Bad blogger

February 28, 2007 at 11:10 pm | Posted in life, work | 5 Comments

I’ve been sort of bad at updating my blog lately. I don’t really have anything to show for myself — I’m working on a knitting project but it’s top secret, and I plan on making a couple more clamshell boxes, but that hasn’t happened yet, and I just haven’t had time to make any jewelry. Also, school, work, my practicum, my friends, and the new boy have been keeping me busy.

Oh, and I’ve started the long, tedious process of looking for a job, a real job, a professional job. To complicate that, I’m not entirely sure of what I want to do. Or rather, I know what I’d like to do (photo archivist), but I’m not convinced that I’ll find/be able to get that specific job, so it’s more a matter of discovering the best fit with what’s out there. It’s funny how few library/archives jobs I could apply to and have a reasonable chance of not being laughed out the door — most of the jobs being advertised are for librarian II or III positions or higher, or are for academic librarian positions and require things like second master’s degrees or languages, or are so technology-based that the job ads consist mostly of computer-related acronyms that I don’t understand. Finally, the public library jobs, most of which I am qualified for as they encourage entry-level candidates to apply, are just not enticing. I’ve worked in customer service at many a job and I think that working with the public — the real public, the public library public, not the specialized public of academia or an archives — is just not for me. I’d like something a little bit more intellectually challenging, a bit more personal, and a bit less babysitting-ish.

To compound the above challenges in finding a job, I also have to throw in the geographic restrictions (which exist mostly in my head, but whatever; to me, they’re real). I might be able to stay in Canada, which would be lovely, but it’s Toronto that I’d really like to continue living in cause this is where my friends are, but I’m just not seeing jobs here. Furthermore, what is the deal with the Canada-US NAFTA work visa thing? Do you need a pre-arranged job to get one or not? I’m getting conflicting information and it’s just confusing.

Then again, if I returned home, where would I work in the US? Is the job more important, or is my location? Would I be able to live in Podunk, USA, for two years if it meant having a great job? What if having that great job meant not having close friends, or living in a stiflingly conservative community? Would I be able to live in Awesome City, USA, if I had to work at Borders? Why are there tons of jobs in Florida, and should I even bother applying since I know I hate that state and have no desire to live there?

Last week, my roommate and my father were sort of getting on my case — albeit gently — about what my upcoming plans are, what I’ll be doing for the summer, when my parents can visit me here, etc., and I was just like, ‘Oh my God. I have no idea.’ I cannot have that conversation, people, especially with those who “just want to know.” I can talk to Heather, who is similarly freaking out, and Alli, whose reassurance is always nice to hear; in short, I can talk to others in my program who are experiencing the same fears that I am over all of this. But to those of you who aren’t involved, who don’t understand what this is all about? I love you, but back off. I’m working on it, and it’ll sort itself out when it does, but until then don’t bug me, cause there’s nothing I can do about it.

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Take this job and shove it

November 5, 2006 at 12:03 am | Posted in life, work | 4 Comments

Yesterday, a friend (who shall remain nameless unless she wants her name published, in which case I can edit) and I had a long conversation about library jobs and places in which we would consider living. For those of us about to graduate from library school, I think we can all appreciate the sentiments contained within:

Me: So, I’m looking on Library Jobs, mainly just to see what’s out there. Clearly, there are many, many director positions that need to be filled; I think it’s safe to say that we qualify for approximately zero of these. Because I haven’t decided whether I would actually like to be a young adult librarian, I am reading those job descriptions plus reference and other librarian positions. But I don’t really WANT to do reference. I don’t think I’d be that good at it, unless it was in some sort of specialized context.
Ugh. This is making me depressed.

Nameless Friend: Well, I just want to be a special librarian, and it is pretty safe to
say that I am not qualified for any of those jobs…wait, except for
the one I applied to last week that hasn’t called me back yet. Talk
about depressed.

I look at job sites every day and never ever see anything I could do
in a place I would be willing to live (I admit, I don’t even look at
the ones in places like Ohio or Arkansas).

Yes, library jobs=depressed.
Also,
Business class = depressed.

Me: Library jobs = depressed
All classes = depressed
Graduating in six months with not enough experience to get jobs = depressed
The sheer number of library jobs available in Miami the place I hate more than any other place on earth = depressed

NF: Well, we’re just fucked then, aren’t we? Why don’t they tell us this
on the first day of school? ‘Don’t fool yourselves. You will not get
jobs. Unless they are in Miami or Arkansas.’

Did we already talk about whether you would live in Nashville or not?
I think I might.

