John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

A post about work on my day off

We have very limited Internet access at work. We can get to our online storefront, and UPS, and the web pages of the various companies that provide our benefits, but nothing else. Which is a damn shame, because being able to run Google searches would make our jobs considerably easier. Yesterday, for example, a woman came into the store looking for two different books. One was a book that she thought had the word "Abandoned" in the title that was about a boy who turned into a cat in London. The other was a book about Mosby's Rangers by a local author named Something Carrington Smith. I poked around the database using our hignly inadequate search engine* but was unable to find any information about either title. But I took down the customer's information so I could look into it later.

So this morning I powered up the Google and searched on the phrase "abandoned boy turns into cat london." That didn't turn up anything that looked promising, so I modified it to "boy turned into cat," and about halfway down the page I found a link to an eBay auction for The Abandoned by Paul Gallico. A third search on "Paul Gallico Abandoned" proved that was the book she was looking for. It's out-of-print, but we should be able to get a used copy for her.

Turning to the other, I entered "mosby's rangers carrington smith" into the search field and found right at the top a book called Ranger Mosby by Virgil Carrington Jones. Close enough. It's also out of print, but again, used copies don't look to be hard to find.

Anyway, the point is that if I'd been able to do these searches at work I could have sold that customer two books, whereas under the current system I was able to sell her squat. I understand that the company doesn't want us wasting our time surfing the net when we should be working, but if they opened the firewall just to Google, that would still help us a lot.

* How inadequate? A keyword search on the words "halsey" and "typhoon" fails to return the recent title Halsey's Typhoon.
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