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.
11 thoughts on “The Wild Librarian Makes a Decision”
Congrats! Sounds like a tough decision and I love your Pro and Con lists–very Rory Gilmore. If I ever get a chance to make a decision like that jobwise, I would probably make a Pro/Con list, too. Then I’d have to talk to my mom and my friends. Good luck in the new position!
Thanks, Nancy. It was a tough decision, mostly because I miss my co-workers. But I made the right one, I think. 🙂
Read more for the job, huh? Right… 😉
Plan a lunch or dinner with former co-workers once a month or so. You could always say “Let’s do lunch on the second Saturday of the month”, and then take turns deciding where to go. Anybody that can make it that day shows up, and you all have a good time. Anybody that can’t make it, “Sorry we missed you, hope you can come next month.”
This is a great idea! We did that when some of my fave co-workers left for other jobs and enjoyed it a lot. Sometimes I still connect with some of them on FB and see them occasionally.
Good idea, Dee! 🙂
I was wondering where the “Sunlight Pro” was!
It sounds like you made a wise decision. Congrats and keep on your toes!
I’m already losing my signature pallor . . . but patrons have stopped throwing garlic at me, so there’s that. 🙂
I hope so, Mike. Thanks!
Late to the party Sarah, but sounds like the right choice. And of course your evaluation was glowing. Of course.
I think it was . . . so far . . .
And awww, shucks. Thanks, Downith. 😀