Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Time marchs on, or not.

Wow, the things that happen on this job. Any given day you don't know with what you will be dealing. (See how I avoided ending that sentence with a preposition? Seems cumbersome, doesn't it? Would it offend any one if I don't bother next time?) So many times I come to work with certain things to accomplish and circumstances intervene to take me on a completely different tack. This week for instance:

I climbed up the 6' stepladder to change the 21" clock to reflect Daylight Savings Time (My opinion of DST would require an entire post) and scampered back down, put away the ladder and discovered that time was certainly passing slowly. Check that, according to our beautiful Loricron 21" French Antique Regulator timepiece it wasn't passing at all. No problem, I'd just replace the battery.

Get ladder-climb-replace battery-scamper down- put away ladder. Discover that time is still not passing.

Why doesn't she stay on the ladder until she knows if the clock is working?, you ask. Well, she's going to tell you. This particular clock has two smaller dials within the larger dial. One is a second hand and one is to be set for any time zone you desire. Those dials are working. Since the second hand is not connected to the large dial, waiting for the minute hand to move is tedious. And, she asks, who would expect a new battery not to solve the problem? Therefore:

Get ladder-climb-get clock-slowly descend- don't put away ladder, just lean against the wall.

Take clock into office and do the equivalent of kicking the little black box containing the works. Replace battery and let stand (for some reason none of the dials work if the clock is horizontal--another trial and error discovery) on a chair out of traffic. Time passes!!! Hurray!!!!

Reset ladder-climb-rehang clock-slowly descend-put away ladder.

Fast forward to a patron commenting on the quietness in the library. "Where are the school kids?" "Oh", I confidently reply, "It's a little early." The patron says "Well, it's 4:00 o'clock." Not according to the library's 21" French Antique Regulator clock - it's 2:30. (I don't think this clock likes DST, either)

Go get ladder-climb-take down clock-lumber down-lean ladder against wall.

Clean battery terminals, kick little works box (not literally, of course more like a vigorous shaking) and utter a strange combination of curse and prayer. Time refuses to march on.

Do online search to discover cost of replacement works. Looks like $11.00 for the works. But they need the measurement of the shaft, this would require taking the clock apart. I'm not going to do that.

Give up. Put away ladder. Suffer innumerable questions from patrons and staff as to the time. "Look on your computer" I tell staff. I glance at my watch to advise patrons. Go home.


I decide I will replace the large clock with a smaller one from another room so at least the time is available for everyone.

Get ladder-climb-replace 21" round clock with a 10" square one-scamper down (it's the next morning, so I'm refreshed)-put away ladder.

First patron to come in says, "Didn't you used to have a different clock? Was it bigger?"

Go get ladder-climb-take down little square clock and replace with a 12" round one-scamper down-put away ladder.

Felt this last trip was worth it, because now we could claim that the other clock just shrank. Did make sure not to use the other round clock with Roman numerals, because we have youngsters who can barely tell time with Arabic numerals.

Local Handyman stopped to look over the clock problem. I could hear him imploring: "Run". Meanwhile, I did an online search to locate this particular clock to see if repair or new purchase was the route to go. Some one was sure they had seen this very clock at Target for maybe $60. The clock has no identifying marks. Local Handyman refuses to do more than the battery trick and faux kicking.

I finally Google the name of the works and stumbled across the exact model. (that's where I got the description I quoted above). Turns out it retails at $234. Hmmmm-might just be worth fixing. Can't find a clock repair shop listed in yellow pages. Decide to query a relatively local jeweler. He thought they could do it and I trust him to be fair price wise. Now we just have to get the clock to him. Problem (which did not exist before DST) is close to solved.

I don't want you to think that all I did was climb up and down ladders for two days. I managed to do some work. Searching for local Civil War Veterans is a current project, updating our library policy and including an emergency/disaster plan and providing information for the library website. All of this is very time consuming but since Daylight Savings Time gives us an 'extra hour' it's not a problem right? More next time.

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