Computer Crashings

People are impatient, which doesn’t come as a surprise to me seeing as I am listed in that category (especially when I am driving).  For the last four/five days the library has been having some significant computer problems with our Pharos system, which is the system that allows patrons to log on to the public computers.  The effect of these problems has been that for long periods of time over the last couple of days nobody has been able to get on any of the computers.  Now I can understand how this could make somebody pretty impatient, especially if they have some piece of important business they need to get done.  Still there were are a few people who just don’t seem to get, “We are really sorry that the system is down, IT is working on it, and hopefully they will be back up as soon as possible.”  There was this one dude this morning who just didn’t get it, and he was getting all pissed off and trying to use the 15 minute express computers even though I had told him they were down too.  Again I can understand the frustration but I have to say that when somebody has politely explained to you that the problem is being worked on and will hopefully be resolved soon, I’d think that you’d probably just try and accept it.  Not this dude though, he was going to keep trying to log on until it worked even if he sat here all day long.  I actually finally had to ask him to leave because he started playing around with the power buttons, turning a couple of the computers on and off (which is a big no-no in the library — only myself or other library employees are allowed to turn the machines off or on).  He wasn’t too happy to be asked to leave either but I just gave him a slight smile and said, “I’m really sorry for the inconvenience this is causing you sir but there is very little that can be done about it right now.  I cannot have you turning computers on and off in here.  Doing so isn’t going to fix anything anyway.  There are six gentlemen downstairs who are working as fast as they can to get the system back up.  I recommend that if you have any other business in the library or downtown you might want to go ahead in do that and check back a little later to see if the computers are back up.  I don’t know how long it will be before they are working again but I think it is safe to assume that it will be a little while.”  That probably wasn’t verbatim what I said, but it was probably pretty close seeing as I’ve had to say very similar things to about a hundred plus people in the last two days.  My angry dude did take his leave, albeit with a lot of grumbling and cursing under his breath (he also showed up almost immediately as soon as the computer started working again about an hour later which leads me to believe he was just sulking around the library for some time.  Further, his very important need to get on a computer was just to play computer games, which he has been doing non-stop since the system started working again).  So far the computers have not crashed again today which is a good thing because the computers malfunctioning cause inconvenience for patrons.  It also gets annoying to me to have to repeat again and again that the computers are down especially considering that when they crash I always promptly put up signage explaining that there are system problems in the library (this has led me to believe very firmly that people really just don’t pay attention to signs.  The same goes for all the “No Cellular Phone Use in the Library” signs that are literally unavoidable in this place, yet every day people have to be asked to please silence there phones or go outside to have conversations).  Well the computers have been back up and running okay for several hour now and hopefully they won’t crash again (knock on wood here).  I’d just say to all the people who use library public computers everywhere, remember that they are computers and computers have problems sometimes, so try to be patient when things don’t work, because being impatient or rude isn’t going to do anything to make things work any better, it is just going to piss other people off.

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~ by Nathaniel on February 5, 2008.

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