Sunday, May 15, 2016
How it used to be
Last night one of my newer, but not totally new, co-workers said she didn't know if she liked it being so quiet, as in not busy, at the library (quiet, library, do you think it's still 1955?). She didn't know if she was comfortable about there being occasional times, as there have been lately, where the shelving is all caught up. It has been known to happen in the past couple of weeks where one is assigned to shelving when there is nothing to shelve. She just didn't like when there was no work. What to do?
I began telling my co-worker about my unending passion for slow times at the library, forged in the crucible of an unceasingly busy, ever understaffed library. We were like frogs in a heating pot, never leaping away as we slowly boiled to death. All these work conditions at my library now, all the free time, the chatting, the lack of pressure, this is all the afterlife for me. I am in library heaven, and as far as I'm concerned it is all payback for my years in a hell on earth, albeit a hell I didn't exactly know was happening at the time.
She said I told her this already.
I even got the impression from her that maybe I mentioned it more than once.
So I suggested she take up a library hobby. I have several library hobbies, and though they're stressful and often a lot of work, mostly because having a hobby at work is sort of illicit, and one is always having to work those hobbies at the murky edge of things, I find they really fill one's day out. Oddly these hobbies all make me better at my job in some ways, while of course they also... don't. Three of my biggest library hobbies are following Spanish soccer and the great Messi, knowing everything, and blogging. I'm not sure about recommending soccer as a hobby as it will break your heart. Knowing everything is very complicated and only suited to deeply particular personalities. But blogging is a great library hobby. Everyone should blog. You might think I would be reluctant to cede being the only blogger left on the Internet, and some years ago I might have felt like that, but I have learned that being the only blogger on the Internet
A. Confers no advantage.
B. Is something no one other than me believes to be true anyway.
C. Does not change the general cultural idea that blogs are ubiquitous, worthless, and needy.
D. Has never caused an actual person to read my blog. (Actual person: "I have heard about these blog things and would like to read one! Hmm, there is only one blog. I can't find it. I think I will watch Game of Thrones.")
E. Is just a little lonely.
It was a moot point though because I don't think my co-worker was interested in writing a blog. She's never been terribly keen on my suggestions anyway. So it's a good thing I didn't say this:
Our library is a mess. Human beings, books, detritus, pour through it at an astonishing volume. There has never been nothing to do at our library. An industrious, productive person could find a hundred useful, helpful, positive things to do even at the deadest time. If you're not up for something recreationally useful like following Messi or learning Italian or writing a blog, then go do one of those hundred hard working things everyone will appreciate you for. I'm in heaven here, and if you keep complaining I'm, I'm, well, I'm going to have to tell you how it used to be around here.