To all my many fans, I apologize for my extended hiatus from the blog. In the past few months, I got a second job at the library and finished working at the Acrapolis. I also had a friend from college visit for a few weeks. Of course, there was also plenty of housesitting to be done. Even as I write, I find myself looking for the latest episode of “Castle” on Hulu. Plus, I have about 75 books waiting to be read. So yes, I’ve been incredibly busy. But just for your sake, I will write a post.
My new job at the library is as a clerk. It’s at the same library where I shelve, so I work forty hours now, and my schedule is surprisingly easy to keep track of. What I have been most struck by since I began is how bitter some people get after having worked at this job for ten or fifteen years.
One of my coworkers, who has worked for the library for at least 16 years, gave me a run down over the course of a few days of the most common complaints I will get as a clerk. His favorite refrain: “You’ll get people every day who say, ‘You must love this job!’ They think we just sit here and read books all day. But people can be so stupid, and we have to put up with it. Everyone thinks they’re our boss because they pay taxes.” Why did he devote so much of his life to this job that just makes him angry and crotchety?
I can think of about four or five people off the top of my head who are equally disillusioned about working at the library. Then there are about three or four of us who find ourselves worrying about becoming those people. What I have always heard is to keep applying for jobs. Even if you think you have the job of your dreams, keep applying. You never know what might happen, or what jobs might come up. If anything, being brought down by the complaints of embittered coworkers has made me remember this advice and appreciate it. Maybe the library has good benefits, and you get paid holidays, but I will not get stuck at a job if it makes me that kind of person.
Albert Camus said, “A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.” If we spend our lives in jobs we never get any pleasure from, we won’t feel fulfilled or live life to its fullest extent. Our hearts won’t be used to their capacities. We owe it to ourselves and the people around us to seek out those simple, powerful images that open our hearts. So I will keep applying for jobs, and in the meantime, I’ll enjoy the one I have.