The case of the cold blooded co-worker
Well, if the rest of us hadn't already known who the Favored Employee around here is, we'd figure it out this week. One of our group has been lavished with attention--photos and videos online, a front page article in the Round Rock Leader, and parties. We see how the public adores her and how she's kept her figure sleek into middle age. Why shouldn't other City workers resent Rocksssanne?
But she's as popular with library staffers as she is with our customers. Twelve years into her employment with the City of Round Rock, she's about to turn fifteen (birthday, January 20), and she's in fine form. The fact that nobody wants to eat lunch with her doesn't mean a thing!
Rockssanne, the ideal choice for a library mascot, serves as a fine examplar of public relations. She also lends the library a bit of novelty. She even relates to our customers' interest in animals of all kinds. Every day, we answer questions and supply resources about domesticated creatures (Chicken Breeds and Care, Training the Hard-to-Train Dog), wildlife native to our area ( Texas Snakes: A Field Guide ), prehistoric beasts (The Kingfisher Dinosaur Encyclopedia), even insights into animals' perceptions and behavior (Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation or Animals Make Us Human).
Wouldn't it be nice, I thought, to interview Rocksssanne? And then I remembered: she is a snake, and I possess no Harry Potter-like translation skills. If other library staffers do, they're keeping this information to themselves. Instead, let's imagine how such a dialogue might have gone:
Me: Rocksssanne, I'm honored to have this opportunity. You're looking great, by the way.
Me: I know you have many customers to entertain, so let's just do a few quick "Inquiring minds want to know" queries, OK? A favorite activity?
Rocksssanne: I always look forward to getting out of my house for a little stretch and playtime. Jane and Andrea will hang out with me and let me explore around their desks. Naturally, I'm interested: each of them has a computer--with a mouse!
Me: Your favorite color?
Rocksssanne: I'm kind of nearsighted, and colors don't excite me that much. Smells, on the other hand...
Me: Favorite food?
Rocksssane: You don't want to know.
Me: Favorite movies?
Rocksssanne: I bet you thought I'd say Snakes on a Plane, or Python, or maybe one of the Anaconda movies. My tastes are actually eclectic. I also enjoy documentaries about very small mammals (sort of a Food Network for my kind). Also, I'm fond of classics with a lot of movement and physical comedy, like The Lady Eve. Those animated credits are a hoot, and Barbara Stanwyck sssslithers almost as well as I do.