Posts Tagged ‘job’

I might have mentioned in passing that I work in a library. It’s a great job. I’m particularly proud of my profession despite the fact that most people, for example my brother-in-law, have no real grasp of what I do all day long. (“Why do you need a master’s degree to check books out to people?” is a question I get on a regular basis. Le sigh.)

However, as with every occupation, there are downsides. One in particular for my job is that I love books! I love reading books(though not always in their entirety.) I adore delving into a well-written novel or learning something from non-fiction. I love the feel of books; new books with crisp paper and fragile old things which have yellowed from love and light. I especially enjoy the small of books. When I do go out into the rows of books to find something, I often take a moment to crack a spine and inhale. Since I like art, as well, I also have a fondness for book cover art. I like to see how books are marketed and presented in an age when so many of us judge a book by its cover. (You do it, too; admit it.) I love talking to people about books. I gather great joy from watching faces light up when they get that books they’ve been waiting on for months, maybe years if the author is particularly slow. Or how some people cannot wait to get home or check it out and plop down on the floor to peruse a passage or two.
City, public library
You may now be thinking, “Where is this downside?” But didn’t you just read?! I love everything about books! It’s terribly distracting. I like to stay professional and attempt to limit my book-sniffing to only once a day, but it doesn’t always work. I’m almost certain it takes me twice as long as it should to order books because I want to read the tagline, then the synopsis, then the excerpt, and so on and so forth. After being exposed to so many potentially fantastic volumes, my to-read list if off the charts and growing by the day! While I have no trouble taking books out of the library’s circulation collection, I inevitably want to take many of them home with me. (99% of the time I do not in favor of passing the books along to our Friends of the Library used book sale. But it’s a struggle every time.) I definitely have an excuse for talking to random strangers about books, but it does become slightly problematic when there’s a line and I still really want to recommend a certain title.All in all, I really love my job. Even though the bookish portion is only about 40-50% of what I do on a daily basis, it’s a fabulous 40-50%. The other 50% or so isn’t bad either. I get to teach classes, write (usually grants, but that’s not so bad) and generally help people out. True, there’s about 10% that involves less-than-stellar people with less-than-polite attitudes, and employees that may not be up to snuff. However, 90% job satisfaction is pretty darn good.

I write all of this because this is the season to be thankful for all of the good in one’s life. I hope everyone else derives as much joy from their paycheck as I do.

Do you have a job you love and want an excuse to brag? Or maybe just more questions about mine. Either way, I’d love to hear from you.

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Fiction vs. Non-fiction

I sometimes feel like there is a constant boxing match going on when I pick out books to read.
BoxersIn one corner we have Fiction. Fiction can be entertaining and funny. Fiction can relax after a long day working with the public or dealing with statistics. You can be completely swept away in the story and enter a different place, time or sometimes a whole other world. Fiction can bring steamy plots and sizziling scenes that are unfortunately far too uncommon for the single girl. And nothing quite beats a good turn of phrase that good fiction writers can conjure.
And the contender in the other corner is Non-fiction. Writing in this large group has certainly imporved as of late; (see Devil in the White City) newer Non-fiction has language flourishes and detailed scenic descriptions rivaling fiction masters. Most of all, Non-fiction has a one-two punch of allowing the reader to be entertained and to learn at the same time.
Up until now, I usually read one non-fiction and one fiction book at the same time. It was an excellent system thwarted only by sporadic, intense schoolwork (or all of grad school.) Now, however, with a full-time job. I’m not finding the time to read like I used to. Some days I’m just too exhausted too do more than watch TV. Other days, I want to read, but have to clean house and walk the dog and so many other things that only leave me with with an hour or two to read.
I feel in the current circumstances, fiction may eek out a win in the end. One of my duties at my current job is to order the adult ficiton books for my library, and people who do the ordering tend to do a better job if they read what they order. This doesn’t mean I have to read every fiction book I order (at about 37 a month that would be impossible!) nor does it mean I have to lower my reading standards to the latest [insert best-selling drivel here]. It does, however, mean that in order to be better at my job, I might just have to seriously reduce the amount of non-ficiton I read. A somewhat sad, but necessary sacrifice. (Although, who am I kidding? I get to read as part of my work performance! How cool is that?!!)
So while it may have come down to the points gathered in each round, and by no means a knock-out, Fiction will be my current champion. (At least for now. After I finish Apollo’s Angels, of course.)
Does anyone else have this delima, or are you devoted to one contender over the other?

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Intra-Office Romance

Why hello there! Long time no see. I sincerely apologize to both our readers and my fellow Bluestockings for my prolonged absence of posts. I know I shouldn’t make excuses, but really, I have good news that is both exciting and relevant to this post’s topic.

First off, I must announce that after over 10 months of unemployment, I have obtained gainful, full-time employment at an awesome company as a “Media Custodian.” For the sake of anonymity, I will hereafter refer to my workplace as Company Tykhe1. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been busy with new employee paperwork, adjusting to a 9-6 work day, and settling into a new environment at the office.

Excuses for my lax writing behavior aside, I also have been thinking a lot about the dating scene and the workplace. Is it wise to date a co-worker? How many people do it and what are the pros and cons of intra-office romances?

Working in the IT industry, I am one of about ten women in an office of no more than 100 employees. It is the nature of the field and normally, I’d be excited to be surrounded by men eight hours a day, five days a week. I am conflicted about this circumstance, however, and inclined to hold off on any celebration of falling into a pool of men at my job for several reasons.

