I’m the green fairy…

25 August 2006

Well it has been longer than usual since my last post, but moving a library’ll get you offline for a spell. The movers arrived on Monday and began packing, so we all headed down to the new building to make sure we knew where everything was going. They don’t do reconfigurations you see.

Only there’d been a leak. In the roof just above the library, and a huge waterfall of liquid had made it’s way from the outside of the building[1] to the inside. All over the carpet and through to the basement below. Luckily there had been people around on Sat when it happened, otherwise we’d have been swimming on Monday. Still, it meant we couldn’t be sure about where the journals were going to go as that area was ever so slightly damp.[2]

But the movers themselves were great, ready to rock and roll a little early in fact. They came in at 6 on Tues, finished packing and were ready to head up to the new building. Only there was no one there, as we hadn’t expected them to be that quick. So we gave them tea and coffee while they waited for 30 mins or so til the man with the key arrived.

And they unpacked, rebuilt shelves, began to reshelve books. Everything going great and they were flying along[3] After they finished with one section I took a look. Oh dear. Everything was perfect apart from the fact that in almost every single case they’d put the shelf meant for the bottom on the top. Only two shelves wrong, you might think. But in order to fix that problem you have to move all the books on all six shelves. And this problem was on all 8 bays.

Plus we then had to figure out why it had happened. So that it wouldn’t continue happening.

Eventually we realised what the problem was; they’d begun packing at the shelf furthest from the exit. Which was the last shelf. And had done every bay the same way, top to bottom. Then each crate was marked in that order. And they were reshelving top to bottom, so it should have been fine, right?

Wrong. Because they were taking the books off in reverse order they should have started at the bottom of the bay, so everything was in reverse. They didn’t and hence the mix up.

Course that also meant that the rest of the crates would be in the same half-right, half-wrong order. And the problem made worse by the fact that the books weren’t going onto the same shelves they’d come from.

So for the rest of the day it was a case of opening as many crates as possible, checking the spine labels, double checking them, searching for any that might be before them, double checking that we weren’t missing anything and finally getting the books shelved.

Still, despite that little hiccup the move has gone really well so far. The library movers finished up on Wednesday evening[4] and Thurday we packed up all[5] of the office files, accounts, stationary etc and moved that down to the new building. Where we discovered another problem.

Carpet. See the place where we are moving to is carpeted in nice blue tiles of carpet. Apart from a few stipes of grey padded carpet. Where the computer workstations used to go. And maintenance guy was told that we had enough blue tiles to lay over those grey sections. Only we don’t. And can’t cause if that was done there’d be funny lumps as the blue would be covering lumpy grey sections. So now we gotta wait till new carpet is found, laid, sorted, and we may have to move one section of shelving in order to lift the grey from under it and replace it with the blue. Happy days :)

Anyways, I’ve most likely bored you all to death with this post. And it has gone on forever. So I’m shutting up now. Although I still want to bring up The X-Factor which made its return to the screen on Sat. Joy-joy feelings of watching other people’s mortification. I’ll leave that for later.


  1. you know, where it belongs
  2. and still was yesterday too. Haven’t checked today yet
  3. sense of foreboding anyone?
  4. Anyone know the standard rate of tipping for movers?
  5. fine, most

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15 Responses

  1. Carl V. says:

    Although you seem to insist that it was mostly okay the whole thing sounds like a tremendous headache to me! Glad you survived it, humor intact!

  2. Fence says:

    Well they managed to do in 3 days what they said they'd do in 5. So I'm happy. Most of the problems are things we have no control over, so no point worrying. Plus the movers were really great, if you are ever moving a library, do get the professionals in :)
    We had a real mix of nationalities, two Chinese fellas, a Russian, a Pole and two Irish lads.

  3. Mal says:

    Actually it was strangely fascinating, Fence, even if I had to read parts of it four or five times to understand it.

  4. Fence says:

    I'm not sure if that is a compliment or not Mal ;) I write my blog posts just as I'd say them. And rarely reread them, so I suppose on very rare occasions they might not make the most sense. But thats the way I likes it.

    And let me tell you, moving is bloody tiring. 'Specially when you end up walking between two buildings. They may only be 10 minutes apart, but do that a few times and you'll know all about it.

  5. Well, if you want a library-leak type horror story, here's one.

    The library where my mum works on sundays had just been relocated to a newbuilt building with flats above it. Only they hadn't done the plumbing right, so a couple of weeks later the whole library was flood with sewage, and I really do mean sewage. Yes, eww. Most of the books were apparently okay though.

  6. Fence says:

    Eeewwww is right. Double, or possibly even triple eewww in fact.

    Glad the books are okay though.

  7. James says:

    Do you host this website in the library? I noticed that it was down while you were moving. And on a completely unrelated note, are siamese cats brought into the library once a week to check for mice? Its something I came across 15 years ago and have been wondering ever since if its common practice in libraries :)

  8. Nome says:

    Love the new look, Fence. Who's the gal on the top left?

  9. Most public libraries are full of shit, anyway.

    Fence, I meant the intricacies of why your books were out of order was complex (to me anyway), not that your writing was unclear.

  10. melissabee says:

    Sounds like a case of occupational hazard. Very exciting. :)

    I've moved home, ya know… come drop by!

  11. NineMoons says:

    How come it never goes smooth?

    Sounds all a bit horrific to me but glad you survived. Movers should be tipped 10% of the cost of replacing the items they broke.

    Good thing I didn't guilt you into coming out last night – Beloved came all the way from Drawda and I flaked out and left at half-nine!! I probably could have survived another while but work peeps decided to move locations and it was all too much hassle. But it was fun, although Beloved did get asked in a bright, interested way by the girl who was leaving, "So are you always this incredibly quiet?" Argh. She had had a few cocktails but the poor fella had only arrived in sober five minutes before, they were all about three or four drinks on and were in mid-flow telling the new girl about her boss. My poor Boo. He looked wonderfully handsome though, and that's the main thing. ;-)

    I'm relishing the not studying :-) and am planning on a bit of an old shopping spree this afternoon. Ever muscle in my shoulders aches – guess I've been tensing them for so long it's weird for them to relax!

    Kino on Tuesday or Wednesday probably. Can't believe I have to go back to work on Monday. Was in yesterday before the drinks and have the sinking feeling that Shmoozy McNetwork is going to be working me to the bone from now on. Erk.

    Feeling a bit more confident about exams now – or at least, not so scared. :-D

  12. Nome says:

    Grrr….my last comment didn't get posted. Quel drag.

    I just wanted to say that I love your new look. Quite beautiful. Who's the gal in the top left corner?

  13. Fence says:

    Well he coulda just answered "yes, are you always this chatty?" :)

    Glad you had a good time, I probly should've hung around in town, but after getting home I got too settled to want to go out again.

  14. Mal says:

    I want to see does this gravy tar work…

  15. Fence says:

    It does, I just commented about it in the rugby post. Nice.

    And I see that the Good Girl's is showing up too. Cool.