I notice trends while at work. After you’ve seen the same thing over and over, you have enough data to formulate a theory. This applies to big things and little things.
Where it applies to the everyday is mood. I can read the emotional temperature after about twenty patrons. The mood will go on for the whole day. If people are easy to deal with in the morning, they will be easy to deal with in the afternoon and at night. If they are cranky and difficult, they will be that way all day too.
I mentioned this to a new coworker and he and I have started asking each other “How’s the weather?” when we are changing shifts at the front desk.
Some days the answer is “Sunny with a few clouds.” Sometimes the answer is “Overcast with a chance of hail.”
On Monday, it was “sharks”. People were very needy and difficult.
Now, people who are able to take care of themselves don’t come up to us. We have several self-check machines, so the average person with the average library transaction does not have to come up to us. This means we get problems all the time, by the very nature of why we are there.
The issue is the nature of the problem compounded by the temperament of the person.
Seeing so many different people with so many similar temperaments is really useful. It lets me know that my bad or good mood isn’t just mine, but it is something bigger. Perhaps it is something “in the air”.
I’ve not tried to figure out the whys and wherefores of it yet. I’m just glad to notice a trend and realize that it is not just me. There is something else affecting our moods.
Tuesday, it wasn’t “shark” so much as “goldfish”, except for the children. They were extra wound up and cranky. Really young children are usually cranky around 3:30 every afternoon. They also are cranky right before a thunderstorm.
Yes, I know sharks and goldfish have nothing to do with the weather. But the idea still works. Perhaps “How’s the water?” also works. The metaphor isn’t the issue, but the idea is.