Thursday, November 4, 2010

Meet My Nemesis

Nemesis- one that inflicts retribution or vengeance, a formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent (

In every good story there is a villain. Newman, Lex Luthor, Green Goblin, Victoria, Valdemort, Sue Sylvester. The villain in this story is my laminator.

My laminator and I have a love-hate relationship. This laminator is possibly as old as me. I can not find any distinguishing markings to determine age. Maybe it was delivered by pony express. Yet, it refuses to die and justify the cost of purchasing another. For some teachers the only reason they come into the library is to ask for laminating service. I allow anyone to use it, but usually my helpers enjoy doing it so I let them. I take this as a positive public image generator. It promotes the library as a place where we help the teachers. When teachers come in for that I take that opportunity to build relationships and show some of the other things we offer. So, in that way I love the laminator.


Last year I received a 30 second lesson on using, maintaining and changing the roll for the laminator. After my first roll change in August it refused to come back on. I tried every outlet, every knob, button, and lever I could find. Finally I gave up and requested a work order. Unfortunately the beginning of the year is when teachers have lots of laminating requests. So with a few of my wonderful student volunteers we went across the street to use the machine at the high school in exchange for laminating film and a lesson on changing the roll (the recently laid off clerk used to change it). We spent several hours there and made several trips until the maintenance man arrived to repair mine. Much to my embarassment the tray needed to be jiggled to reset the safety switch. Voila. Back in working order. I felt like a moron. I am sure this is only the first of many more humbling experiences. So you see why I also hate this machine.

This machine is like Sue Sylvester on Glee. Just when I think I am really rocking as a librarian it is there to bring me back down to earth.

What/who is your nemesis?


  1. We have that same machine at my library. I'm new to the library so I haven't had any bad experiences with it yet...I'm going to knock on some wood now.

  2. If the laminator pictured in your post is yours, it is the same model as mine. Not only does the bottom platform have to be "jiggled" every time we use it, the original piece that went there has been replaced with one of those L tools that come with furniture you have to put together. Also, the top feeder bar is missing something on one end that holds the metal brace on and you have to place it back in there "just right" to get the thing to fit back in! So trust me, I totally understand your frustration.

  3. @Mari Make sure you jiggle every part before you give up on it.
    @ Hloy This is a pic of mine. When/if it dies I am going to recreate the machine bashing scene from Office Space and you are invited.

  4. This post had me laughing out loud! I will just admit right up front that one of the first things I did when I was hired at my current school was to move the laminator to the teacher work room. My first noble thought was the same as yours: "This will draw the teachers into the library and give me an opportunity to share other things with them." Hmmph.

    Let me just say in my defense that the laminator was RIGHT BESIDE the circ desk, and quite noisy to boot. After a couple of weeks of teachers coming in while I had classes going on, and chatting away loudly to my aide with "the beast" growling in the background, a change had to be made!

    My nemesis now is (are?) the laptop/netbook/iPod Touch carts that are stored in a locked room in the library and have to be wheeled in and out (they weigh a ton!) for teachers several times a day.

    Keep up the good fight Tamara!

    Lori June

  5. @Lori June HMM the teacher lounge. I wonder if there is room. now that is a brilliant idea. IPod touch cart sounds interesting. have you blogged about that? Would love to hear more.