One: Like the “real world,” there is a mix of sexual preference and marital status within the office. Many men are married, many are old enough to be my father, many are my age but dating someone, and a few are gay. Hence, the dating pool of eligible men shrinks with realistic consideration of quality, not quantity of the men in my office.

Two: Of the pool of eligible men, I’m not attracted to half of them. Many are just not my type. Considering that I work at what is basically an IT company, many of the employees are stereotypical computer nerds. This isn’t really a bad thing; after all, my cousin says nerds make the best husbands. Yet, with much of the nerd group, there really isn’t much we have in common. I am a self professed nerd, but of a different variety. Like French and German speaking persons, tech nerds and book nerds don’t really speak the same language.

Three: Of the handful of possible dating candidates at my office, do I really want to go there? Is it wise to date someone you work with? What are the pros and cons of office relationships?

Office Romance

What light through yonder cubicle breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!

The pros would mostly revolve around convenience. You could see your significant other every day, have lunch together, leave together after work hours end, and be able to commiserate with each other about office politics and stresses. No more excuses that you don’t have time for each other!

The pros can also be negative though, considering that you will literally see you’re boyfriend every day of the week. Absence makes the heart grow fonder after all, and 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, is hardly a schedule conducive to time apart. There would be less variety in you’re conversations since professional chit-chat would be a common talking point. Finally, everyone would know you’re business. If you had a disagreement with your boyfriend in or outside of the office, everyone you work with will know. “Why are Sapphire and Joe not speaking to each other and why is she glaring at him? Oooo, they must have had a fight!”

Unfortunately, the cubicle riddled office world is still much like high school. The cool employees sit together at lunch and everyone wants to know the gossip of the day. I’m not sure I would want my private life so close to my professional one.

Worse, what happens if things go sour with your boyfriend and for the rest of your career at your company, you have to look at, talk to, and work with the man who broke your heart or have awkward interactions with your ex. I’d never leave a great job because of a breakup and I wouldn’t expect my ex to either, but I sure wouldn’t feel comfortable every morning.

I’d say for now, I’m going to focus on my career and stick to office romance celibacy. I wouldn’t want to jeopardize my first grown-up job with a potentially disastrous relationship, no matter how much I’m attracted to the programmer four cubicles down (wink). At least I’ll have some eye candy and daydreaming fodder for the workweek!

Have you ever had an office romance? How did things work out? What would you do?

1 In her incarnation as Eutykhia, Tykhe (pronounced too-kay) was worshipped as the goddess of good fortune, luck, success, and prosperity. Since I feel exceptionally fortunate to have the job I quite honestly fell into, I thought this name was appropriate. And if you know me, you’ll see my ancient Greek obsession rearing its head yet again.

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I am currently reading The Luxe by Anna Godbersen, and I could not feel more sorry for all of the women in the story. Like so many women of the past, their fortunes, livelihood and the well-being of their family depended solely upon their marriage.

For most of human history the occupations available to women were far and few between. On top of which, the working conditions of those few jobs were not enviable. We’re talking maids, governesses, seamstresses, and prostitutes. No, thank you! Although, I do appreciate novels like Luxe and wonderful historic dramas like Downton Abbey which show both the excess of the upper class and the live of the help which make all the extravagance possible.

This is a common theme to one of my favorite author’s writings, Jane Austen. her characters are constantly running up against the problem of marrying well or being happy in marriage, but (because they are fictitious) they often get both. I doubt many real women of the time were so blessed. (For more on this topic, read: Pride & Prejudice Hypertext)

While I am currently frustrated with my career ambitions, I am grateful that I depend wholly upon myself and not the affections of some well-to-do man. (Honestly, myself and my loving family.) Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say no to a guy just because he is financially secure, but at least I don’t have to go out of my way to look for that. I am very grateful that I live in an era when I can make a living on my own.

PS – Though I’m a little less than halfway through The Luxe, I am enjoying it very much. So far, I’d recommend it to a friend. Also, do yourself a favor and watch Downton Abbey. It is a wonderfully written series, and both my mother and myself eagerly await the second season.

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Are You in Control?

Do you ever feel that you are completely in control of a situation? That you know exactly what to do and precisely what response you will get? It’s almost as if there’s an unspoken plan and if you merely follow the proper steps you’ll get what you want.

I often get this feeling around men. I love men, don’t get me wrong, but most of the moves – the flirting, innuendo and strategic touching is just all too easy to figure out, and it sort of takes the fun out of the whole scene. Yes, there is some variance depending on the circumstances, but it’s all too similar.

  • Step 1: Meet – at a bar, a friends party, etc
  • Step 2: Flirt and strategic touching – I don’t mean anything naughty here, I mean the “You’re so funny” shoulder touch and that sort of thing
  • Step 3: Exchange numbers
  • Step 4: Phone or text flirting which is usually innuendo-laden
  • Step 5: A date – complete with more flirting and strategic touching, and depending on how much you like the guy perhaps some light innuendo possibly a kiss or at least lingering hug at the end
  • Step 6: Deal is sealed. – I don’t mean sex here (but that’s fine) I just mean at this point the guy is basically hooked, barring any craziness and unforeseen problems.

So there you go. All of the steps to a fine romance. I’ve done that so many times it’s not even funny. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still mostly fun and exciting, but the thrill of the chase is a little lacking when I know what’s going to happen long before it materializes.

The sad thing is that while I generally feel very much in control when it comes to the opposite sex, I have the opposite feeling in my professional life. (Or rather the lack thereof.) I think I’d much rather the roles be reversed, and feel in charge of my professional life and all-a-twitter and surprised by men. But that’s probably just me wanting something I can’t have.

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