Thursday, May 23, 2024

Scary Librarian

Dave is very proud of this hydrangea because it's blue. He always wants blue ones, and no matter what he does to the soil to adjust the acid, it seems like ours tend toward pink or white. I think it looks like a church lady's hat.

It's been a dispiriting week. I feel like I am running out of steam on the job front. A lot of things that I used to enjoy about this job have slowly slipped away -- choosing books to buy, for example. Our budget is so tight that we just don't have much money for books, and I am no longer free to make purchasing requests. I feel more disconnected from the books and literature. All I do is scold kids -- and I hate being that person.

Remember that group of 9th Grade boys (now 10th Grade) who have been driving me crazy for years? Well, now they're all into a game called "Brawl Stars," which they play on their phones in the library at break times and after school. They sit in big groups of ten or twelve and they get all excited and start yelling and shouting, and I try to let them have their fun but at the same time it makes me completely nuts. And I still have to ask kids every single day to put their food away and not eat crisps and cookies because we don't allow food in the library, and yet practically every evening there's some after-school event in the library that includes an entire buffet table of food that gets set up before we close, and I think, WHY am I enforcing this rule that magically goes away after 5 p.m.? I'm sure the kids see the contradiction in it too. I am just sick to death of all of it.

I feel like I'm too young to retire but at the same time I'm not sure how much more of this I can do. I don't want to be the scary librarian. And I think I already am.

Here's my temporary solution to our collapsed rose problem. Before I went to work yesterday I hoisted a chair up from the patio and propped the bush against it. (THAT was fun in the rain!) It's a very heavy chair so it's not going anywhere, and after I took this picture I tied the rose to the chair back. For the time being it should be stable even in wind. I ordered some stakes from Amazon and we'll stake the plant this weekend. Assuming it's not damaged at the base it should be fine. We'll prune it back after the blooming season ends.


gz said...

It is sad when a job you have enjoyed changes.
My brother retired at he has lost the stress he is fitter healthier and happier...he looked at the balance sheet, allowed for hefty inflation and decided he could afford it on his company pension..Having got his state pension ten years later is quite comfortably off and doing what he enjoys.

It is surprising how much water a bush can hold..making it that much heavier!

Moving with Mitchell said...

So sorry with how you’re currently feeling about the job. I had enjoyed your satisfaction in the past. And, yes, the food rules (and inconsistency) would annoy me, too, as would those 10th-graders. (I retired at 57.) I love your temporary garden trellis. Classy!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I am sorry that you have been secretly falling out of love with your job Steve. The summer vacation will arrive soon bringing an opportunity to boost your batteries. Perhaps it's just a phase you are going through. With your meticulous nature, your enthusiasm for reading and the wealth of knowledge you have about books, you have the key attributes that an effective school librarian requires.

Sabine said...

It happens, the job turns into a chore etc. especially with cost cutting and these messy teenagers (would drive me mad on any day) but give it a bit of time and see whether it'll pick up again. Meanwhile keeping your eyes open for alternives can never be wrong.
The garden looks super lush and the blue hydrangea is a treat.

Rachel Phillips said...

It happened to me and after 25 years in a job one day and I left quite happily and downsized so to speak and happily took on a job in a different sphere, met new people, new outlooks on life, and went to work each morning with a spring in my step for another eight years and waved goodbye to responsibilities and let other people do the worrying, decision making and I fitted into a new work life and never looked back. I think the trick with second and third careers is to do something completely different.

Bob said...

Carlos, like Madonna, loathes hydrangeas and I keep trying to get him to buy some to put in the yard because I love the color.

It is hard to enjoy a job where the rules shift and change seemingly for no real reason.
No food should mean NO food.

The Bug said...

My job has some big changes in store that I'm not excited about (but my boss is a person of grand ideas that don't always pan out, so I'm choosing to hope for the best). I just want to try to work 7 more years (until I'm 67), but these days I'm wondering why I really have to wait that long. The answer is health insurance & the pension I'll get from my few years with the City.

I say that if you're not enjoying it, and if you won't miss the income (or can find something different), make the change!

Boud said...

Sorry you're in a job slump. It's tough when your favorite parts of the job vanish. Are you looking around for new job opportunities? You're young enough to make a change.

gz said...

