Library Custodian: “Do you have a library staff card?”
Me: “No, I just wanted to get a little a water from the-”
Library Custodian: “THEN YOU CAN’T BE HERE TILL AFTER ONE O’CLOCK!!”
Me: “Well…. ok, then…. but…”
Library Custodian: “YOU CAN’T BE HERE!”
Seriously. I have worked as a telemarketing phoner for a charitable organisation. For more than a year, several nights a week, calling up random individuals, asking them for financial aid. I have been yelled at, called names, cursed at, damned (Ah! La maledizione!), and, as a representitive of the organisation in question, I have been accused of stealing poor innocent people’s money and spending them ruthlessly on expensive lunches. But you know what? During all this I remained polite. I never raised my voice at people. And why? Well, because it makes people uncomfortable. Because it’s rude. And because there is really no reason to – it won’t help anything.
So here’s my question: why does one so often get snapped at, even for the smallest things, by people working within customer service? Will their faces crack if they smile? What is so wrong with politeness? And isn’t politeness and polite smiles, like, part of your job when you’re in customer service? And if you feel like you can’t deliever this, politeness and good-natured directions instead of snapping and yelling, then don’t you think maybe you have the wrong job?
And yes, I’m talking to you, Library Custodian Who Was So Offended By the Sight of Me Getting a Glass of Water in a Plastic Cup That You Felt You Needed to Yell at Me Instead of Just Kindly and Quietly Setting me Straight and Telling Me Where I Might Go to Get Myself Some Water.
This approximately matches the death-stare I received from Library Custodian of Wrath. You’d think I’d, like, had nymph-sex with her husband and then gotten pregnant with his child, but I really only wanted to get myself a plastic cup and some tap water.
Oh no! Another web page has gone over to the enemy. The home page of The Royal Danish Library has a new design. They have thrown away their old beautiful design in order to do as other libraries and public institutions in Denmark have done: to put all information on the front page.
Before they had a simple design with an image from their collection of prints and about five of six clear main headlines that would lead you to more information. And now they have killed it! I really liked being welcomed by a new image every time I went there. Not a lot, just one. Now they had a jumble of text and images that makes me dizzy.
I think they do it in order to make the page more user friendly. You don’t have to peel your way into a labyrinth of pages, instead you try to find your way on the frontpage.
And I hate it. Way too much text crawling the surface, making it hard to get a quick overview.
It is an almost impossible task for a graphic designer to make it look pretty and simple when large institutions like The Royal Library want to put all their knowledge and information on one page. And even if they fill it with text it’s an illusion because you will still be led to other pages behind the front page.
The result is a collection of boxes that would make any five-year-old Lego collector envious. And a collection of boxes? Well, boxes are boxes, and it makes all the pages look rather alike.
On the top of the page they seem to like a band where all the not so sexy stuff (which you will find in the boxes) is listed. Listed and made into fold-down menus, that open and cover the boxes and makes even more visual mess.
Here are a couple of pages I use a lot but hate the look of: Library of Frederiksberg, The Royal Danish Theatre (when they went online with this I was really annoyed…but now, compared to the rest, it looks much better in my eyes. Sad, sad), All About Copenhagen. And now The Royal Library too. *Sniff*
Just in order to keep up the cosmic balance – here are some examples of beautiful and user friendly web pages: Glyptoteket, Apple, Louvre, Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Call me old-fashioned…they just work for me.
Flautist Emmanuel Pahud visited Copenhagen this week and he is absolutely pie and among the best flautists in the world.
He played Carl Nielsen’s flute concerto, and he did it with a lot of humour and very equilibristically. When the first movement was over the worst thing happened. The.worst.thing. The audience began to applaud frenetically.
Please, someone, tell me who beamed this audience down to the concert hall of the Danish radio? And from which planet? And why? You may think “well, what’s the big deal – they were just happy”. But no, that wont do. Here is a list of reasons why you shouldn’t applaud between the movements:
1. Silence is part of the music. The pause is just as important as the sound.
2. You disturb the concentration of the performers.
3. You disturb the concentration of your co-audience.
4. You destroy the atmosphere and the feeling of being inside the music.
5. You exhibit your ignorance of the rules of classical concerts.
6. The piece isn’t over. Would you applaud in the middle of a play?
7. You drag others with little experience of classical concerts with you and they will never learn the rules.
8. We will never get home if we have to applaud every time there is a pause.
In this particular case I felt even worse since it was a foreigner and a star who will now tell all his friends – “Copenhagen? Ha! I will never go there again – too damn provincial. You know what? They applauded between the movements! Can you believe that?!”
