On Graduating from School and Getting a Job

I was crawling through my archives this morning and came across this little rant that I wrote years ago, during my first, horrible, post-grad school job at the Cornell University Library. I know several of you Gentle Readers are in school right now, and I thought you might enjoy the sentiment:

First of all, and lets just get this out of the way: a full-time job is actually a pretty shoddy reward for 2.5 years of graduate school stress.

Yes, I’m grateful and all, glad to be here, nice to meet ya, etc. but frankly, I think I was looking for something along the lines of “congratulations on your degree, here’s your houseboat, now get out of here you scamp.”

I suppose having a stable schedule and slightly-more-realistic paychecks is reward enough, but lately I’ve had to face what seems to happen any time you put enormous effort into something. Which is, a rather slow transition into something different that requires enormous effort.

Like learning not to scream when someone suggests you attend the Metadata Working Group Meeting.

Arr! Yahoo, prepare to be boarded!

pirate-flag.gifWith the recent news of Yahoo’s potential acquisition by vile Microsoft and its prior layoff of 1000 hardworking geeks, there was a bit of an air of piracy in the office last week.

Linden Lab is going into another round of recruitment, focusing on web developers, QA folk, and other nerdy types. If any web developers out there (you, yes, YOU Joy!) want to work in a more stable, hilarious, and weird environment, you might want to fill out an application to work at Second Life. Free beer, the Love Machine, and a frightening amount of RockBand can all be yours!

Linden seems to be where the socially-developed nerds go to work. There’s a much larger % of women, extroverts, parents, and charmers working at Linden than is considered industry standard. Which means you tend to not find yourself in conversations with dudes who can’t make eye contact with a girl, or folks who get REALLY EMOTIONAL about their code.

It’s good to be a god, too, even if it’s only in-world. You can read more about our wickedcool office culture in the Tao of Linden.

Help! I’m having a Collections Emergency!

Help! I’m having a Collections Emergency!

Today I called someone at work and her voicemail said:

“If you are having a collections emergency, please call my pager.”

Help! The collections have turned on us! They just devoured a bibliographer!

They’re moving toward the staff break room! Sweet God, it’s a collections emergency!

Me-mail

I got this email from Erin this morning. I’m all ego-y now. Once in a while I get a letter like this, an occurrence which pretty much defies reality and constructs a nice illusion of me as some sort of e-persona, which I suppose I could be if I worked on the website once in awhile instead of staying up until 4am reading “Sewer, Gas & Electric” by Matt Ruff. Dangit. Curse you Matt Ruff and your seductive prose!

Erin writes:

at the YMCA tonight I saw…

an awesome girl in a “librarian avengers” t-shirt.

I was like, “Aw na, hell na– that’s awesome! Erica Olsen is like my best friend in the world.”

she was studying to become a librarian and generally thinks of you as an extraordinary genius.

I am beaming with pride!

Ivy

First, I would like to officially apologize to Peter for talking his friendly Minnesotan ear off at the I.T. thing yesterday. Low blood sugar almost inevitably leads to leftist political rants. I’m sure I read this somewhere in the New England Medical Journal.

The window ledge skateboarders have not returned today.

Someone once pulled a gun on my friend Erin and demanded her skateboard. This was back in Flint, MI. She ran away, and now runs marathons in San Francisco.

At this point I would like to emphasize the Not-Flintness of Ithaca, NY. I feel confident that my library window skateboard boys are back in middle school today, snapping bra straps and setting off stink bombs.

I’ve been reading this book:

This fine place so far from home: Voices of Academics from the Working Class

Speaking of which, there sure is a lot of ivy in the Ivy League. It all turned red over the weekend, and it looks just glorious. Ivy can cover a great number of architectural flaws. Someone might consider planting some around Olin Library

Joy! Connectivity!

The dead have risen, and my formerly disconnected home computer lives again due to the life-giving properties of the *Third* network card installed in a year. I strung up the dead ones and hung them on the bathroom wall. Hopefully they will scare off the bad networking demons.

I adopted a dog this weekend from a wretched pound outside of Toledo. She’s white, Golden Retrieverish, gentle, and quite full of fur. I keep following her around the house making little contented sighing noises.

The second in a paranoid series

cool looking header image

Ah ha! I get it! They aren’t looking at me!

Let me back up. I work in front of a huge window. All day students walk by on their way to classes. About half of them stare into my office as they walk by. It is kind of creepy. I’ll get this odd feeling that I’m being watched, look up, and realize that I AM being watched. It wasn’t until today that I noticed a woman sort of tap-tap-tapping on her hair the way people do when they…look in a mirror. Yes, a mirror. Not in a window, but rather, at a reflective surface created by contrasting light levels.

I’m so relieved.

In which Metafilter links and I fret

EEE! I’m quite excited about being linked on Metafilter, but was it just me, or did some snarky person imply that the name Librarian Avengers is a possessive plural? I’m so confused. There aren’t even any adjective-noun agreement issues, and hello, avengers serves as a collective noun anyway. It’s like saying “dental hygienists” or “sports team.” This is really bugging me people. I’m wasting valuable rant time here reading linguistics texts and trying to figure this out. Besides, I stole the name from the Lesbian Avengers so am I really to blame?

Oh wait, I just realized that the snarky person was being snarky about the entry below mine. Never mind.

Hmm. Or maybe they weren’t. Hell.

A few weekends ago the charming Alexandra came out to visit. Although she, Pedro, and I all have degrees from the University of Michigan’s School of Information and took a few library and archives classes, none of us really consider ourselves librarians in any sort of traditional work-in-a-library way. This might be of interest to any of you potential library school students: Information School can lead you to choose strange and unusual jobs. Beware!

Anyway, while she was here we went out to a local sheep farm and met the nicest people, dogs, sheep, and pigs. We don’t really have access to stuff like this back in metro Detroit, so we got all excited and Alexandra took lots of pictures. And since Alexandra is a champion craftsperson, in a few weeks one of those sheep will be turned into a sweater or something. I’ve always thought that if some sort of Y2K event occurs, we are going to load up the bees in the Jeep and drive to wherever Alexandra is. She’ll take care of us. She would just knit up a nice four-bedroom house, and then cook a six-course meal out of acorns and dandelions.

If some horrible Y2K type event DOES occur, Ithaca is actually a rather nice place to be, considering the amount of locally grown food and the homebrew philosophy that sort of permeates the place. Mmm, homebrew. Gotta go.

Morning Ralph

You know that old Warner Brothers cartoon with the coyote and the sheepdog? The sheep dog and the coyote both come into work and punch the time clock, and one goes “Morning Ralph” and the other goes “Morning Sam.”

Remember? That one?

Ok, so I’m leaving work last night, and I see somebody from the reference department coming in for her shift just as I’m leaving. And of course I say “Morning Ralph,” because of course everyone in the universe has the same cultural touchstones as me right?

And of course she has no idea what I am talking about, and of course I’m a big freak.

Libraries and the people who work in them

Hey, big news! Why you should fall to your knees and worship a librarian is now online in a nice temporary format. In other news, this blog has been discovered by people at work, so now I have to be extra careful not to mention how frightening I find the break room.

Here’s an interesting factoid about libraries and the people who work in them: Many of us have absolutely no contact with patrons or customers or whatever you call them. Mmm hmm. It’s true. Most of the straight-up academic librarians around here can be found hidden in back rooms, far from the maddeningly crowded cybercafe, trying to wrap their poor heads around grant applications and articles on digital preservation. Which, among other things, means I get to wear Birkenstocks to work.