Dull-eyed and limp-tailed

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“Golly,” I thought to myself, sitting at a traffic light this evening, “I sure am tired.”

I anticipate that many of you don’t believe me. Those of you who do not work in a library may harbor doubts about the strenuous nature of librarianship. Even those of you who do work in a library may find it hard to accept that I said “golly.”

“Golly” went out of style at least twenty years prior to my birth, and even in earlier decades I’m not sure it was ever what you’d call properly fashionable. Mainly it was used by people who wanted to avoid swearing.

I have no compunctions against swearing, none. I swear frequently and, I’d like to think, stylishly. I swear in American English, and in English English (I’m fond of “sodding” and “bugger”), and in foreign tongues, with “sheisse” being a perennial favorite.

But even though I’m happy to swear, and even though it’s terribly retro, and not in the good retro kind of way, I still say Golly a lot.

As for my being tired, well: I’d like to make clear to any skeptics that librarians do not get to sit about and read books all day.

(As an aside, I’d like to make clear to anybody in charge of government funding that librarians work their tails off, and that making cuts to library budgets is a really bad idea. I know we’re in a global economic meltdown, but you don’t want to underfund the libraries. You really don’t. Things would be even worse without libraries. Thanks.)

In any given day, I might answer reference questions, help people help for jobs, steer reluctant readers to books they’ll enjoy, be nice to mean people (VERY tiring), catalog books, agonize over which books to buy, straighten books, write about books, help lost children locate parents, haggle with salespeople, and fend off lechers, which frankly ought to justify some hazard pay, if anybody in charge of government funding happens to be reading this.

This evening I taught a computer class, one of the most tiring activities of all. Teaching—and I realize this is not a terribly original insight, humor me—teaching is a very difficult job. Communicating new concepts and ideas to a group of people, while making sure that no one feels left behind, or insulted, or bewildered, AND while being interesting and entertaining and personable, really does wear a girl out.

“I bet I wouldn’t be this tired if I worked as a physical laborer,” I continued in my conversation with myself.

“Oh whatever,” I countered. “You’re romanticizing physical labor”

“Fine, it’d be harder, but it would be more satisfying, more healthy. Less mental angst.”

“You wouldn’t last a day as a ditch digger.”

“I was thinking more of a… park ranger, maybe, or a field biologist. Nice fresh air, type thing.”

“Bourgeois,” I muttered.

“What did you call me?”

“I said you’re bourgeois. Whining, privileged, delusional bourgeois.”

At this point the traffic light turned green, preventing what could have been a very ugly battle with myself.

I’ll concede that I wouldn’t last a day as a digger of ditches, and for that matter I can’t realistically see myself as a park ranger, though I think it’d be fun to wear one of those uniforms and track wild bears and so forth. Plus I am willfully ignoring all the hazards that I decidedly do not encounter in my indoor job: physical ailments from working every day with my body, nastiness from inclement weather, attacks from insects and wild bears.

So I suppose I’ll stick with my cozy suburban airconditioned job, especially since this particular job provides me with daily access to free books. Sunburn and wild bears I could possibly survive, but living without books would be unthinkable.

The fact remains that I am tired—golly!—and have been tired recently, quite a bit. I did just have a mini-vacation a few weeks ago—Mom and Dad and I went to the Outer Banks—but I feel neither recuperated nor refreshed. I’m worn out all the time, barely fit for reading when I get home, to say nothing of blogging (hence the dearth of updates here), and as for deadlines for writing assignments, well. The less said about that the better.

And the less said about anything else right now, the better, because I am about to nod off, and I am not a very coherent typist when I am asleep. More from me soon, I hope, when I am less tired, or at any rate when I have more compelling subject matter than “I’m tired,” though I did manage to wrangle 790 words from the topic, which ought to count for something, if you ask me.


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