Or maybe not, but the gaze from Mr Pahud to conductor Thomas Dausgaard just wanted me to make the whole bunch of idiots incinerate instantly and leave the concert hall to the rest of us. So embarrassing.
After the Nielsen and Shostakovitj’s 4th symphony (which shook me a lot) there was a bonus concert with Mr Pahud and a harpist. Unfortunately I had to go after the first piece, but that was unforgettable. Total darkness and just a flautist standing in a spotlight playing something very strange and very short. He moved the borders of how to play the flute by wringing out sounds that I have never heard. The piece was by Heinz Holliger: “Sonata (in)solit(air)e”, from 1995-96.
After the first movement Pahud continued with the first movement of Bach’s partita in A minor (BWV 1013) and after that another movement of Holliger, then the second movement of the partita etc. And it was amazingly beautiful. One of the the movements by Holliger was even funny when Mr Pahud slowly went down to a pianissimo and then less and less while fixing his eye at a female member of the audience holding the flute with one hand and letting the other lie softly on top of it by his cheek slowly pointing flirtingly at the girl. Pie! It made me so happy all of it and the audience can go to hell since music of such high quality will always win. But so sad that they had to shake my good feeling by applauding after every Bach movement.
Emmanuel Pahud – such a flirt.
Today I went to the library and picked up the score for the partita. It’s playable. And with Emmanuel Pahud in my ears maybe, maybe, maybe I can get a tiny little bit of that sound out of my own instrument. Well, at least he’s an inspiration. Sigh.
Inspired by Marie I went to Quizilla to see if I could find some interesting quiz about opera. But no…all I got was dozens of “Which character in Phantom of the Opera are you?”. And as we all know Phantom of the Opera (and musicals in general) has NOTHING to do with opera. Grrr! Just to prove my point (which is that an opera lover should know nothing about Phantom of the Opera) I took one of the quizzes: The “Are you a true Phantom of the Opera fan?”-quiz. I am happy to announce that I got this result:
“Okay, people rarely get this message from me… but:
…I think you know absolutely positively nothing. You don’t know the true story of what it truly is and you only saw the movie, which was awesome, but your a poser of a fanatic. I despise you. please rate
0 other people got this result!
This quiz has been taken 113 times.
0% of people had this result.”
I’m intrigued by the“please rate” at the end of the frase, and of course also by the “poser of a fanatic”. I have actually never posed to be a fanatic. Least of all of that kind of rubbish.
I must admit that I saw the movie. I did! *sobs*. And I hated it. I had hoped for some dark interesting hero and all I got was the thinnest story I have ever heard. Get a grip of your selves all you Phantom freaks!
End of rant.
Dear Two Men Who Stole my Wallet at Nørreport Station Yesterday,
I salute you. No, really. No, really. I think you guys are awesome. I mean, just think about it. Single-handedly, two grown men, you guys managed to sneak the wallet out of a single young woman’s cheap pleather bag. Just like that! And the way that one of you blocked my way when I tried to get on that train, thus distracting me while that other one of you got hold of my wallet? Brilliant! Very, very sophisticated! I mean, wow… just, wow. That’s teamwork! That’s working together as a group! And seriously, as regards boldness, as regards bravery, it’s right up there with those 30 courtiers who kidnapped that little 15-year-old girl in Rigoletto. In fact, are you guys in the same union? I bet you are! That is so cool. I bet your union is called CCU (Criminal Cowards United), and I bet you’ve got this really neat slogan, like, “Don’t let people screw you over – that’s your job!”.
Blasé cynics might argue that it was somewhat stupid of you to try to press my security code at an automat so many times that the card was automatically blocked, but really; how were you supposed to know that that’s not the best way to go about breaking a code – pressing random numbers? There was really no way you could know that. I still say you guys did a great job and have reason to be proud of yourselves. You rawk.
In fact, what are your MSN IDs? ‘Cause I’d love to add you to my contacts. I’d love to discuss all kinds of things with you. Like, how you spent my 100 kroner bill and all! That would be so cool to know. Like, I was going to spend it on something like food or maybe medicine for my incurably sick hand, but I’ll bet you guys made much better use of it! E-mail me!