hemenwaykid (hemenwaykid) wrote in library_mofo,

Brother, can you help a mofo?

So, this week, apparently I am the mofo...

A couple of weeks ago, I received feedback from my supervisor that my coworker(s) feel that I'm not prioritizing my time sufficiently, and leaving the lions share of the shelving to them. I'm trying to leave aside my emotional reaction to this feedback and take it in and move forward and improve my performance (and not look sidewise at all my coworkers).

Because I'm trained in sociology, and because I like facts and distrust anecdotal evidence, my strategy for the past couple weeks has been to write down every single thing I do, and the amount of time I spend on it. My self-evaluation portion of my annual review is due at the end of the month, and my hope is that I can sit down with my manager during that review and we can look at the amount of time I'm spending on carts, the amount of time I spend shelving overall, how much time I spend on other duties and what, specifically, I need to adjust (I have ADD so I know that my prioritization skills are not always fantastic, but I also know that I won't necessarily be able to come up with a workable strategy on my own without a very specific discussion). I got the idea from dieters and budgeters who keep track of every cookie they eat/every dime they spend, as a disciplinary tool. So keeping track has the added benefit of helping me keep on task generally. Eventually I'll be showing these to my boss, and I don't want her reaction to be, "THATS how you spend your time? For fucks sake, Hemenway."

The hiccup in all this data-gathering so far (besides the fact that I'm trying to record a baseline and make improvements at the same time), is that I have no control sample. I dont watch my coworkers or know how they spend their time, and in all honesty can't tell if we spend our shifts doing roughly the same amount of work or not (this is where my sociology brain is painfully aware of the subjective nature of the feedback I've gotten, and has to work very hard to not dismiss it). My report also won't be able to show the environment on any given day (did I spend an hour shelf reading because there were no carts? Or did I ignore 12 unshelved carts and go off to shelf read anyway? etc). But some facts are better than none. I've looked through all the official job descriptions and sheets I've been given since I've started, and while they say what tasks my job includes, there's no 'official' breakdown of which tasks should take what percentage of my time. (I know there's no hard-and-fast rule here; I'm looking for general guidelines.)

So I'm hoping y'all can perhaps help me assemble at least some semblance of a control sample. Folks who are or were shelvers/pages, or those who supervise shelvers: do you have any sense of how you'd expect a shelver to divide their time? (Preferably proportionally: 50% shelving, 25% requested holds, 10% staff email, whatever) If you're a shelver, do you have a sense of how long you spend on each task? (If any shelvers/pages want to keep track of themselves for 4 hrs on a typical shift, that would be amazing.)

I know there's wild variation in the sorts of libraries we all work in (I work in a large-ish public district [27 branches] in a mid-size American city, ftr), but if I can get enough data hopefully I can average it together somehow, and use it to compare against my own performance.

Thanks, anyone/everyone.

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