Sunday, January 24, 2010

unnecessary stress

I am a librarian. I don't have a job where anyone's life is on the line. I barely have a role in anyone's future, I might make it easier for them in some small way (or more difficult) but really in the scheme of their life, my role is minimal. But life at the library has been stressful lately mainly because I work where we evaluate each other and everyone is working towards the golden ring (or noose) of tenure. We have had quite a few disagreements in this process and it has been very uncomfortable for me. I don't eat as well, sleep as well, I am tired and I don't want to do anything but veg when I get home. I thought maybe this was because this is my first experience with this process but I know other committee members have been struggling as well. It is almost over but it has really left a bad taste in my mouth. I think of escaping to a different job or a different career and then realize it doesn't much matter because all jobs have office politics that come to a head at some point or another. I just need to endure and to keep my integrity and my sanity until it is over.

I wasn't going to do an all text post again, I am sure it is boring for folks. I was going to take some pictures when I went for a walk in the park this weekend but forgot the camera. Too bad, I think I could have gotten some nice shots. So instead here is a picture of my dear departed dog, I had to put her down in mid-October. I think of her when I least expect--for instance my super called me at work on friday, something went wrong when repairing a leak in my upstairs neighbor's apartment and I needed to go home right away. It ended up being that water backed up via the sink, so not as big of a crisis as I had imagined when he called but still required two plumbers hours to fix it. But when I got the call my first thought was that if Yardley was still around she'd be in a panic. Two or three years ago my bathroom ceiling, which is no stranger to leaks, fell in and she tried to get out the bedroom window, damaging the window frame and hurting her paws in the process. And it took her days to truly calm down.


  1. I was actually thinking of becoming a librarian, but I quit library science school after half a semester. I got a glimpse of the bureaucracy and quickly realized that I was going to be trained as an administrator when all I really wanted to do was help people find a book they were looking for.

    But you are right, the fantasy of a different job conveniently leaves out the bad things that all jobs inevitably have, whatever they are. Anyway, hang in there!

    BTW, Yardley looks like she was a very sweet dog. :)

  2. Yardley was extremely sweet. Thanks.

    I have worked in libraries since I finished college, the management thing deterred me for quite some time. At some point I realized I knew more than half the librarians but was getting quite a lot less in pay. Sometimes I am happy with that decision, sometimes not. I do like the pay and I also get more time off ... that helps me thru weeks like this. Well, that and a little bit of chocolate. :)

  3. I think you're right. I think it's every job.

    When I was younger, I thought that becoming a journalist meant just writing things. My favorite task,

    When I became an editor, I realized it was a life of schedules, budgets, deadlines, word counts, etc.

    We've recently gone through the process of self-evaluations and peer evaluations. A colleague described it as. Hmmm. Probably not language I will subject your blog to.

    That said, I still love my job.

  4. LOL I think I have a pretty good idea of how your colleague described it.

  5. "I barely have a role in anyone's future"
    I cannot believe a librarian would say that.
    When I was a child, it was librians as much as my English teachers who guided me in my reading, what to read; what to read next etc.
    My kids both rush to the school library first thing in the morning to drop off the previous night's books and to get new ones, to chat to the librarian, read to her in Chinese (my daughter, as she can't do that with me).

    I don't know if you're in a school library or not, but maybe you should think about it ...

  6. Welcome gweipo.

    I am a cataloger in an academic institution and catalogers tend to be isolated from the people they are serving. To get away from my desk and see who I am serving I volunteer to teach bibliographic instruction and sit at the Reference desk. I can only do that so much because the work at my desk piles up rather quickly.

    Catalogers do a great service but it is mostly unseen and underappreciated even by the institutions we work in. We hear complaints, not praise.

  7. Hi Diana -- I can't speak for your job. (You're right. Until this second, I had no idea what cataloguers were).
    But the librarians in my small-town American public library encouraged me to read as much as any teacher.
    Too bad I now live in a giant city, without that kind of small library culture.