Lately, due mostly to my carousel of jobs, people mistake me for being younger than I am or at least that I'm freshly unwrapped from the factory of library school. This happens weekly. Someone at some point will ask "So, are you still in school?" and honestly, I don't know how this makes me feel. I can't assume they are asking because I look young but I want to. So I do. Instead they are likely asking because I'm a new face and I MUST be freshly graduated, else why would I be working so many part time jobs. Maybe they are just trying to start conversation. I suppose it doesn't even matter. When faced with the question I feel frazzled and dizzy and other words that describe confusion using the letter z. I do get the dizzies lately. The effects of being mistaken for a newbie, I suppose. And my schedule, oh lordy. My planner looks like a calculus textbook.
I generally have to bite my tongue when asked where I've worked before, and just what the hell it is I've been doing. The response bubbles up from the base of my throat and demands to be spat out: Does it matter? I don't want to do THIS anymore. However, not having totally lost the plot, I realize it would be unwise to say such things to a new supervisor, a budding intern, a totally content coworker. So I swallow it down.
"Where have you worked?" A million places that got me nowhere.
"Are you still looking for a full time job?" No, I fully enjoy being 11 years into my career and juggling multiple part time jobs, Professor.
"Do you know how to sign me in to Plenty of Fish?" Ugh.
Okay so that last one is from a patron. There will always be a patron in every library asking for shit like that. I suppose it gauche, complaining about this. I need to stop before I fall down the wormhole. At the very LEAST I have this work. It has kept me afloat all summer. I can't shake the knowledge though. I know there is a pinprick in the life raft though and the deflation begins in about 5 weeks. I can already hear the faint hissing.
And it's really that knowledge that has kept me so cranky these last few weeks. I approach each and every one of these work shifts mechanically. They are hours long obstacles to surpass in order to get...where exactly? I don't know. I just know that my work has become my chore. The obligation of work is the piercing, shrill alarm clock every day. Sure, work has always been an obligation for me but I suppose it didn't seem so blatant before. I suppose the fact that I needed my jobs weren't always on the forefront of my mind. I probably always just assumed that I'd be able to find another one easily. I've been disavowed of the notion.
All is not lost, however. I have an interview in the coming week that I am looking forward to. It would mean a sea change. After rereading what I've just written, it would appear that I could use one.
I'd love to go out and drink tonight. Look for me out there. You'll be able to recognize me. Just look for the lady leaning a little, dazed look on her face.