Even before getting dressed this morning, I knew it'd be a bad day. My first tip off was that the ground outside was white. Yep, that's right, only October 18th and Zion has snow on her stones. I'm pretty sure I want my money back, Brother Brigham. So, after realizing that this mean that people on the freeway would drive like idiots, I gave into the fact that I'd be late to work. I mean, seriously, if it's not currently snowing, why do you have to go 40 mph? Why?

Alright, so strike one. Strike two was getting to work and realizing, holy crap, I have nothing to do today. These days are never good. If I don't have some silly little project I'm working on (printing shelf labels, reorganizing my collection, typing up minutes from a meeting), the day is interminable. Fortuantely, I did get a little respite at 10 when two boxes of books showed up. So, I got to unload those. But afterwards, I just couldn't pull it together to get anything else done.

Looking back on the last nine hours, it's pretty clear I don't deserve the money I'm being paid. However, at the same time, I don't really get why I'm here at all. My job could (essentially) be done by someone coming in somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 hours a week. Hell, a trained chimp could do most of what I do (I mean, the selection of books'd be sort of tricky, but teach him to type and we'd be good to go).

My job, it turns out, is not as thrilling as it sounds on paper. People keep telling me this is a librarian's dream, building a library from scratch. Oddly enough, it's not really my dream. I became a librarian because... Actually, I don't really know how to finish that statement. I think part of it was fear that I couldn't hack real grad school and after that, a general sense that I wouldn't be hired in a market as competitive as academia (though, my track record on applying for library jobs may indicate that my unemployability is systemic and not context-specific). But, fear of failure aside, I became a librarian for the lame reason that I actually like to help people. I really do. I get off on doing reference interviews, on connecting people with information, on knowing not only how ISBNs work, but that you can search in the library catalogue on them using MARC tags. Oh, and being able to say things like, "Well, we'll just see what Ulrich's has to say about that, EBSCO."

More pressingly, I actually enjoy working with people. At my current job, I'm holed up in a library all by myself (though, I do have an underling now). This means very little interaction with anyone else. I'm not a fan, I'll be honest. Even if I were a drone in some technical processing area, I'd have others around me to talk to and complain with. I feel a bit like I've been banished. Or that I was never really wanted in the first place, but was hired out of a sense of obligation.

I'm starting to regret taking the job just a wee bit. But, I think we'll soldier through and stick to the original plan: staying here until I'm debt-free and then going to rack up some more costs getting a frivilous degree. Either that or, you know, dying.


librarianite said...

Well you could always come work in Canada. You could fill the upcoming mat leave of our public services librarian in March.

You'd be in charge of our portion of the Ask a question service and get to tackle all sorts of fun public services projects.

If public services doesn't suit there is always the manager of bibliographic services position.

Although, you'd have to live in Elk Point. But with your new car its a short 2 hour drive to the city.

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