Sunday, February 10, 2008

Work notes

As I said previously, B's promotion wasn't the financial windfall you might expect because of a fluke in the raise system here. You get stepped up in income each year you work for the city, but was told that when he was promoted, he was starting his year over again. So while he got a raise, it was only $300 more than his pay would have been if he had just waited two months for the end of the year and his automatic raise, without all of the extra work and responsibility. We were Unimpressed.

So imagine our surprise when his paycheck this week was a great deal larger than normal - he had gotten his step raise after all. Yippee! Combined with receiving the $1000 bonus the city offers for making it through his first year, we're feeling unexpectedly flush.


Note to self: when someone asks you, "Have I given you my tirade on x?" always say "yes." Otherwise you may be subjected to a tirade that manages to be condescending, insulting and belittle your education and everything you're attempting to do at work. All from a so-called Friend of the museum.

I really should have known better. I did, in fact, know better and I was mentally screaming at myself even as I said it. But I've been able to paste a smile in my face and listen all manner of nonsense, so I didn't think it could possibly be that bad. The fact that he had just been making fun of our circulation statistics probably should have been my first clue.

It wasn't what he had to say - I can understand the mindset that doesn't like to see books weeded, and while I found his idea that you could attract retirees to the library that would like to check old books out of the library out of nostalgia wildly unrealistic (for one thing, nobody's checked some of those books out in 30 years - where are the people who are magically going to be interested in them now?), that alone I could have listened to and instantly dismissed. The fact that he was attempting to justify keeping a children's book on satellites from 1957 put him firmly in the realm of ignorable wingnuttery.

But comparing weeding old, unread books to burning the library at Alexandria? Besides being a completely histrionic comparison, I don't particularly care for the role that particular metaphor casts me in. Given that I'm a staunch free-speech and anti-censorship activist, I don't find being called a book burner offensive at all. Really. And snide passive aggressive lines like "You can find it in that book on the shelf over there - if you haven't weeded it" don't exactly float my boat either. Ditto sneering at the terrible state of modern library science education, given that I worked pretty hard for two years to get that degree that's apparently worthless. And to end it all with the condescending, dismissive "You let me know how that works out for you-" Aargh!

I despise being condescended to.


However, the people who actually matter - my immediate boss and the higher-up from the Park Commission who's in charge of us - like what I'm doing. As a result, I discovered last week that I'm actually going to get a real budget for the children's collection. Apparently not being senile they see the value of having books on technology that postdate the advent of the personal computer and the moon landing. Just think, soon we could have books in the children's section that were written in this century. Whee!

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