Just a second thought..why do the evening gatherings with food happen in the library,?

Ellen D. said...

I wonder if it is the end of the school year fatigue, Steve. I remember the feeling of tiredness that came before summer break and how we couldn't wait to be out of there! I hope having some time off to relax and do whatever you feel like doing will help you feel better about your job. Maybe you can think of some solutions to the things that bother you the most. Or speak to other school librarians to see what they do - they probably have had the same problems as you...
Take care of yourself!

Pixie said...

I can't imagine working with teenagers, loud, messy and self centered. What's changed for you? And when do summer holidays start?

Susan said...

The rose bush is standing tall and the flowers are beautiful. You found a good temporary fix with the chair. When I became dissatisfied with work, I began a casual look around for other opportunities. Something always arose and I moved on with no regrets.

Ms. Moon said...

Oh, Steve. It's not right to go to a job you hate every day if you don't have to. I think that everyone here will say the same. But of course, it is up to you. The saddest thing is how much things have changed, making it impossible for you to enjoy or even do your job. I am sorry you have to go through this.

Ed said...

This post made me reflect back on what kind of librarians I had when I was in school. Were they mean? Nice? I honestly don't know since I can't remember a single one of them, only that I know we had them. I'm not sure that is probably reassuring to you though Steve.

Marcia LaRue said...

I retired at 62 and moved from mid-California to S. Colorado. Started taking Social Security early, put retirement money in an IRA CD that I was able to draw on for 17 years, and put the money in savings ... well, I was a planner and a saver and, now, at 80 ... I am in good shape financially!
If you need to retire early, you are smart enough and meticulous and if you are a saver ... You can survive! And, too ... you have Dave. Find something you can enjoy doing ... Like gardening!

Red said...

Steve, when you're talking to these kids , lower your voice an octave. It calms you and amazingly they quieten down.(usually) They hear a constant screech and ignore it.

Sharon said...

I can relate to your job woes. I've been up and down with my job for the past 2 years. When I am working with users to understand their needs and write up their requests, I love my job. The parts I hate have to do with the new manager who introduces new processes and applications but does nothing to train people to use those things. It gets frustrating.
That hydrangea is beautiful. That's one I never see here. The blue ones are so beautiful.

Don said...

Steve, I spent 36 years in public education from teacher to principal to district Human Resources administrator. Every job and career field changes “underneath” you through time and I found that many jobs I once liked became ones that I didn’t. We usually hang on longer than we should convincing ourselves that the situation will magically morph back into what it was before. It never does. I agree with the others here who suggest looking around for a “new adventure “. Life is SO SHORT.

Kelly said...

Do you have to sign a full year contract? Maybe things will be better after the summer break, but if not, perhaps you could give notice in the fall and leave mid-term.

I love Hydrangeas (ours never thrive) and my favorites are when they're blue. Dave's is beautiful.

Unknown said...

Sounds like you are ready for the summer break. I have just(today) retired from 25 years as Teaching Assistant and can recognise that feeling when you just long for a child free period of time. Hope you get your love of your job back.

Linda Sue said...

Always thought that Steve is the luckiest man in the world- a decent job within walking distance -In the most favored city, living in the best neighborhood of all with Olga and Dave ( you are right about the hydrangea- looks like a church hat).
But, if the young hooligans are making your job a misery, you can either wear your Zen suit to work or do something else- Photography and writing sounds like a great option. The only pressing consideration, I suppose, is income.

Allison said...

Too bad you can't confiscate the little urchins' phones. My job took a nose dive for the worse towards the end, and I left at 55. It might have been a little early, but it was time.

Tasker Dunham said...

I've never had a job that has not gone sour in the end.

Margaret said...

I love hydrangeas of any color (all those tiny flowers) but do have a weakness for the purple and blue ones. When jobs go that sour, it might be time to look around for a different position doing something else. Not that I ever did that! The evil you know...
Looking back, I'm glad I stayed in my job, but it might not be the same for you.

Andrew said...

You seem to young to retire but if you can afford to, why not. I can recommend retirement.

River said...

Good solution for the rose. I have no solution for the library :(

Steve Reed said...

GZ: My dad retired at 55, but I always had the sense that he retired too early. I think he felt aimless in his later life. I'm glad your brother's retirement has gone well!

