I worked at our biggest branch today. It was quite busy already, but made busier and more of a challenge by a couple of unexpected situations.
First, we had to send one of our team members to another library, that had two staff call in sick. Second, our phones were playing up (just had a new system implemented) and we spent a bit of time trying to work things around that. Then of course there were the little things that pop up as they do.
In addition, our team was made up of three people who don’t usually work in this team, but who came due to illness or swaps.
Doesn’t sound like much pressure, but it can make a difference when you are very busy and understaffed.
But it wasn’t a disaster, in fact it worked very well, because we worked as a team.
Even with people who don’t always work together, everybody knew what the job was, what the expectations of a Saturday were and enough of how the branch worked, to be able to do their job and do it well, without having to be told, directed, supervised, cajoled or anything else.
As the manager for the day, I was only called upon for my expertise in IT related areas, or when a library user questioned a library procedure and they required a more senior staff member to intervene and fortunately there were not many of those situations. And I trusted their experience, knowledge and expertise and let them do what they needed to do.
Tonight I am tired, but I am satisfied. Today i have worked with a great team, who got the job done and got it done well, provided excellent customer service, required little in terms of management intervention and got us all out of the building at the end of day with our good humour intact.
I am very fortunate indeed to work with an amazing group of people in my library service, who adapt, know and love their jobs and provide excellent customer service to all. It may not always be the same team in terms of the make-up of staff, but the results are the same.
And you can’t ask for much more than that.