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I. GOT. THE. JOB!!!!

November 10, 2010

How cool is that? Now I really have to change the tag.  What do you think?  My husband suggested Action Librarian.

Now, of course, I don’t want to give away TOO many details, because I want to discuss librarianship without worrying about my place of employment taking offense and the like, so I’ll just say that it’s a children’s librarian position in southern New Jersey.  Full-time, benefits.  This is pretty much what I’d always hoped for in terms of employment, and it pays a little more than I expected too.  Admittedly, I’m a little stronger with YA than I am with children’s literature, but that’s easily remedied.  The posting said pre-K to third, which is great because those are ages I really enjoy, especially now that I’m not the parent. 😀

The selection process, obviously, went ridiculously fast, even for the timeline they gave me.  (They told me 2-3 weeks.)  They were checking my references Monday.  Unfortunately, they couldn’t get a hold of my old boss at Atlantic Books, so I had a friend of mine with ten years’ library experience give them a call Tuesday instead, which they deemed acceptable.  I got the official offer from HR a few hours later.

This is fantastic, and not only because my student loans start up late this month.  For years, I was a single parent who chose not to live off of the system so that I could EITHER go to school and parent OR work and parent, and never have to do all three things so that my daughter didn’t feel she had a mother she could rely on.  Now, I’ll admit that I got federal grants because of my economic status, but I also was partially covered by scholarships I earned on my own merits.  I always lived with someone to keep my expenses down.  I made the most of library resources for entertainment–and now I can give back to libraries so more, I figure, by working hard, doing my best, and making those resources more easily available to others.  My last year of undergrad, I lived on my own, and had to take a small loan for the first time to cover my minimal expenses.

Grad school isn’t exactly overflowing with scholarships and grant money.  I got a fellowship, but that was it–I had to borrow the rest.  So I ended up with these student loans, which I was okay with because I knew it was an investment in my future.  I’m so pleased that this has come to pass.  I mean, I don’t even have a credit card, so that first loan was almost difficult for me to take out.

My daughter never went without, and neither did I, but it has been a spare way of living.  I prefer that, because most “stuff” is unnecessary and transitory.  (So sayeth the girl whose books, clothes, and personal papers were destroyed by flooding, leaking, and accidentally being tossed out with the garbage over the years.)  There was a time, after I hurt my back, that I ended up deferring grad school for half a year, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay my bills.  A friend stepped in and lent me some money to get me through, and now I can pay her back.

So yes, it’s partially an economic issue.  I stopped at the grocery store today and it was so odd.  I wanted to ask the cashier what she made per hour.  My head is still spinning over the concept of making a “living wage” rather than scrimping.  But because of the scrimping, I know exactly how far my paycheck can go, and what little I need to be happy.  I can pay off my hospital bills from my appendectomy last summer and pay my friend back within two months–just a few paychecks.  I’m boggling, really.

I guess part of me assumed I’d always be scraping by, and part of me felt not quite grown-up because of it.  I had a child, I raised her and raised her fairly well (I like her, and other people do too), I’ve been married (twice), and I still felt like a failure as an adult because the first question people invariably ask you is “What do you do?”  Even for the sixish years that I was a student, that wasn’t a good enough answer.  “But do you work?”  Well, yes.  I worked occasionally.  I made some money randomly–web design, online surveys, clerical stuff, and who-all can remember what other little things (like babysitting).  But none of them were “jobs.”

Now I have a job.  And I’m very excited about it, because it’s a job I wanted, a job I trained for, a job I broke my “no loan” rule for.  No, not just a job.  It’s a start of a career.

I’m pleased.

I start at the end of the month.  Wish me luck!  In the meantime, I’m going to wait for this cold to pass, plan my Thanksgiving, and start checking out children’s programming at local libraries to see what they’re doing.

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