Category Archives: Personal

Flaunting my narcissistic side.

Goody No Shoes Guide to Etiquette, Part 2: Flirting with Disaster

I’m not sure how people, let alone other librarians feel about this, but I cannot stand being flirted with while I’m working. I’ve always been that way. Sure, on the street, in my civvies, I’m more tolerant, willing to humor you for about five seconds before I awkwardly shuffle off, but at work, my anger level spikes like a rocket, Incredible Hulk style. The combination of being offended, disgusted, and contemptuous is too much for my normally sweet disposition to handle, and it makes me want to reach across the information desk and make you choke on my stapler.

One: Guys don’t flirt with me when I’m not at work… that I’m aware of. I’m bad at noticing that kind of thing, so I could be wrong, but at work, it’s so obvious, and totally frustrating. What is it? Is it the nametag that does it? I guess my friendliness at work, not to mention the sexy librarian aspect (they make those shirts low cut on purpose!), apparently makes young men think that I am interested in something besides doing a computer search for them or showing them how to use the printer.

Two: I’m trying. To fucking. WORK. Your dumbass pickup line is wasting my time that could be spent helping the sweet, innocent child next to you find a book so she can do her homework. You are RUINING her education, you selfish asshole.

Three, and possibly most annoying: It is never the shy, bookish type who tries to flirt with me. It always has to be some type A, overconfident douchebag, who is mistaking my rage face for my amorous face. Maybe they do look alike, but there’s nothing more irritating than trying to communicate venom to someone who is thinking its the opposite because stapling their hand to the desk would cost me my job. Thus, I created this handy guide to flirting with the cute librarian, that can only be really used on me and other introverted types, but if it catches, maybe people will make some of their own.

1. If you are thinking that hitting on with the librarian while she is working is a reasonable, unobtrusive thing to do, DO NOT FLIRT WITH THE LIBRARIAN.

2. If you actually came to the library for books, notice the librarian is cute, but would never talk to her because that would be disrespectful and she may not like you, FLIRT WITH THE LIBRARIAN. Even if she is not interested, she will let you down gently, rather than look at you as if you were a silverfish in her bedroom.

3. If you are not put off by polite, professional rebuttals, or fierce, angry rebuttals, or the words “go away,” DO NOT FLIRT WITH THE LIBRARIAN.

4. If your pick up line involves asking how old she is, DO NOT FLIRT WITH THE LIBRARIAN.

5. If your pick up line involves tickets to see Joshua Bell, PLEASE, PLEASE, DO FLIRT WITH THE LIBRARIAN. That’s an almost guaranteed in.

There. I hope that will clear things up for some people. And, if you have any rules of your own, please feel free to add them.

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And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

I feel I should explain myself a little better. I didn’t just wander into a library and sit down behind the desk and no one asked me to leave… though that would’ve been cool. I always wanted to be a librarian, I just didn’t know it for oh, the first 24 years of my life. I am not well-known for my powers of observation.

Where the hell am I?

To make a long story about as long as it should be, I majored in art (art history, really) in college because I was good at it. Using basic researching skills, writing papers at dawn the day they were due, and exploiting the subjectivity of the subject to its fullest extent, I was able to pursue those topics more aligned with my undergraduate pursuits, mainly drinking and watching Adult Swim. Basically, my degree says B.A., but really it should say BS. I’m sure many of you can relate.

Not that I didn’t enjoy it. I love art, so that made it even easier to work toward some shadowy, idealistic goal, curating, in my case, without having to consider the consequences, which were as such: I loved art, but not curating it, restoring it, making it, or teaching it. So, by graduation, I was pretty much boned.

What the fuck am I supposed to do with this?

I panicked. I panicked for a LONG time, 6 months, give or take. Being utterly directionless and having been GROSSLY misinformed about how difficult the adult world actually is, I pretty much sat in my room, applying for jobs I knew I wouldn’t get and crying. A lot of crying took place, not to mention nerding it up reading novels at the back of library stacks whenever I found the energy to crawl from the house.

Don’t judge me.

Eventually, I landed an unpaid internship (score!) which was not too bad, but pretty much cemented the fact that I had a degree for a profession that was never going to make me happy. It was most distressing. So, I took the next logical step. I left my internship to work as a volunteer farmhand, knowing absolutely nothing about farming… because I am Goody, the Super Genius.

This is a great idea.

It actually worked out in my favor. I worked strictly on organic farms in podunk little towns, away from billboards, highways, TV, the Internet, with only my cell phone that hardly ever had a signal and $100 a month to live on. I was eating right, getting constant fresh air and exercise, meeting great people, getting drunk in places I’d never been to, and barely wearing my shoes. (I actually lived in a town where I almost never had to wear shoes, EVER. Ever go shopping barefoot? It’s freakin amazing.) I had planned to do this for six months, but I was gone little more than a year. The experience changed my life.

But, I couldn’t live like that forever. I needed some stability, so I came back home for round two of the punishing game known as Finding a Job. Six months experience and being somewhat more emotionally sound made round two slightly less awful, but still didn’t go too well. I got hired at a place where the words “employee health and safety” had obviously never been uttered, was swiftly injured, and found myself back at home, facing the unhappy prospect of going back to a seedy business or being unemployed again.

How much does panhandling pay?

With my familiar friend panic staring down the barrel of his shotgun at me, I started looking at grad school. I hadn’t wanted to spend the money for something I knew I wasn’t passionate about, but I had paid an exorbitant amount for a secondary education already, only to get hurt working for jerks and morons, so I had to do something. I read somewhere that art librarian is actually a real thing, so I had libraries in the back of my mind from the start, but only after reading about what it entailed did I begin to take it seriously.

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” ~ Harper Lee

That was me when I was a kid… and a teenager… and for quite some time as an adult, until I realized not everybody read as much as I did. So when I finally looked seriously into librarianship, I felt like an idiot. What did I love more than books? Nothing! My bedroom even has its own nonfiction section. Where did I spend most of my non-crying hours? HOW did I not pick up on this!? I immediately quit working for shady douchebags and scoured the internet for library jobs. There were not many for those without an MLS. I began networking, something at which I had previously been completely awful. I also started interviewing well because I was actually excited about the work I would be doing. And lo and behold, I got a job offer. I get to read about, discuss, and be around books ALL DAY. Putting the right book in someone’s hand gives me goosebumps and I get paid to tell people how the Internet works! It may be the perfect job, though I suspect I will have my share of struggles once the honeymoon is over. But anyway, that’s my story. I’ve been a library assistant for about two weeks and my so-called adult life has never been better. How long it will last, I have no idea. How long were you happy with your first career choice?

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