I recently read and enjoyed Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. I didn’t seek the book out, but it caught my eye in the donations pile at work, so I swiped it long enough to read it before sending it on to the Friends sale. (I will tell you that the reason it caught my eye, besides the unexpected sight of Bourdain’s bikerish mug in the staff room at work, was the pair of huge, ornate knives he’s holding in the cover photo. Big, ornate, Noble Collection, phallic-looking knives. *cough* Anyway.)
The reason I bring this book up is that I’ve just realized that like a chef in a professional kitchen, librarians, too, have a meez that should not be screwed with. Whenever it’s our turn to come onto the desk, the first thing we do is to set up the computer screen with the windows that we find indispensable. In my case, that’s WorkSlows (the staff interface to the library’s catalog), the library’s web page listing our databases, and Amazon, for title verification. I don’t bother pulling up a search engine, because I already installed the Google toolbar when we first got the computer because, frankly, who could really function online without it right now? So there’s my meez. Don’t mess with it.
Of course, whoever comes to relieve me will inevitably mess with my meez, and use the windows for their own possibly nefarious purposes. Politically conservative blogs. Shopping at JC Penney. Hotmail. Metacrawler. The patron interface to the library catalog. Whatever. When I come back out to the desk, I will mess with what must have been their meez, changing it back to my trinity of WorkSlows, databases, Amazon. Sometimes I have a fourth window, like the one I’m typing in now, for personal stuff if it’s very slow. I always must remember to close the fourth window before walking away from the desk. It could be this blog, my email, Fortean Times, Barbelith, or even shopping at JC Penney. Whatever it is, it’s generally stuff I don’t want my co-workers to see. We all deserve our private, unscrewed with meezes.