If Dilbert comics are any indication, I should have given up on office work a long time ago. “TheOffice”, “Office Space”, and “The IT Crowd” all tell me that I should be done, that working in an office is awful and terrible and we’re only truly ourselves when we’re not at work.
Disillusionment (and not the fun Harry Potter kind)
I call a TISSUE OF LIES! (I just looked up synonyms in the Macmillian Dictionary site, and that was the best they came up with.) Librarianship must be the clear exception to this pop culture rule, because I see so many wonderful and enthusiastic individuals changing librarianship — old and young, new and seasoned. There’s everyone from Nancy Pearl to Buffy Hamilton, Stephen Abram to Justin Hoenke — we are overflowing with talented people of all ages, exploring ever-more interesting aspects of librarianship.
Admittedly, I’m only five years in to my career, so there’s still time for me to become jaded, but I don’t anticipate it. I think the key to my successful attempt to ward off disillusionment: I don’t accept things the way that they are.
The most disillusioned people that I have met (in libraries or otherwise) have always been content to accept things the way that they are. They are smart enough to see that things should be different, but they never stand up for making it better. Some would argue that accepting the bad aspects of a job is a symptom of a larger problem, and that is probably true. But I would respond that we are all driven to create: create art, create music, create programming, create better collections, create solutions. That drive to create and the sense of accomplishment when you’ve seen a project through are uplifting and motivating. Yes, you get more work. Yes, most of the time people don’t want to hear what you have to say. Yes, a lot of things never change. But, for me, that program, that collection, that solution is enough to keep me trucking and optimistic about my opportunity to change the library and impact our patrons..
So, Dilbert, you may be hilarious, and occasionally accurate, but I wouldn’t get your hopes too high on my becoming jaded, because I’m in it to win it.
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