Monday, February 08, 2010

Money: It Must Be Funny

In case you have not heard the news, I recently ended my long streak of unemployment with a return to the workforce. The workforce I joined is a company called Backstage Library Works, and because I'm so bored with trying to explain the company to non-library people, I'm going to write it all out here and then none of you can ask me any questions about it ever again.

Okay, only semi-kidding because I'm happy that I have a job to explain to people and a few years ago I would have made that same puzzled face at hearing "It's a company called Backstage Library Works." But I'm not really one who enjoys retelling the same story over and over, even when it's a fun one. Similarly, this past Sunday Drew and I realized that I am more like a man when it comes to listening because I don't like to rehash the same story and I try to solve other people's stories instead of just sympathizing. Meanwhile Drew is more like a woman because he is a rehasher and good at listening without forcing unwanted solutions on people. Somehow we balance out.* That was a long sidenote.

Anyway. So, a few weeks ago I applied at BSLW where I blew through a typing test and took a bunch of quizzes designed to test my brain. I was asked many perplexing things like the years of the Civil War (1861-1865) and whether Nova Scotia is a country, city, state or none of those (province). I did it all in my trusty Jack Sparrow t-shirt, which I kept under my coat to avoid looking unprofessional while interacting with sheets of paper**.

That was a Friday and on Monday they called to set up an interview, which I had on Wednesday or something. I put on my charm and, finally, felt somewhat successful afterwards instead of going home to cry (okay, that rarely happened). When my interviewer called on Friday I was sure she was using her "I'm about to disappoint you voice" but no, she offered me a spot on the team. Huzzah! I took it, and was a little relieved to hear I'd have a week before starting (sweet, impoverished freedom).

Now I will tell you what I do. BSLW does a lot of cataloging stuff for all kinds of libraries. For instance, some old school libraries still have card catalogs and they hire BSLW to make all their catalog digital. In my case, I am part of the group that is switching a library's collection from their own system to the Library of Congress classification system. This means I look at their records, I search for the item in a database to find a call number, I verify it and I put it in the record. Sometimes there are none and I have to find them myself on the Library of Congress's website. I would show this to you if it didn't require a login. It would make all this much more impressive if you could see all the rules and exceptions and exception exceptions. Just know that it hurts my brain by the end of the day.

Now I'm starting my second week but have yet to work on the actual project because I'm still training. I make lots of stupid errors, just like I did in my cataloging class in the beforetimes. Sometimes I come home and wail about my sure-to-come firing, but then Drew pats me on the head and gives me chocolates.*** But it is good to be working in a library-related business, and I like the work. I seem to do pretty well with monotonous tasks involving just me and a computer, though I do miss handling actual items (it's half the fun!).

So, there you have it. I only recently realized that it's been just about 9 months since I last worked, and it is rather a shift getting back into that mode. It was really convenient to have such an open schedule, but I think it will be even more convenient to have twice our current moneys. That means we can go to Disneyland and Disney World sooner, and isn't that what it's all about?
*I actually can't remember what this asterisk was going to say. I remembered! That whole man/woman thing is according to what people were saying in our marriage class on Sunday. No, we aren't in counseling. We just go because they asked people with A-K last names to go and boost the numbers. Anyway, we are traditional in our gender ways otherwise.
**Nope, can't remember this one either.
***We didn't really have any chocolate but he did get me ice cream.


  1. Yes, that really is what it's all about. And of course your charm is what won them over. And your know-how. We will be rollin' in the dough now!

    And yes, don't worry, soon you'll be so skilled at their processes, you won't even remember a time you were still learning the system.

  2. Thank you for the low-down on your new job. I was quite curious. Good luck with the training. I'm sure Drew is right. And for those days that are tricky, just tell him to keep that ice cream coming!

  3. Sounds like a perfect fit for you! I would actually really enjoy that job too.

    So, Jake and I found ourselves on opposite ends of the gender spectrum they teach you about in that dumb class when we had to go to it too. How about just talking about personality types, rather than gender types, hmmmm???

  4. Hooray for employment!!!! That picture makes me want to go to Disneyland so bad....

  5. congrats on the job. i'm sure you'll do well.

  6. Hooray for employment! And hooray for Disneyland! Soon you'll be a cataloging, Disneyland-going fool.