Staffing here in the library system I work at has become an... issue.
At all levels we have become unable to either hire new people or to retain them. And so we reduce down, ever toughened, more dense, and fewer. How strong we are in our density! Or sweet! Like maple sap we are boiled down to a thick syrup. Once we were great cauldrons of slightly flavored water, the lifeblood of trees. Now we are almost impenetrable, dense, viscous, even overwhelming.
We can flavor anything.
But I wax poetic.
We lost another library director.
This one lasted for three and half months. And it wasn't just any three and a half months, it was three and a half months of him telling us what an exciting opportunity this was for him, how thrilled he was to be here, how perfectly well-suited he was to all this, how well he fit together with everything in our library and our county.
It was three and a half months of active listening, open meetings, vows of shared purpose, and his exclaiming:
What a future we have together!
Then, yesterday morning, he came in, dashed off a short email about how he was very happy here, but he is leaving for a better opportunity. Then, according to reports, without another word he walked out the door and took a farewell vacation to Ireland.
Well, after three and a half months he really earned that.
If you know what I mean.
But it is hardly just library directors around here! Librarians and clerks are hired, show up for a single day, and then move on. Pages are employed from out of anemic pools of applicants, can't be registered because human resources has an out of order sign on it, and so find work elsewhere instead.
And so we become fewer.
What is happening!?
Here is a scenario for you:
We at the library wonder about these wild doings, these failed signings, astonished. Working with fewer and fewer people, we marvel. We cry out:
"We have become toxic here in the county!
And the very air of our library workplace is poison!"
And somewhere in the halls of County power they rub their hands together and say:
"Our plan is working!"
There may be some evil laughter involved.
But their plan is not working!
Sure, the new people come and instantly die, so to speak, overwhelmed by the radiation and clouds of toxicants. And the starry eyed dreamers leave for fresh air they do not know is gone now from a late capitalist America.
But we here who remain at the library are syrup, dark, sweet, gumming up any evil plan.
We are like master spies, carefully dosing on tiny drams of poison, building immunity in barely increasing increments, every day for years and years.
Nothing can kill us now.