Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Holidays...and other ramblings

Is it just me, or does mandatory fun seem to increase exponentially the closer we get to Christmas??

If I have to go to one more tea, coffee, lunch, brunch, reception, party, event or bbq (or plan one more!!!) I may scream. It probably just seems worse because not only are there are the various levels of parties to attend for Einstein, but my own obligations are in full swing.

Frankly, I loathe holiday parties. I know, Scrooge-y of me, but I don't care. I love Christmas, but I like staying at home, baking, decorating, etc. I hate buying useless white elephant gifts. It seems so...wasteful.

Why yes, I am that person who opts out of the secret santa/office gift exchange/whatever and makes everyone else feel gluttonous by suggesting we donate to charity instead. Sorry.

I like entertaining...but paying $$ for tickets to the squadron holiday party...not so much. I like going to people's houses for dinners, chill hanging out, etc...but not forced festivity. So sue me.

I swear, my real name is not Ebeneezer!

Thanks for the comments on the last post; I'm feeling much better about it. Mostly because I looked at pay scales for other parts of the country and remembered just how far below average the pay is here, haha. :-D

In happier holiday news, Einstein and I have all of our Advent provisions (ie, wreath and calendar) laid in. I am planning to make Chex mix and put up the tree next weekend (after my second favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, yay!!). Also, I finally managed to order my lefse (Norwegian food, can't have a holiday without it!) and it should be arriving pre-Thanksgiving.

Ooooh! An out-take from my day today!

The setting: Having lunch midday at a (library) conference, sitting with coworker: I peer into my boxed lunch (which was sadly inadequate, btw).

Me: Hmmm...salad, chips, fork...*roots around* WHERE IS THE COOKIE??
Coworker: What? You don't have a cookie?? Wait, *I* don't have a cookie, EITHER!
Me (looking around at other's lunches with a growing sense of foreboding): I don't think anyone has a cookie.
Coworker: No way. Did they not realize this was a library conference??
Me: There had better be cookies during the afternoon breakout, or I am pulling ALA membership cards and taking names.

Thankfully, we emerged at the middle of the afternoon session to find trays of brownies and cookies. It was close, though. Because no way would my boss have given me my professional development credits for a conference without cookies. They are mandatory at any event involving librarians.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Somehow this time of year always manages to depress me...

And by this time of year, I mean the time of year when most public libraries give out stability pay/retention bonuses/whatever they want to call it. Basically, the longer you've worked there, the more money you get. It is also the time of year when I look over the pay charts for the next year and contemplate the simple fact that I will never work in one place long enough to make decent money.

The key to being well paid as a librarian is 1) find a job in a non-public library and then 2) work there until you die or retire, whichever comes first.

I have failed on both counts.

But even public libraries pay decently if you've worked there for a few years. Unfortunately, the likelihood that I will ever work anywhere for more than three years is decidedly small. I hate always having to start at the bottom. I hate not being considered for promotions or more responsibility because I'm going to be moving on in a few years, and my employers know it. I hate feeling underpaid (and undervalued).

In the end I'm doing work that I really love, and so is Einstein. It doesn't get much better than that, even though I'll never have the earning potential of my non-nomadic colleagues.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Best Patron Interaction EVER

Earlier this week an incredibly cute child came into the library looking for Curious George books. I am a huge fan of C. George; seriously, my love knows no bounds. So I was happy to show this little guy (four years old, I'm guessing) where "George" hangs out in the library.

He was ecstatic. He couldn't believe how many Curious George books we had. His dad patiently helped him select six of them, which he then walked over to the youth desk (one book at a time) to show me. I grabbed some of the Curious George stickers I had in my office to give to him; he gave three to his dad for safekeeping and carefully applied the fourth one to his shirt. Then he turned to me, and with true devotion on his face, said:

"You turned my shirt into a Curious George shirt. Thank you!"

Then, as they walked out the door, I overheard this conversation:

Dad: These librarians sure are nice, aren't they?

Little Boy: Yeah!

Dad: Do you like the library?

Little Boy: OH YES!

And that, my friends, is why I love my job.