Nine to Five

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The nice thing about having six consecutive weeks of vacation (or unemployment if you want to get technical) is six weeks of vacation. Six glorious weeks. Days filled with lounging, eating, museum hopping, Instagramming, visiting family, and writing. Days that make you want to pursue dreams of opening up a pop-up restaurant and writing a novel in the Italian countryside. Sadly, those days have a habit of evaporating before the sun rises. 

Now that I'm back to working full time I'm faced with the reality of six months with no vacation. Sad face. I guess when you consider the sagging economy and for-reals-unemployment and underemployment my situation is hardly one to bemoan. Yeah, yeah, yeah. (Don't get me started on the fact that I no longer have 22 holidays a year. What, you mean everyone doesn't celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception?) But I digress. 

Back to my job. When it became a reality that we would be moving I applied to various academic institutions. I had the qualifications and felt confident I'd find something in no time. Except no time turned into a long time. I revamped my cover letter and checked job boards like a crazy lady. Nothing. Finally, I turned to the Internets and had a Midwest colleague post something on Facebook. One poster suggested I check a web site I had not previously been aware of. The pickings were slim, but the position that stood out the most to me I didn't feel qualified for. Then I thought what have I got to lose?  I had one day to apply before the closing deadline and that's just what I did. 

Fast forward a few weeks and we were in MO looking for a place to live. Somehow the stars aligned and I was able to secure a job interview the same week. It went well and I felt good about it. But then I started to panic. When they called the next day to offer me the position I was shocked. I mean I'd never worked in public libraries and here they were offering me a solid management position. I didn't argue and quickly accepted. 

I've been at my job for one week and holy toledo batman my brain is full! Learning names and policies, institutional cultures and communities takes fierce mental energy. It's good, but the adjustment phase takes time. I imagine my gray matter simply forgot all the other jobs where I've gone through a similar process. Oh that slippery memory wiring.  

After one week these are the things I like best about my new job:  
  • DVDs Galore— Seriously. I am going to have to start watching movies every. single. night. of the week. I'd forgotten what a vast collection of popular television series and blockbuster hits public libraries carry. We even have a Redbox type dispenser in the lobby for checking out the most recent "hot picks." 
  • Light— Our building was renovated just two years ago and the natural light sources are abundant. I love that the stacks are bright and the public spaces are inviting.The main stairwell skylight in just one other architectural highlight. 
  • Location—  My work is right across the street from a Harvest Market. It is open every day until Christmas. Which means I've already picked up apples, mums, cider, and a giant pumpkin. Please stop me from buying a hay bale and those decorative corn husks. (Also I am within walking distance to a Post Office, Walgreens, and two bakeries.)
  • People— The people I work with are lovely folks, unless of course you start talking politics or women's issues but I know better than that. By and large everyone has been so helpful in answering my questions. That also goes for the patrons. Gentlewoman Kate warned me that Midwest people were nice and she was right. Oddly I'm still adjusting to that, but it is such a welcome reprieve from my previous life.
Hopefully this is the beginning of a highly rewarding and intellectually fulfilling job. 


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