I may be a bit glib about all the ease of my work life. All this talk of constant latte breaks, and the pleasant leisure reading, the exhaustive idle chats with witty co-workers, and being regaled with song and story by dazzling and ancient codgers at the front desk might give you the idea that it's a party all the time at the library. "I want to work where it's a party!" you may or may not cry out depending on your disposition. And if you look into one of our many career guidance books, for example Good Careers For People Who Want To Party All the Time, you will find Library Clerk featured prominently there, along with Pop Star, Talk Show Host, and Museum Curator.
But parties are hard work too, especially when you have to shelve and look busy during them. And nowhere are my harder feelings about this more evident than in my approach to the core of my work week. Every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I work for something very close to constantly! It is three days with a lot of partying! I prepare for these work days like I am about to undertake a fearsome wilderness expedition, or like I'm infiltrating enemy territory, or perhaps going in to the hospital for surgery. I prepare. I rest up. I sort my equipment into piles. I go through the stages of grief. I deny that I have to go. I get angry. I make bargains, I grow depressed. And I do, yes, in the end, grudgingly, accept my going to work. I say sad and painful farewells to my loved one. With heavy bags of books to return and multiple bags of carefully prepared foods; the aioli, the tempeh, the kale, the apricot oatmeal pecan cookies, the milk and coffee, the cashews, the root vegetable kinpira, the sliced onions, I leave my beloved life behind for the library.
And there I party. All the time.