New Job First Day Report

 I meant to take a picture of the library, and/or myself in the library, in my pink shirt for Pink Shirt Day, which I remembered just in time to not put on a not-pink shirt. I forgot.


1) The other library tech is very chill. I love my library partner at one school, but she's very particular and some of the stuff she requires stresses me out a little bit. This one is basically 'keep the library running, don't let someone with five books overdue borrow more books, otherwise don't sweat it'.

2) There seems to be a lot of volunteer shelving help, so there was nothing waiting for shelving when I came in and I was able to get everything that came in put away by the time I left.

3) There is a library office. I have one at one other school, and not at the other. It's nice to have the option to retreat for lunch and not feel like you're on display for any clubs or anyone that wanders in over the nutrition break or recess. One kindergarten teacher always comes in and hands me an armful of books right in the middle of lunch and I always feel a tiny bit awkward about it.

4). There is no sink in the office, which is never ideal because I touch a lot of books that have been handled by a lot of kids and I like to wash my hands a lot, BUT there is a washroom RIGHT outside the side door of the library, so that is very convenient.

5) The school is, like, ludicrously close to my house. It takes less than five minutes to get there. It's right beside my kids' old high school, and I very nearly drove right past it out of habit this morning. The only closer school would be my kids' old elementary school, which is pretty much right down the street.


1) The library is very warm. This isn't even on a normal person's radar, but it's a significant ick factor for me. It's the kind of oppressive warmth that is really hard to combat with my tiny desk fan, and I was feeling a little defeated when, after telling myself it couldn't be as bad as I remembered, I opened the door and found that it was exactly as bad as I remembered. I discovered by walking around that there are places where cool air blows from vents. There's a door to the outside that I can stick myself out periodically. And after looking at it several times, I realized that the other library woman has a medium-sized fan under the desk pointed up at where we sit - so maybe I'm NOT the only one that finds it oppressively overheated. Anyway, I didn't end the day THAT much more wilted and sweaty than I usually do. 

2) I don't think there are any other cons.

A lot of the books are shelved in bins, which in some ways is easy - you don't have to deal with heaving big chunks of books upright when they fall over, you don't have to find a way to slide in books to already-tight spaces, you just slip them in the bin. When you're starting in a new library it's actually hilariously difficult because you have to learn where all the bins are. Finding them once is no help, because you find another Minecraft or Artemis Fowl book and you know you found the bin before, but where did it go? So there's a lot of wandering around in circles looking dazed and confused. 

I had four classes today - there could be more to fill the empty slots. The previous woman in this position was there Mondays, but I'm already at another school then so we've had to rejig a little. Three of the classes could not have been lovelier. SO MANY kids said thank-you very clearly and sincerely. One boy came back twice to thank me for the books. One said he was happy I was there. One class was meh. The teacher didn't say hi or introduce herself and the kids were all kind of mumbly and sullen, and half of them didn't line up when the teacher told them to and she just left the library! Without them! It was confusing and a little funny. Three to one is a very acceptable ratio of great classes to meh classes. 

So the worst thing that happened today was that I got to the school, I got to the library, I unlocked the office and started unpacking my stuff. I take out my reading glasses and hook them on my shirt. I take out my fan and my container of mints and my water bottle for the desk. 

There was no water bottle.

I forgot my water bottle.

This is a bad thing, you guys. I am always hot, and it is winter in Ottawa which means there's no moisture anywhere in the city. I am on more than one medication that causes dry eyes and mouth. Half the time I don't have enough spit to finish a sentence or swallow.

I spent a minute or so in blind panic. I thought of calling Matt, but pulling him away from his important semiconductor tunable-laser fibre optic work (this is me science-ing, are you impressed?) for a water emergency seemed wrong. I remembered Eve was at home, but she was still in bed when I left and there were no vehicles left anyway. I thought of faking a migraine and going home (not seriously, but it crossed my mind. This was a really bad thing).

I realized I was in a school that had a staff room. And, you know, taps. I didn't know WHERE the staff room was, so I had to ask someone. I found the staff room. I found a mug in the cupboards. I filled the mug with water. I calmed the fuck down. 

This is a very good new job. Everyone agrees except Lucy, who is not impressed that I am leaving the house on a whole-ass other day now (she would be going to Grandma and Poppa's except that Eve was home this week, so don't believe this fake forlorn expression).


Ernie said…
I don't know if I've ever seen Lucy look cuter. I enjoy the visual of you sticking yourself out the door when you are too hot, like as if you can't restrain yourself - out you go. I'm so happy that you have a chill library partner. Bummer about the temperature. That would bite. I love that so many of the kids were grateful and sweet. Weird about the one teacher. I wonder if she was a sub. I find it interesting that the one class that seemed out of sorts had a teacher who was clueless. Related? Hmm. I hope you report back and that the next time they're no longer classified as MEH.

I attended Reg's final b-ball game tonight and I lost my water bottle - it's a refillable one. I was distraught and THIRSTY (and angry because the refs refused to call it both ways) the entire game. Happily, my fav security guard helped me find it afterwards. I left it on the payment table, but being without water makes me fret. Big time. Glad you were able to find a back up solution. I laughed at your scienc-ing.
Suzanne said…
This sounds like a great start! The single con seems like a big one but hopefully you and the other library person can figure it out. Yay! Poor pup though - so betrayed.
Nicole said…
This sounds like such a great position for you. I think libraries always seem to be on the warm side. At least, to me they do.
I once forgot my water bottle when I was teaching a 90 minute class, and I felt like I was going to die. I never drink water while teaching but I chug it down when everyone is in savasana, and when I realized I didn't have it I thought I would just lie down and die right there. I mean, it was fine. I was going home afterwards anyway, so it was only 1/2 hour later that I could chug my water BUT STILL. I feel you, is what I'm saying.
Anonymous said…
If I realize I’ve left my water bottle at home, I am INSTANTLY parched. Even if I drank a gallon of water 10 minutes earlier!! I panic- so I hear you. What is with that miserable teacher? It does sound like her mood is affecting her students. So sad.
Busy Bee Suz said…
You getting to school without your water is like me driving somewhere without a cup of water or, worse, no gum. PANIC!
I'm glad you survived.
I don't like the image of the library being warm either; it seems like it would be a breeding ground for germs.
How sad that the one class was Meh. Seems like the teacher isn't feeling her job, and it's trickling down to the kiddos. :(
NGS said…
What a great first day! I mean, besides being too hot and not having water. I feel like the combo of those two things could really leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Is the temperature related to where a thermostat is located? I used to work in a building in which the thermostat was in my office, but it controlled the entire wing of the building, so it would be quite warm in my office and literally fifteen degrees cooler in other offices. (I run cold, so that was not a problem for me, but a lot of other people brought in space heaters which were technically not allowed!)
Sarah said…
"I found the staff room. I found a mug in the cupboards. I filled the mug with water. I calmed the fuck down." I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. It usually really is that simple, but I rarely remember ha in the moment.

I am ALWAYS hot, and it makes me feel queasy-- I feel you on this one.

The teacher leaving without the kids LOLLOLOL. Maybe she's a sub?
StephLove said…
I'm glad the first day went well, other than the heat. I had to look up Pink Shirt Day-- I don't think we do it in the States. I tend to get panicky when I'm far from a bathroom, even if I don't have to go.

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