Monday, June 02, 2008

Easy work, if you can get it

Word has gotten out that the "liberry" is about to have a staff vacancy. Actually, this particular instance is my own fault.

There's a local attorney who I'll call Ringo with whom I've acted in a couple of plays over the years. Some weeks back, while dining at a local pub in which Ringo happened to also be dining, I got into a conversation with him and the topic of my impending disappearance from Tri-Metro came up. Upon hearing the news, Ringo noted that he had a friend who could use a job and would be perfect to work in a library. "After all," he said, "all you do is shelve books and check them in and out."

I allowed Ringo to live, though my choice to do so is merely a testament to the fact that I tend to mellow out after I've been drinking and I'd already consumed a Guinness at that point. Those of you who work in "liberries" know how tempting it was to disembowel him on the spot, though. After all, a "liberry" ass.'s job description might read pretty simply, but there's a damn lot of skill that goes into successfully doing the actual job, not to mention all the skills and finesse that you have to have or develop that aren't listed--for instance, the ability to refrain from disemboweling people like Ringo after they make such wildly uninformed comments.

A couple of weeks passed.

One morning at the "liberry," Mrs. C told me that there was a woman there to see me. I stepped out to find a middle-aged lady who introduced herself as Ringo's friend. She also mentioned that she'd heard from Ringo that I was soon to be leaving. During our conversation she seemed to behave very much as though I were not only the person vacating the "liberry" ass. position here but also the person hiring my own replacement. She also seemed to be under the misconception that my departure was going to happen sooner, rather than later, since my wife's job in Borderlands doesn't start for a while. I remained friendly and explained that she was welcome to turn in a resume and I'd see that Mrs. A, the real boss, received it. At that moment, Mrs. A happened to walk by, so I introduced the two of them and mentioned that she was a friend of Ringo's.

After the woman had departed, Mrs. A said that the lady would have been far better served to have kept the fact she was friends with Ringo a secret, as Mrs. A has no great love for him. I told Mrs. A of what Ringo had said concerning the limited job responsibilities my position offered. She snarled appropriately and suggested I should have told Ringo that he could give his friend a job as an attorney in his practice; after all, all he did was look up laws in books, so how hard could it be?

The following week, Ringo's friend returned. I happened to be leaving the building at the time, so I only spoke to her in passing in the parking lot. Ringo's friend again behaved as though I was about to depart my job right away--perhaps at that very moment, in fact, seeing as how I was already leaving the building--and had an air about her of a person who could start immediately. Before I could disengage from the conversation and go about my way, Ringo's friend asked how much my job paid. Cruelly, I told her. I then took mixed pleasure from her falling expression.

"Yeah. Nobody in library science is getting rich," I said.

And that, I believe, will be that.

1 comment:

tinylittlelibrarian said...

My stars, good for you for letting him live! And I like Mrs. A's answer idea about giving the job in the lawyer's office!

An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.