Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Cross your fingers

listening to: 'Behind Blue Eyes' by Limp Bizkit (um...no, sorry, not even remotely in the same league as The Who; it's flat and unmelodic in comparison, and it's one of my favourite all-time songs, so I took notice)
feeling: Industrious

Before my political rant I'd spent a couple hours retooling my résumé to send in my latest application, this time for a dum...dum...dum (drum-roll, please) part-time reference librarian position. After all the times I told my grandmother that they almost never come up around here. See, the great things about it is that it's in my area of expertise, it's at a time with not so many new graduates (most matriculate out in May or August, I suspect), and I could keep my current job. It also includes evenings, which, frankly is my ideal time to work...that's when I get my second wind. It pays more than I ever made at my other job, even though it's only .75 FTE. Together that would put me at about 50 hours a week (doable), about 33K a year (yipee!), and still do design work for KET as needed. It. Would. Be. So. Great. So cross your fingers, pray, send white light, whatever.

It would also be good because, I realised today, I have become bored professionally. I took my first professional position and expanded the services, the scope of the library's involvement, my professional activities in organisations, etc., etc. And yes, at times I spread myself a little thin but despite everything, even what I term my 'nervous breakdown' which nevertheless caused no permanent harm, I was the best damn librarian I could be. I know virtually every person who works in the building during the day--and they know me. I've helped most of them at some point or another. I've always believed that a hospital librarian shouldn't limited services to doctors or nurses but rather serve the needs of anyone who walks through the door.

But then my hours were cut. And I've been looking at things, and including those hours, the library funding has decreased by a significant amount due to various cutbacks that will probably take years to build back to the same level. I certainly don't expect the hours to 'magically' come back, although they always seem distressed--although understanding--of the idea that I might leave. But what's worse is that in the four hours I have in the day to work I really only have time for the most basic things...shelving, interlibrary loans, searches, and equipment assistance. I've had to cut back on the committees I serve on. I was originally slated to help teach a new computer system that we'll be getting soon, and even went through some of the preliminary training, but had to drop out because I literally am not there enough to take classes and teach them and get anything in the library taken care of.

So I miss that sense of striking out to something new. One of the greatest things about librarianship is that every day is an adventure of sorts. There's always some new question, some odd thing to find. At least I have the web design work to give me an outlet for my creative needs. Otherwise I'd probably go crazy.

My initial response to the lay-off--after that first bit of denial--even though cognitively I knew better, was a feeling that I had somehow done something wrong or not measured up. But I know that's wrong. I've done a lot and I shouldn't feel like it's not worth trying anymore just because I sort of got kicked out of the way rather than patted on the head and given a bone. And yes, I know the decisions they made were hard, so that may be unfair, but well, it's how I felt. Who wouldn't, given the same circumstances. But I bounced back pretty well, and I still love my job. I just don't feel it's challenging enough in it's pared down form.

So heaven help me, I'm thinking about turning everything up a notch with possibly 3 jobs! But it's no more than I worked when you factor in working full-time and going to school. I'm much better at self-nurturing now, so hopefully I won't let stress build up. I'm exercising and taking care of my health. And in return for a lot of hard work I could finally have some security. Both this potential job and my regular job have very good benefits, and even with the job that's a few hours a week there are perks because it's a state job and so I get paid on all sorts of holidays even when I'm nowhere near the office. :) And they each fufill a certain facet of my intellectual, creative, or altruistic yearnings and professional ambitions. That, married with good friendship and family and the love and affection of certain fuzzy creatures pretty much makes for a full, round life. And if it gets to be too much, the new part-time job alone would support me better than any job I've ever had.

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