And, we are graduating in less than six months. 5.5 to be more exact.

Me: Um, Nashville? No. I just don’t think I could bring myself to do it. Isn’t Nashville like the home of country music? I fucking hate country music. Here are the non-desirable places that I would live in if I was forced to:
1. The research triangle in NC
2. DC
3. Any small town in New England
4. Most small towns in the Pacific Northwest
5. Possibly St. Augustine, FL or maybe whatever town New College of South Florida (I’m not sure if that’s the name) is in
6. Austin, TX
7. New Orleans, LA (but I would have to think long and hard about it)

Here is a list of places that I won’t even apply to:
1. Miami, FL
2. Miami-Dade County, FL
3. Ft. Lauderdale, FL
4. Broward County, FL
5. Anywhere in the panhandle, FL
6. Orlando, FL
7. Mississippi
8. Alabama
9. Arkansas
10. Kentucky
11.Southern California
12. North Dakota
13. South Dakota
14. Houston, TX
15. Dallas, TX
16. San Antonio, TX
17. Anywhere outside of Atlanta, GA, or Savannah, GA
18. Possibly Atlanta, GA
19. The rest of NC
20. All of SC, except for Charleston

The moral of the story? It turns out I’m not so geographically flexible.

NF: Ok, the non-desirable places I would live in if forced to:
1.Nashville (I like old-school country and it is very pretty there)
2.Los Angeles (kills my soul, but I have wonderful friends
there…remember, this is the forced to list)
3. DC
4. NY
5. New Mexico
6. Small town New England
7. Boston

Places I will happily move to:
1. Portland
2. Seattle or Olympia
3. Santa Cruz
4. SF Bay Area
5. Vancouver
6. Stay in Toronto
7. Austin, TX
8. Cool European city

In that order.

I am competely geographically unflexible. Because really after number
4 on my list, I am a lot less happy. You know what this means? We
are going to be horribly underemployed and unhappy.

I like how you were able to break Florida into several parts you would
not live in, whereas I would just say: Florida.

Me: Places I would gladly live:
1. Toronto
2. Portland
3. Seattle
4. Bay Area
5*. Vancouver
6. Kansas City, MO
7. Chicago
8. Savannah, GA
9. Charleston, SC

* = After this number, my desire to live in these places drops considerably.

I wouldn’t live in Olympia. I’ve only been there twice but it was soooo small. And, really, Evergreen is the most ridiculous excuse for a school. Seriously, there were students living in the goddamn woods. Like, get a job, hippie! Although it is gorgeous. So MAYBE I’d consider it. Consider. I’ve only been to St. Augustine twice but I really liked it, and if I was forced to live in FL, that’s probably the only place I would realistically consider.

So, yeah, this is my future: underemployed in Portland or fully employed in Miami. Which would be less likely to kill me? I think it’s safe to say the former. Which means that I will NEVER make any money and will be forced to have roommates for the rest of my life.

NF: I think that living unemployed in Portland would be way better than
fully employed in Miami. Plus, you probably woudn’t be unemployed.
You would just be underemployed working in a bookstore. Plus, if you
sold some of your crafts I am sure you could live alone in a studio.
There is always the option of getting married and staying (unemployed)
in Toronto.

So there you have it, folks. My options are to grab the first Canadian I see (either gender!) and get hitched down at city hall, or live in a stinking cesspit of a city somewhere in Nowhere, USA.

The quarter-life crisis

November 3, 2006 at 7:48 pm | Posted in life, school, work | 2 Comments

Whoever said that being in your mid-twenties was the best time of your life was seriously mistaken.  Yeah, it can be fun–we can stay out all night drinking and still make it to work on time; we are young and healthy and look as good as we ever will.  We are too old to be completely irresponsible and too young to be tied down.  Generally, we don’t have spouses or kids, mortgages (most of us still have roommates), or even real careers.  Some of us love the freedom that comes with no responsibilities; others of us find it annoying or terrifying.

Guess which one I am?  It’s not that I’m looking to get married or have kids; indeed, I finally realized that maybe I’m not even looking for a serious relationship right now, or if I am, it’s going to have to develop slowly.  However, I don’t really appreciate the uncertainty that this stage of life brings.  I hate not knowing where I will be living next year.  I hate not knowing which direction I want to take with this degree.  I hate having been through the move-to-new-city-make-new-friends song and dance several times, with more to come (most likely).