Mitchell: Well, gee, maybe I SHOULD think about retirement, given what you and Gwynneth have said!

YP: I do think I'm feeling depleted at the end of the school year. Some of this feeling will subside.

Sabine: Yes, I think things will look up over time. I keep asking myself HOW I wound up spending so much time with teenagers, when I never wanted children of my own! LOL

Rachel: Yeah, I've done that once already, when I went from journalism to working at a school. Sometimes you just have to shake things up! I think I'll be in this position until I retire, though.

Bob: Madonna loathes hydrangeas? Now there's a bit of trivia I've never heard.

Bug: I feel like I'm too old to up stakes and find a new career. I'm not sure I have it in me! Like you, I plan to stay put until retirement makes financial sense.

Boud: Well, I don't know about "young," but I do keep an eye on openings at the school. I would probably stay there if possible to preserve my pension and that kind of thing.

GZ (again): Our school is notoriously short on space, and the library is one of the main event spaces for gatherings and presentations, especially in the evenings.

Ellen D: I think that IS a big part of what I'm feeling. I have to keep in mind that there's a lot to like about this job, too -- like two months off in the summer!

Pixie: I have a new manager and that's taken some getting used to, and our financial situation is much tighter now because of government changes in the UK. (Long story!)

Susan: Yeah, I am keeping an eye on opportunities within the school. I think the chair works well! Maybe I should just leave it there! LOL

Ms Moon: It IS a shame that things have changed. I miss the feeling of being on a team and having a voice.

Ed: Ha! Well, it's better to be forgotten entirely than to be remembered as scary or mean. I do remember my school librarians. I always liked them!

Marcia: That time is definitely approaching, but I'm not quite there. I think I have another 3-5 years of work ahead of me.

Red: How do you know I'm screeching? LOL! No, seriously, that's good advice.

Sharon: Hell is other people! Who said that? Someone famous.

Don: That's good advice! I do keep my eyes open for other options, though mostly within the school where I already work. It's a good place to be overall. (So far, anyway!) It is interesting how jobs morph over time.

Kelly: We do sign contracts, but I've never been clear on what happens if I break it. Can they really stop me from leaving mid-year? There may be financial penalties but I don't think it's impossible.

Jane: Congratulations on retiring! I'm JEALOUS! I do think the summer break will make a difference for me.

Linda Sue: Yeah, that whole money thing, gosh-darnit. I really AM lucky and have to continually remind myself of that when little things get me down. We do have a pretty amazing situation here.

Allison: I don't begrudge anyone leaving early if that's what they want/need to do. It seems like quite a few people here retired around age 55-60.

Tasker: It does tend to happen over time, doesn't it? Like anything in the refrigerator that hangs around too long!

Margaret: Dave is obsessed with trying to make them blue, and I never understood why -- but now that I see this one I can see how they're prettier than the pink ones.

Andrew: Well, I'm looking forward to it, that's for sure!

River: Ha! It's my problem to solve, I suppose. But I'm glad you approve of my rose treatment. :)

Michael said...

I am now reading all of your latests posts. The kidney stone event has certainly knocked me out. I totally understand your feelings about thinking the job has lost its luster. I thought that a lot in my final years in the classroom. I remember my dad always complaining about his job before he retired, and I thought that wouldn't be me. But it was. And sadly, my dad died just a few months after he retired. I think part of the frustration is that we see how things should be done, but they aren't, and it is just tiring seeing it over and over. At least that was my experience. I found that I never got tired of the students, but I grew weary of all of the rigamarole that came from administration. As far as Trump is concerned, I don't understand the pull that he has over people, and it worries me to no end that he may be the next president. I actually think we should overhaul the way we elect a president as the method we use now is quite archaic.

Jeanie said...

I can relate to the frustration. The last two years I worked, my job changed radically, as did my supervisor (whom I can say -- not in any exaggerating way -- needed to be on meds.) I hung in till I could get my retirement withdrawals and Social Security but it was tough. Sometimes it was big things. Sometimes just a string on annoying things (like what you described here.) I hope things level off. Do they do summer school? I hope it's more like a break.

I love the blue hydrangea but I get the church lady reference and agree! And smart move on the roses!