Saturday, April 27, 2013

How a Clerk Copes, Your Guide, Part 1

Institutional Library work is truly not a bad gig if you can get it. But as one examines these library jobs, in a descending order of power, things do tend to coarsen a bit as one goes on. Down nearish the bottom, out among the proletarian clerks, one finds it can still be a good way of life, but a life also beset with both mundane and strange trials and tribulations. That is why any library clerk out there is going to need to at least dabble in coping mechanisms. Every clerk has one or two going, but a creative clerk with energy might run 9 or 10 different coping mechanisms at various times.

"Whoa," You might ask "What are these fascinating clerk coping mechanisms and where can I find out more about them?"

Well, I typed into Google "Clerk Coping Mechanisms" and did not find the results helpful. Perhaps some kind of a Library Blog explaining them would be useful. If only there were a library blog dedicated to clerks! But that's silly. Who would write a blog about library clerking? And where could you find it? I can't find it on Google. I looked. I think maybe Google is broken! I know that it is broken because there is such a blog and it is right here! Luckily you are already here, don't have to go searching hopelessly on the broken internet for such a thing, and, best of all, right here and now, I am going to introduce you to the exciting world of:

Clerk Coping Mechanisms!
(a new series because there are so many coping mechanisms!)

Our inaugural coping mechanism is: Supreme Self Confidence!

In this coping mechanism a clerk considers all that they do right and true. They are better than anyone else and they don't suffer fools gladly. They are the engine that drives the machine and others are mere auto-detailing, like pinstripes, or maybe, if you're lucky, leather seats. They will complain freely and enthusiastically about others, but don't really need your help with that. If you complain with them they give off the sense that you haven't fully earned that right as you are not, well, them, and you're just sort of lucky they are not at present complaining about you. 

Tools of the supreme self confidence coping mechanism:
1. Impatience.
2. Being really good at some parts of their job. Their ability to run with that bit of data is almost endless.
3. Energy, this takes a good deal of energy.
4. Ability to harden heart, a la Pharaoh.

What are the benefits of the supreme self confidence coping mechanism:
1. Most of us are already halfway to this one already, so there's a big head start on it.
2. Gives a delicious feeling of imperviousness. 
3. Makes the day go fast. Anger propels you forward like a rocket. 

Downfalls of leaning too heavily on the supreme self confidence coping mechanism:
1. Your co-workers can, conceivably, start to fear and loathe you.
2. You develop a strong tendency to get in trouble with your bosses, as you don't bother to hide your goofing off since you believe too firmly in its rightness and justification.
3. Megalomania, promotion, unceasing rage.

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