In January of 2006, the public school teachers in British Columbia went on strike. Only for a couple of weeks, but they went back to work having done something extraordinary. Normally when provincial or municipal employees strike, the salary and benefits not paid out during the strike go back into the government pot. One of the conditions of the B.C. settlement was that all the money saved on salaries/benefits was to be granted to the schools for the purchase of educational resources. The total came to approximately fifty-six million dollars and every school in the province got a piece of it. They were all required to submit proposals for spending the funds ... for computers, audio-visual equipment, globes, physical education equipment ... all those things that had been on wish lists for ages, but just weren't affordable. And books for libraries. Hundreds and thousands of books for libraries. For some of the librarians, it's the first time they've had more than a pittance of book money in years (the B.C. economy has been in bad shape for years, and many of the schools have had no funds beyond the most basic of basics for a long time).
The catch? All the money has to spent by March 31, 2006. At that point, the provincial government has the right to grab it back. Sooo ... not only have we had a MASSIVE influx of business (the G.M. figured that about 10% of the funds would be coming our way and that was probably very accurate figuring), but it's a MASSIVE influx with a tight deadline. Many people, myself included, have been working late during the week and on Saturdays, so that we can ensure that all orders flagged as being B.C. grant money are processed and out as fast as possible. Along with maintaining regular orders so that our non-B.C.-school customers don't get cranky with us. FunFunFun! :p
Ah well, it'll soon be over.
Oh, and before I forget: a happy SQUEEE!!! moment for all you lovers of intelligent science fiction viewing who may not have come across this yet ... Alien Nation: the series is out on DVD!!!!! Seeing this has greatly increased my optimism that Max Headroom on disk may be only twenty minutes into our future. :-)
P.S. I'm particularly excited about Alien Nation because I never got to see several of the episodes (as much as the final third of the series) ... it didn't begin to air in Canada until the U.S. was in reruns, and it disappeared from our screens mid-series the moment that Fox announced its cancellation.
This is gonna be FUN!