Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New people

To work broadly off of a line from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel:  In the end I like everyone I work with. If I don't like them it isn't the end.

At any give time I do like almost everyone I work with. For the paltry few that I don't like I eventually work around to a fascination at their ineptitude. Their irritating qualities become an almost reassuring touchstone. I come to partly enjoy their bizarre role in the identity of my workplace. And when they leave, and everybody leaves, eventually, somehow all of that has turned into some strange thread of affection, woven through my heart in the great fulcrum of time. If work is full of anything, it is full of time.

We have had several new people start working here at my library in the past month or so. My understanding is that the long view can give one wisdom, and after more than two decades of working where I do I have some piece of that wisdom. But long history is dangerous in its clarity as well. The new people come. I barely even know them yet. At this point they are little more than irritating to me. No, I don't like most of them yet. But still, I look over at them, pushing along a cart of books, and I think "One day you too will break my heart."

Years from now that new person will leave and someone will replace them, and they will break my heart too.

So I'd better get working on my liking; the days for it are ever numbered.


  1. shelvers are the hardest. you get to like the good ones, and you train them with a look to the future. "the library could be a career for you!' but they figure out, rightly so, that their dreams are elsewhere.
    luckily, a lot of them come back and let you know how it all worked out.... :)

    1. That's nice that a lot of them come back to let you know. At this point we only have a small coterie of pure shelvers and these are student workers. They do sometimes come back, which is nice, usually during their college years, but by the time they're old enough for us to see how they fully turned out they've forgotten us.


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