jobbing along despite the demoralization

At the desk yesterday there were two separate interesting questions. One was a woman who corralled a coworker into helping her at the computers. She’d already helped her find a computer that could do what she wanted, but the woman seemed needy of more help and dragged her away to the far computer bank. I could see them standing and talking and saw the occasional look back at the desk. When a phone call came for her it was perfectly timed so I could go rescue my coworker. I let the woman know I could help her if that wasn’t a problem.

The woman wanted to save a document to her new flash drive. Cool beans. She also wanted to talk about her theories of how the government didn’t like her and was trying to delete her work on applying for EI. I let her talk as she rooted through her belongings. I got scissors to open the flash drive packaging. We navigated to the government of Canada site and found the document she needed to fill out. Then the computer popped up a screen saying you couldn’t fill in the form and save it. You could fill it in and print it though. And thus began the explanation of how she’d filled the form out once and then it had all been wiped out so she came to the library. She was concerned that would happen again, peppering her speaking with “Woe is me” and “Isn’t that just the way it always is” kinds of statements.

So I explained how it would work on the computer she was at. She printed off a blank version of the form. She saved a blank version of the form. Then she started filling it in. I warned her that if she wasn’t done by the time the computer kicked her off to print it, otherwise all her work would disappear again.

I was on break when she came to the desk to get help printing it (which I’d hoped she wouldn’t need, as I’d showed her how to print the document when it was blank and said it would work exactly the same way). But she’d come with only 2 minutes left on her time and by the time they got back to the computer she’d been logged off and lost her data. But she would persevere. She had 30 minutes left of internet use on her card so she’d try again. This time it would be better! It wasn’t. She lost all her data again. But we’d tried our best to help her, and listened to her talk (about how her doctor was trying to kill her), so she thought us library folk were all right.

Later on in the evening a young woman came to the desk looking for videos about WalMart. One of my coworkers was helping her find the videos and said “Why are these in such different places? One’s in the 658s and the other in 382 (or whatever the specific numbers were)!” So I piped in, “The one in the 658s is about the business of WalMart, and the one in the 300s is about the social environmental whatever issues created by WalMart.” And the young woman said, “Wow, you are passionate about your job!”

“Nah, I just know a couple of things about WalMart. It comes from spending my opinion-formative years reading Adbusters.”

And it was really nice, while my coworker went off to find the actual videos this woman and I chatted about WalMart and how this business prof she has talks about the badness, and she’d never heard any of that before and was now up to researching it. Very pleasant interaction and it made me glad I work in a library, not a cheese factory.

It makes me sad how the administration’s bullshit (about what I can and can’t write on my blog on my own time, and whether I’m actually cut out to be a librarian) affects me. It shouldn’t. They’re just suits who want everyone to behave like them. But it gets to me. I hate thinking about them but I do. It saps my writing and my life in general. I wish I didn’t have to feel like shit all the time. I like being passionate about my job. I want to be, but people who’ve never worked with me think I’m a liar who shouldn’t continue in the job I’m pretty fucking good at. It sucks.

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