When I was younger, in middle and high school, I looked at twentysomethings with careers as boring and staid.  I know people who still see things through that lens.  However, I have long since realized that I will never be one of those people who wants to backpack through [insert name of Latin American, European, or Asian country here] for six months, then come home and work at some crappy job for a while before taking off again.  I want my working life to have some actual meaning to it, and I don’t think that is possible to achieve by flitting around the world at random.  I want to travel, for sure, but how can you afford to travel without having a real job?

Unfortunately, most of my interests and abilities don’t really parlay into actual careers.  Knitting and spinning?  Not likely.  Photography?  Possible, but given the nature of my personality and the fact that I wouldn’t make a very good self-employed businesswoman, not likely either.  I am terrrrrrible at math and science, despite having a keen interest in epidemiology.  I am, in theory, interested in history, but my mind just doesn’t seem to be interesting in retaining facts and dates.  The only parts of my academic and extracurricular careers that seemed at all lucrative were my interests in books, reading, and writing.  So archives and library science it was.  Which is fine.  However, there are sooo many different paths within library science, and I still haven’t decided on one.  Nothing has presented itself as a particularly attractive option, though I’ve been able to rule out the following: law librarian, gov docs librarian, any kind of digital services librarian.  That still leaves about a billion options, and as my schedule for next term isn’t solidified yet, I have some decisions to make.

To make this matter worse, I’ve been looking at job postings online (thanks a lot, Heather, for the inspiration to pursue that particular avenue of self-doubt), and I have no remote idea what in the hell I want to do with this degree.

Thus, I am having a quarter life crisis.

The blind leading the blind

October 27, 2006 at 12:04 pm | Posted in work | Leave a comment

The full-time staff at my workplace (and by full-time I mean responsible enough to not go out drinking/hooking up last night) are away on a retreat all day. I’m manning the desk until 1, at which point M___* shows up to relieve me. Having just seen M___, who looks like something the cat that swallowed the canary just dragged in, and being me, who, while I might look a little less rough around the edges, still feels the way he looks, I can safely say two things:
1. No work will be done around here today, and
2. If anything goes wrong–anything, even if a computer so much as freezes–this entire place is fucked.

*For anyone who even remotely knows who I work with, it is not the least bit difficult to determine who this is.

An ode to productivity

October 13, 2006 at 11:58 am | Posted in work | Leave a comment

Time spent at work: 1 hour, 52 minutes
Crappy coffees consumed: 1
Bags of delicious chips consumed: 1
Number of times checked email: 25
Number of celebrity gossip blogs read: 4
Different kinds of new birth control pills investigated online: 1
Number of times Googled self: 1
Number of times Googled date from last night: 1

PC Load Letter

October 5, 2006 at 2:15 pm | Posted in work | Leave a comment

I’m just going to go out on a limb here and assume that everyone is familiar with Office Space. After all, it’s only one of the greatest movies of our time. I guess if you’ve never worked in an office or in food service you wouldn’t really get it, but for the rest of us who’ve had nothing but office and food service jobs, it’s a goldmine of humor. I think one of the most memorable “characters” in that movie is the piece-of-shit fax machine that constantly gives the Initech employees hell. The fax relentlessly gives random error messages, pissing off Mike Bolton to no end (“PC load letter? What the fuck is PC load letter?”). Remember the scene in which Michael, Samir, and Peter steal the fax, take it to a field, a beat it senseless?

I would LOVE to do that to the photocopiers at work.

I seriously HATE those machines. We got new ones this summer, and they’re supposed to be new and improved. They are faster, I’ll give them that. But that’s about all that I’ll give them. They CONSTANTLY jam or misfeed paper or whatever, and the paper is always in a different location. We’re using a new TCard system, and if you’re trying to adjust the settings on the machine, or perhaps putting down one journal and picking up another one, the TCard reader times out and all of the settings are lost. It seriously gives you, like, 20 seconds. Add to that people not understanding how to duplex (how fucking hard can it be, really?) or feed the paper automatically, or how to reduce or enlarge, and it seems like the goddamn photocopiers take up 50% of my on-desk work time.

I can’t really fault people for not wanting to open up the copiers and retrieve the jammed paper, but sometimes I wish they weren’t afraid of breaking the stupid machines. I am SO sick of jumping up every two seconds to fix a paper jam. Of course, the real problem isn’t the patrons, or the amount of use that the machines receive; it’s the photocopiers themselves. Why, for the love of all that is holy, can’t someone make a photocopier that can handle large volumes of copying, and that isn’t super slow?

And, really? Duplexing? Is, like, the easiest thing in the world. Just read the screen/look at the pictures/glance through our quick and dirty guide to photocopying that is POSTED ON THE WALL ABOVE THE COPIERS.

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