I think I’m prepared for my interview today.

Later… How wrong can I be! There are not one, but two, tables between me and my two interviewers. I hate that. They tell me they are going to ask me 6 questions. The first question consists of three parts! I hate that, too. It goes downhill from there. Sure, two of the questions I’ve been warned about. But then come the killer scenarios and ‘what would you do…?’, the first featuring a customer who is complaining about the noise, the second about customers making racist comments about the community. The latter is the final question. My mind goes completely blank. Staring out of the window and rubbing my trouser legs provides no inspiration.

To make matters worse, my colleague today is someone who used to work in this library. He doesn’t use the LMS enough to know how to add a new member, for instance. I notice he gives the form to the person and suggests he comes back later. He opens up but doesn’t make a note of the footfall. He doesn’t do any shelving at all, all day. He tells me he doesn’t have kids so doesn’t need to work full time. Did this person have to answer those same interview questions to get his job?? He does know about the BFR, at least, so I leave him to check out kids’ books and hand out the BFR wallet and cards, and to help them with the ‘treasure’ hunt. He’s good at that. I’m in the farthest corner, shelving, when the pregnant woman with the three kids who run around screaming comes in for the Sci Fi reading group meeting, and then signs up her kids for the BFR.

Our manager comes in and asks me how the interview. I tell her ‘not very well’ and she makes some encouraging comments. She’s come with a replacement padlock for the external door, which has ‘gone missing’. I test my key in it, and it works, although it’s a bit stiff. The cleaner appears at this moment and helps us loosen it with a bit of WD40. Whilst we’re outside with the padlock, my attention is drawn to the smashed upstairs window. I didn’t even notice it when I went up there to open the windows and close the blinds for the Sci Fi group! It looks like someone has kicked a football up there, but it’s made of special glass, so it doesn’t shatter and fall out. But it’s got to be replaced.

There are only two for the Sci Fi group and one of those is library staff, so she sorts out the books and the refreshments. She’s just gone when the Coding Club kids start to come in, so I get the box of goodies from the office for them. There’s no sign of the volunteer coordinator and only one volunteer (although he tells me later he knew he would be alone; next week he’s on holiday and the other volunteer will be in). About 10 minutes in to the hour, I notice he’s hopping around like a cat on a hot tin roof and the children are restless and swinging on their chairs, so I go over to help. He’s trying to get them signed into the Scratch web site. He’s produced a lovely leaflet, in colour, and a strange font (not Comic Sans, but something equally patronising) but the kids don’t want to read, they want to get on and code! It’s a good thing I’ve gone over the first week’s notes, so I know what I’m looking at, once I get the kids signed in, and can help them draw a ‘helmet’ around their character’s head (supposed to be a monkey, but none of them want a monkey — we have cats and strange blobs, and red helmets etc.). I’m not sure what’s next, although the volunteer has another handout for this, in tiny black and white print, which of course the kids don’t read, but keep asking him what to do next. I can tell he’s not a teacher! He’s also allowed one child to use her own laptop, at a desk away from the others, making everything harder for himself. At this point he seems to have things more or less under control, so I return to the desk.

I’m still cross about my interview and my colleague at the end of the day (he’s still lounging around at 5 to 5, so I start closing up, otherwise we’ll never get out of here…), but at least I’ve enjoyed the coding session. Perhaps I’ll go back into teaching, after all, if I don’t get a job as a library assistant…

A calming book to read whilst waiting to be interviewed.