they can't do anything and that kind of pisses them off. (These are nice, nice folks and if they read this I hope they know I'm joking.) It must have been two reams of paper and when the copier finally got working again the low toner light came on. Oh, man. I had to start apologizing all over again.

Thought of the day:

Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving. (Erma Bombeck. RIP)