Monday, December 9, 2013

Canary in the coal mine

Beginning with the staff meeting at my full time job a few weeks ago, my cycle of life reevaluation is in full throttle. That meeting was one tiny canary in the coal mine; my full time job could conceivably be removed from my life come July or shortly thereafter. And,like clockwork at this time of year, I am reviewing my life, making plans to make plans. And maybe it is some astrological force field or some disturbance in the cosmos that affects me during this time but damned if I don't feel the need to transform everything all at once.  I usually review my year during December, despite that it isn't over yet and invariably I look back and think "I spent too much money." That isn't different. Particularly since I just this very minute purchased some Christmas gifts. One of the earliest resolutions I'll make for the coming year is just an echo of all the times before it, when I made the identical resolution. On the one hand, it is good to keep reaching for goals. On the other, it is really stupid that I have this cyclical need to change and never do.

 In keeping with reevaluation on a life scale, I am almost completely positive that I am done with my career as it has been for the last decade. In 2014, I will have worked as a librarian, in different capacities, in different libraries for 11 years. Forgetting the fact that I have been working two jobs for five years in order to live comfortably, I don't recognize any of the reasons I chose this profession anymore. I don't care about anything that goes on and I do not feel valued at any of my workplaces. I don't necessarily need to draw validation from my work, being fully aware that what one does for a living is merely a means to an end for the majority of the world (the majority that isn't concerned with how to put food on the table/make ends meet, that is) and I've come to accept that and not expect my job to fulfill me. But working two jobs needs to have some kind of point. I don't see the point here. Despite the fact that the grass is always greener in my head, I'm kinda really done with overworking for underpay. I won't even go into the torture that is the civil service system of libraries in my county but I'll say this: it is a completely useless, ridiculous way of running a large consortium of libraries that grinds people down until they regret their degrees and their careers.

Gone is the verve and enthusiasm I once had for leading people to information. The people who want information can generally find it on their own, leaving only the people who want you to do everything for them. I feel bad about this. Also, in keeping with burn out, I have become rather negative about the future and the average level of intelligence of most people. Someone with that attitude should not be in the capacity to help the general public. Don't get me wrong, I have felt moments of reward (and never ending humor) in the 11 years I've done this; I've made wonderful friends that I would never give up. But overall, with libraries completely transforming, with the only things left that I love about the profession being things I can do whilst working in another field (reading, researching, attending annual meetings, etc.) it has actually become time for me to move on. I keep hedging around this because I have a natural fear of change, everyone does. There are only so many times I can send a resume in for a library job and get no response or get a response with a salary that that is on the level of what I made as a freshly graduated undergrad in 1998. I feel strongly that the coming year is going to call for action on the job front. Of course, all of this will be null and void should my dream library call me for my dream job, at which point I will be happy to eat crow by the forkful. If the last four years I spent actively pursuing this are any indication, that should be happening aaaany second now.

 I actually feel elated. I'm sure that will turn into something else entirely once the new year arrives and it becomes time to take action. Look for the next volume in this series called Panic. 

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