training week (the rest of it)

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Saturday, October 20, 2007
I promise I will shut up about the library stuff soon.

Sunday: Last day volunteering at my beloved local library branch. Am filled with such sentimental good spirits that I must admit I'm no good at maintaining a nemesis. Volunteer Nemesis #2 turns out to be (as I had been increasingly aware, but trying to suppress) a decent guy. We bonded over the alphabetical ineptitude of the new people.

Monday: first day of training. See last blog post. What I did not mention was the minor, mostly interior hissy fit I had when they gave out the branch assignments for the end of the week. They SPECIFICALLY would not let me train a day at my branch. (Oh, the injustice!) There are names for all the different library size categories which I cannot remember, but basically everyone trained one day at central, one day at a busy branch and one day at a smaller neighborhood library.

Tuesday: more of the same, although information is starting to get increasingly esoteric and worrisome. Will I ever remember HALF of this? upside: learned of the library ghost AND that the place I had lunch not only used to be a funeral parlor, but also hosted proms and weddings. You've got to admire that kind of circle of life multi-purpose mixed-use.

Wednesday: My day at the busy branch that is not my branch. My trainer was really nice and Right There for any and all questions I had. She was admittedly "old school" (I think people maybe need to stop saying this) and did some things in a rather... idiosyncratic way, but she was the first to acknowledge that this was just the way she liked to do them and that other ways were also fine. Other people there were nice if I asked them something directly, but otherwise ignored me. Since this is probably what I would do as well, I really can't fault anyone.

Thursday: Central! Apparently, Central is one of those love it or hate it locations. I loved it. I miss working downtown and the building is seriously wonderful. (WONDERFUL!) I was there the same day as one of my fellow Mon./Tues. trainees; even though we didn't work the same schedule, it was nice to know there was someone else going through the same process at the same time. We got a fantastic tour of the building first thing. I have now seen the holy grail serious library users: the closed stacks -- basement and sub basement both. There is a dumbwaiter! I'm disappointed to find out that there's no pneumatic tube system; requests for materials are instead faxed to the stacks. But I guess you can't have everything. After the tour, we started working on the desk or in the workroom -- everyone switches every hour. Labor is divided very differently here than in the branches: circulation staff is its own little army, as is paging, as is reference, etc, etc. There was someone different assigned to be my minder every hour, and all of them (but one) were incredibly patient. I must note again that I am a terrible judge of some things -- one of the people I thought was barely tolerating my presence in the workroom was so sweet and helpful when shepherding me on the desk later in the day -- a good reminder that many people who do this work are the same kind of people-liking introvert that I am. Friendly, eventually.

Thursday night: My sister and I meet up with Martina in Beaverton to see Crazy Aunt Purl's reading at the Cedar Hills Powell's. There were some complications meeting up (my fault), but it all worked out! CAP was funny, just like her blog -- there were lots of people knitting in the audience and she talked about her cats and her zucchini and how much fun she was having touring the pacific northwest. (My bullshit detector found this to be a sincere sentiment.) Powell's evidently didn't get their full order of her books, which must have been disappointing. I think they sold all the copies they had. We weren't having anything signed, so we ended up hanging out in another section of the store after the reading, laughing our fool heads off about some dumb thing or another. (I believe the uncontrollable laughter started when we thought about how our conversation might sound to the uninitiated. Especially, for some reason, the phrase "curly garfunkle," which made TOTAL SENSE in the context of our discussion, but might have sounded a little strange without the benefit of 20 years of conversational shorthand. Whatever it was we laughed and laughed and laughed.)

Friday: Small Neighborhood Library: This started out SO BADLY, but was okay (not great) by the end of the day. My basic thoughts for this branch: if you don't want to have trainees, don't tell human resources that you'll take them! Each person individually was fine, but as a whole it was a mess. The person I was supposed to be shadowing seemed like she'd rather be doing anything else. It all worked out by the afternoon (I think there were some interpersonal issues going on that had nothing to do with me). I made a couple of mistakes on the desk that I recognized just after I made them, but I think nothing TOO major.

Saturday: SLEEP, how I missed you! Nothing new job related going on today.... but I did go to roller derby, which I hope to write up soon.

This was a busy week for me -- so much new information thrown in with all these new people. It's a new job, and by its very nature (substituting at many locations) I'll be the new girl for quite a while. Honestly, that's probably all kinds of good and character building for me, but right now it makes me incredibly tired. I expect it will all settle and sort itself soon. I think the biggest challenge will be figuring out how to manage my time so I can do the things I want to do. I know it's possible, I just have to be smart about it. (note to self: be smarter! but first, sleep.)
3 comments on "training week (the rest of it)"
  1. Although you are exhausted I must say that I am all kinds of happy for you. I think that I agree with the whole old school thing. It bothers me in the same way that 24/7 bothers me. It just feels lazy, I guess. Who knows? I am still trying to win those Billy Joel tickets for you, but if I can get my hands on some Hannah Montana tickets I will be selling those. Sorry.

  2. Thanks, BBD! I think I'm happy for me, too!

    I would be selling the Hanna Montana tickets too! I can't even believe how much they're going for. I suspect some sort of Billy Ray Cyrus conspiracy. wait a minute... Billy Joel, Billy Ray Cyrus... I am SUSPICIOUS. Are Mr. Joel and Ms. Montana playing on the same night? Are they perhaps the same person? The questions never end!

  3. If Hannah and Billy are the same person, well...she aged extremely poorly, or he has a great makeover team. Either way it would be creepy. I know when I have started a new job that I wanted I still felt weird about the whole thing. I am change resistant to the extreme. Just ask LG.


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