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Aaaaand, ACTION! (All week long)

December 5, 2010

Having been an online grad student for the past two years, give or take, the 9 to 5 routine is quite a jolt for me.  For one thing, it not only requires me to wake up at early o’clock but to GET up at early o’clock, get ready, and be gone before the hands on the clock have moved to “tolerable.”

My mother says, “Welcome to my world.”  (Although, seriously?  My world is way more relaxed than my mom’s because she retains two part-time jobs–two?  I think still two–while keeping down a full-time job.  But I like my sanity more than I like money, so.)

Things that never occurred to me: what to do about earphones when the patron doesn’t have any of his or her own (turns out we sell cheap earbuds), the best ways to cheat fines (I probably don’t know them all, but I certainly learned a doozy of one this week), and CLOTHES.


Seriously, work clothes.  My mom recently lost a lot of weight and had all these clothes she didn’t need anymore.  She passed them on to one of her best friends and me.  I took THREE pair of fancy, grown-up pants.


You know how many days of work that gets you through?  If you answered “Three,” you’re right!

I work five days a week.

I thought, “No worries, I’ll wear skirts!”  I’m a skirts kind of gal.  I love me some skirts, which is interesting because I’m not much of a girly-girl.  (Makeup, for instance, rarely if ever touches my face.  Maybe on Halloween.  But not if I can help it.)  But after three days, I realized skirts weren’t going to do it for me.  I’m on the ground too much, putting books back, and I’m playing around with the kids too much, and skirts are nice but they are not as good as pants for Getting Things Done.

I called my mom and asked if she had anything left.  No, she said.  Wait–yes!


Entire grown-up suits.

So now I have enough to get me through 1-2 weeks of work without doing laundry.  A few of them say dry clean only but apparently there are ways around that.

I am pleased.  And professional-looking!

It’s amazing how not wearing jeans or a skirt and a t-shirt changes how you feel about yourself.  I should’ve realized it from my wedding dress back in October, but that was different because it wasn’t JUST a wedding dress, it was also a Ren Faire-type dress, so I figured, okay, that was that.  It was like I was in a costume.

But I saw all these women wearing “professional” clothes and I thought, “I can’t even imagine buying these clothes.”

Well, ha, now I don’t have to and, ha on me, now I’m one of them.

What I’m really trying to say here is that I feel like an adult.  No, check that.  I feel like a kid playing at being an adult.  No, check THAT.  I feel like…an untried adult being given adult responsibilities for no understandable reason.  Because I have a school-type brain, and school comes easy to me, it feels like I didn’t earn the things and the respect of the people that I’ve dealt with all week.  For example:

I have my own desk.

I have a key to the building.

People have told me that I’m a hard worker.  (Me? The Queen of Procrastination?)

I get in around 8:50 and I leave at about 5:10, depending on what’s going on.

People ask me questions and trust that I’ll know the answer.

I was hired within a week of interviewing.

People give weight to my opinions.

My co-workers are helpful and I never feel judged for making a mistake out of ignorance.

They answer all my questions with patience and kindness, not condescension.


Maybe I was in retail for too long.

I wonder if this is a normal thing that happens to everyone when they move from college to “real life.”  It probably is.  My ego isn’t fragile but I’ve thought of myself for the past few years as someone who doesn’t mind being silly (oh God, so different from when I was younger), and someone who gets treated like a kid despite being in my 30s and, you know, having one of my own.  That’s probably because of my isolation/insulation.  When I’m not doing schoolwork, I’m with my kid and my husband, and we’re all silly together, or I’m with my family or my husband’s, and they treat me like a kid, because I AM a kid to them.  Their kids, or their sister’s kid, or whatever.  Even my best girl and I have sort a big sister/little sister thing going on.  So while I have that grown-up thing with my kid, we also have that level of friendship to our relationship (not much, for I AM MOMMY) that tempers it.  Being considered a grown-up all the time when I’m at work is strange.  It’s almost the opposite of the persona I’ve created for myself in the past few years.

On the other hand, I’m a CHILDREN’S librarian.  I can be a bit silly and get away with it.  I can be an adult and be taken seriously too, so maybe this IS perfect for me.

Okay, not PERFECT.  I have a lot to learn.  This week, I learned that I need to dial back my expectations for large groups of small children.  Just a notch.  I have to remember how to play and lead and come off well to the caregivers.  And I have to learn THIS week how to deal with even SMALLER children.  Yikes.

But I love it, I really do.  I love walking into a library and getting to do EVERYTHING I’ve ever wanted to do.  I get to go behind the counter!  I get to check books in, and send them off to other libraries!  I get to help people with their questions!  I get to file paperwork!

Yeah, I’m a library nerd.  No wait–I’m an ACTION LIBRARIAN.  And it’s awesome.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jillian permalink
    December 7, 2010 9:28 am

    Your job sounds fantastic! I hope you stay in the happy honeymoon period of your job for a long time!

    I wear the same pair of pants to work all week long. In the summer I occasionally vary it with a dress or skirt but I basically wear the same pants everyday all day. Oh wait, we have casual Fridays where I wear jeans but four days a week it’s the same.

    • December 8, 2010 6:32 am

      Now that I have all these pairs of dress pants…I have no idea what to do with them, because now I feel like I have no shirts. The suits came without them, and while I could borrow Mike’s every day (no I couldn’t, the skinny bastard), suits for what I do is a bit over the top.

      The shirts I got from my mom…I don’t like them. They fit awkwardly, and they’re not NICE anyway. And then the suits are TOO nice, so I don’t even want to put them together.


      And a paycheck. :/

      • Jillian permalink
        December 8, 2010 11:56 am

        I think a polo shirt is perfectly acceptable with a pair of dress pants. It makes it less dressy but still business casual.

        I mostly wear fitted plain t-shirt style shirts with a sweater or shrug overtop.

  2. December 9, 2010 7:39 am

    I need to find professional-looking SUPER HEAVY SWEATERS. That place is an icebox. After I did my children’s program where I wore my bear hat, I left it on for like an hour afterward.

    Actually, that’s not TOTALLY true. It’s getting better in there, although our meeting room is still at 61 degrees. Aww, it’s like being home! *grr*

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