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Prepping is doing, right?

November 12, 2012

I was so impressed by how much I was getting done when I cleaned this morning that I didn’t stop cleaning, and then there was an emergency at my daughter’s school, and then that party, and now this exhaustion.  So…yeah, I didn’t do the ONE THING I wanted to get done today.  I hate how much pressure I put on myself, and how much guilt I feel when I don’t get it done.  I need to not NaNo and NaBlo in the same month if I have a full-time job.  Seriously, this is the last year I do both at the same time AND be a full-time librarian.

Today, I was hanging out with a friend of mine who’s looking for a library job.  She wanted advice on what to do during interviews.  I told her that I was VERY lucky–I was chosen very quickly because the county was looking down the barrel of a hiring freeze, and the children’s librarian position had been empty for a while.  I felt sort of bad discussing this in front her husband, who’d also been interviewed for the position, but I’m pretty sure three things got me that job, two things that lined up with my boss’s work preferences:

-I said I could work on little to no budget, and had proven it by running a Girl Scout Troop with the smallest amount of dues I felt I could charge (Boss-love #1)

-If I felt I didn’t have a satisfactory answer for a question, or felt that the question had more than one answer, I defaulted to saying “I’d have to go with the policy on that” (Boss-love #2)

-I’d spent the year before volunteering in a library

My friend asked, “But if you don’t they, don’t they NOT want you?  Because they can get you for free?” and her husband answered, Not in a unionized workplace.  Volunteers can only do so much–they are quite limited at my library by what they can do.  However, volunteers catch our eye.  We see that they can work hard for nothing.  If we paid them, then we’d get that work ethic, but they’d be able to do more!  In fact, when we’ve had positions open, we’ve hired our best volunteers for them.  The sad thing is, we rarely get volunteers.

People don’t want to put in the time.  They have other stuff to do.  But it is SO worth it.  You want a library job?  Volunteer.  You’ll know what you’re getting into.  People will know if you’re a hard worker who shows up on time.  People will appreciate what you do and keep that in mind during the hiring process.

Volunteer and don’t be a jerk about it.  Don’t be all “I work here” because you don’t.  You volunteer.  It’s not the same.  Don’t show up late and leave early because you’re not getting paid anyway.  Don’t use the work phone without asking.  Don’t bother the employees during their lunch breaks.  Don’t talk about how it’s going to get you something better.  You’re just there for the experience.  Do what’s asked of you.  Show initiative but don’t step on anyone’s toes to do so.  Be friendly but also be ready to direct people to the staff even when you know the answer.  We all know shelving sucks.  Don’t complain about it.

I’m very tired from yesterday still, and I may have gone into a rant about some of the volunteers–and community service workers, and others–but I’m hoping they’re still words of wisdom and not coming off as me being bitchy.  In order to assure that I don’t fall down a rabbit hole of complaining, I’m going to bed.  Will reread the VD chapter tomorrow and try to get to it tomorrow night, but my dance card is once again full…

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