Odd topics on two-week loan

The bad thing about having two 3/5 FTE jobs is forgetting where I'm going when I get in the Buick. The good thing is having 6/5 FTE peculiarities to observe, record, and celebrate.

19.21 years ago when I first started working at the library, an old-timer told me she only worked there to gather material for her novel. Clueless, I marked her down in my mental spreadsheet as:

Paula       Frustrated writer     From Minnesota      Malnourished      Hyper  

Over those 19.21 years I'd like to believe I've developed a more mature, nuanced, open-minded, and appreciative outlook. The grid of my mental spreadsheet is hazy, and rarely filled. It's clear I'll never write a novel, or even anything longer than a blog post. Still, I look at days on the job as paid opportunities to collect material for that novel.

Did Paula ever write a novel? No clue. She drove off in her tiny blue pick-up for points unknown. That took guts. A new category to add to the spreadsheet or not.

We've been discussing celery at my other job due to my family presentation about vegetable gardening. Two co-workers vote celery as the worst, most worthless vegetable on earth. They both grew up in the era of fresh and appealing frozen vegetables. I grew up in the salty canned vegetable era, post-WWII, post-Great Depression, hearing tales of scraping plates for pig slop, but not actually growing anything ourselves. Until I was about ten years old the only fresh vegetables we consumed were carrot, celery, and corn-on-the-cob. Pulling the strings off celery sticks was a suppertime amusement akin to making mashed potato gravy volcanoes. We could braid them, but not macrame.

Smart phones are a big change in the library circulation desk employee experience over these years. Patrons now share phone photos of sentimental verses on tombstones, or swish through screen lists of recommended books in very tiny print to find the title they want reserved.

thwunk--The sounds of the bookdrop are a constant: squealing opening in a minor key, swish of items, and reverberation of books and videos hitting the floor inside the tiny closet under the stairs. The teen volunteer doesn't know how to open the mailbox on the corner to deposit the envelopes. Good that he knows how to return books, but strange that he's never dropped stamped thank-you notes to Grandma in a mailbox.

I won't enter any mental judgmental data in the imaginary spreadsheet as long as this teen has no visible tats. Don't push me over the open-minded edge! And thank your grandparents.

© 2013-2015 Nancy L. Ruder


seana graham said...

At our local library, someone dropped a pair of kittens through the book depository slot once. I know this, because they ended up together as my friends' cats, and I believe lived to a ripe old age, thank God.

Collagemama said...

Thanks for the sad and happy comment, Seana.