Self-indulgent online rage
The trouble about the internet/digital age is that it lets us do all kind of things we would never have dreamt of, but we still get damn cross when it doesn't work properly. I know that there are a few glitches with watching my Mellon lectures (here).. but I expect that they will fix that when they are allowed back in the office (and anyway isnt it amazing to see a series of lectures given two years ago on the other side of the globe, even if they are a bit jerky?).
Trouble is that irritation always outweighs the admiration. Today was a very big footnote day for me and I had already order up a clutch of books I needed in the University Library from home by about 10.15. Off I went at 10.30 to the UL, to get all those references.
Only trouble was that when I arrived I discovered I hadn't got my university card that would open the library's electronic entrance, and every other place I needed to access (yes, we've been here before). I had had it in another library last night (which was where I strongly suspected it still was), but the immediate dilemma was this. Should I (Plan A) try use the old uni/library card I had, which I had thought I had lost, and had had cancelled, but I reckoned there was a chance it would still work the UL turnstile (on the left of the picture). Or should I (Plan B) fess up and hope that I could blag my way in on the "I've been coming to this library for 40 years.." line.
I went for Plan A.
Two reasons really. I reckoned I could probably blag (or cry) my way in, but I thought it might get the entry staff into trouble .. they've known me for ages, but rules is rules (to be broken I say, but that's not necessarily the view of the management). Besides I thought there was a good chance that my old card would still work the turnstile even if it had been cancelled (I'd given up all dream of actually borrowing anything by this point). And if it didn't work, well I could still try Plan B.
The answer was (please don't get cross, UL security staff), my old card did still work. I looked up that tricky little article about Choricius of Gaza (damn, no translation of the bit of Choricius I'm after), and the German Festschrift I had been wanting; then I went off to my own little Library, banged on the window and got let in by a graduate student who shall remain anonymous (I am sure there are also rules about not letting professors in when they haven't got their card, even if desperate and crying). But there was good news. There under the pile of books I had been using yesterday night was the lost card.
A happy ending of course. But later, when I had got home, I decided to buy a little something from a great fashion website (Vivienne Westwood if you must know) for my colleague whose birthday lunch I'm looking forward to tomorrow. It's, I confess, a very bottom of the range VW present, but by the time I had tried my customer log-in, requested another password, failed to get that to work, requested another which worked, then failed to be able to change the quantity of gifts (just couldn't get back from 2 to 1), and had to start all over again (we were 20 minutes here)... I did think: WHY didnt I just go FOOT SHOPPING?