It’s been thirty working days since I started my new job as a General Reference Librarian after working for fifteen years as a Specialist Librarian. My probationary period is over—time flies when you’re scrambling–and last week, the supervisor in charge of my training e-mailed me to set up an appointment for my evaluation.
My training supervisor is not an unreasonable person—on the contrary—and, logically, I knew that no matter what was decided, I would still be employed. Under our contracts, unless I managed to do something actionable, I would be allowed to return to my old job as a Specialist Librarian if it was decided that I wasn’t cut out to cater to the informational needs of the general population.
But it still felt like my parole officer had called me up and said, “We need to have a little talk about your recent behavior.” And really, that’s what she did say, even if the adrenaline spike and subsequent stomach drop weren’t intentional.
When I mentioned my reaction to a fellow librarian, she reminded me that the evaluation goes both ways. My supervisor might suggest that I might be happier in my previous position, but even if the ink on her evaluation glowed with the holy light of pure approval, I was still allowed to say, “This was a lovely vacation, but . . .”
It dawned on me that if someone offers you the opportunity to make an informed decision, you’re about to make a decision that would benefit from a bit of thought.
So a wrote out a couple of lists. First, the old job:
Conclusion: I’ve accumulated some baggage in fifteen years . . . and a good percentage of it is stored in the back seat.
The next list proved that some of my brainstormed cons weren’t actually cons, but I put ‘em in anyway, for the sake of verisimilitude, which is a word I like to air out when I can, mostly because I’m proud of myself for remembering to put that first ‘i’ between the ‘r’ and the ‘s’:
Conclusion: Just because my back hurts like a hurting thing (especially when I get the hiccups, gosh $#!% it) and I don’t have a place to hang my kids’ latest deathless artwork and I don’t have anyone who will tolerate my compulsion to snap rubber bands over the exposed air vent shafts while I think up ways to get people excited about local history . . . it doesn’t mean General Reference work isn’t my calling.
Add this to my evaluation, which was actually fairly glowing—in the sunlight from the windows I forgot to mention that my old, lower-level department doesn’t have—and my decision was made.
This is where I belong, for the right reasons.