We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Waits and measures

Mary's been told to come up with stock procurement costs so she's going about it in our usual way: including as much as possible that could make us under-perform in an over-zealous effort not to look as if we're fiddling the figures. So far the costs include:

  • Acquisitions staff salaries, including those of the two posts that have been vacant for more than a year-and-a-half; and Jimmy Huddersfield's post which has been vacant for eight months;

  • The cost of the furniture and equipment;

  • The maintenance costs of the ordering software;

  • Stationery costs;

  • The cost of having librarians and other staff choosing books for stock.

So far so justifiable. The point at which I departed from the exercise was when she had Seth measuring the floor space used by the section. Why? So that she could work out how much of the service charge we pay the shopping centre to include in the costs: if it's x% of the library's floor area then it's x% of the service charge.

"Why not include a proportion of the Chief Executive's salary?" I asked.

There was some quibbling as to whether or not to include the floor area used by the half of the double-sided bookshelves holding the donations that need to be looked at by the non-existant Stock Librarian. The crowning glory came when she instructed Seth to measure half of the office I used to share with Jimmy. This involved him stretching a tape measure across the office umpteen times until Mary was finally convinced that they were measuring the correct area.

"In what way has this office been involved in stock procurement since Jimmy's retirement?" I asked.

By this stage I was getting truculent:

"You'll need to subtract half of the pathway through the section that I use for egress from my office," I pointed out.

"We don't need that sort of detail," replied Mary.