Last week, one of the teachers at St. Ignatius Lilo Primary School arranged for her class to visit Epiphany Library. This is routine stuff, we do it all the time. We're a library service. We encourage classes of schoolchildren. We let them borrow books. We suggest books and stories suitable for the children. We suggest books and stories suitable for the teachers and the classroom helpers. Wherever and whenever possible we try to provide a bit of value-added with a bit of a story time or some reading games. Which is why the teacher wanted to come to the library: she'd already been a few times and it had been a good thing.
Unfortunately, she wouldn't be able to come to the library herself this time but a colleague would be doing the honours.
Doubly-unfortunately we've got a few people off sick, a few on maternity leave and a few vacancies that haven't been filled, so we're struggling for staff to keep the doors open. It became horribly apparent yesterday that the staff at Epiphany Library would "only" be able to welcome the class, show them around and help them borrow as many books as they liked but that she wouldn't be able to do a story time as she'd be having to deal with the other customers as well (she's also having to do the caretaking duties but that's another can of worms). So Posy rang the school to explain the situation and to stress that while we were very happy to see them we could only give them the key deliverables. The teacher seemed OK with that and all was well.
The kids came in, were welcomed, were shown round, etc. And all went swimmingly until the final moment of the visit when the accompanying teacher turned to the Library Assistant and, instead of saying "thank you," said:
"You should have spent all your time with us instead of standing round at the counter answering 'phone calls. It's very unprofessional."
By and large we have extremely professional (small and important "p") front-line staff. Far too professional for one of them to point out that a well-paid role model's dissing someone on half her salary in front of a class of impressionable young five-year-olds isn't exactly the acme of professionalism.