Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Side, Grass is always Greener on the other

Muchas GrassyassI have the poshest library job in town. There is no question about it. I love my tastefully decorated office, my view over a huge Victorian Gothic building, the sun pouring in through my graciously oversized windows. I love the vintage library images framed on my walls, and the carefully chosen WWII-era type-writer ads hanging on my bulletin board. I think I even love that my desk, bookcase, and credenza match. OK, no thinking, I do.

My job allows me to endlessly compile facts and figures, share them with other major libraries, and to travel about our system going to meetings. Now that most of you hate me, I'll go on.

But I long for the reference desk. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with internal reference questions, and just want the odd quote to research, or help someone figure out how much the blue book value is for their 1973 Chevy (I made that up, I have no idea if Chevy even made cars in 1973).

And because Lola gets what Lola wants, I find myself sitting behind a reference desk every now and again. Really. It's tremendous. I love it. And then they show up.

The unwashed masses.

They know when I am going to sit desk, despite the fact that I don't. They see my boyish grin, the proper dimples in my tie and cheeks. Like an arrow to a bullseye, they are my next customer.

Perhaps this explains why I usually go through one bottle of cologne a month. I apply to the wrists a little heavier than anywhere else.

"Why?", I'm sure you're asking. I am about to reveal a trick of the trade.

When you are at the desk, you can put one wrist near your face. The pleasant aroma of Happy for Men overtakes my olfactory, and I can look back up, unfathomed by the probable scents of urine, cigarette smoke, and fried food.

When walking the customer to the stacks (NEVER POINT), again you can scratch your nose with the back side of your knuckles... and again be taken away by the pleasant reminder of your own immaculate hygiene.

And also unlike my safe confines, I am often surrounded by fans waiting for answers. I have jokingly said I would ask them to que at the payphone, and call me, as my phone reference skills are impeccable.

Now that I have come off sounding like a complete and utterly pompous librarian, I wish to assure you it is not true. I like getting to see little kids smile. I make faces at them when their mother's aren't looking; I like making them laugh.

I like watching the creased brow of a little old woman grow even more furrowed when she smiles to thank me.

It is my time to people watch and remember why I wanted to and became a librarian. It is the people, the people, the people. We'd kinda sorta be outta work without them. True.

OK, everyone would be out of work if their were no people, but bear with me as I wax romantic.

But as I sit reference desk, suddenly I long for the solitude of my hand picked shade of khaki office. I want to walk across the freshly carpeted office, to our newly installed coffee bar (formerly known as the supply closet)and pour myself a cuppa. I want to reply to customer complaints from the comfort of my ergonomically correct chair. The grass looks so much greener....

And low and behold, the cycle starts again. Such is the life of an Administrative darling.

Moral of this blog:How can I help you?

No comments: