Saturday, July 30, 2016

Dear African American Gentlemen #1 and #2

Dear African American Gentleman #1,

I am sorry that when by giving you the simple paper calendar and saying that the full library system brochure was too complicated that you thought I meant it personally at you, that you were too stupid to get it.

It is simply that the brochure is so badly designed that it takes endless flipping to look through it! That's why I spent time making the paper calendar.I have had other patrons complain about it, and I am planning on taking it up with our nice but dim public information officer, the Elf from our central branch and the other librarians.

That's all. Nothing in terms of your intelligence or ability, though you immediately assumed that I meant it that way.

Dear African American Gentleman #2

I am sorry that you got huffy about making enlarged prints. You needed my help with getting the right sized paper, and you discussed how you wanted to try to enlarge the print. Since I've been doing stuff like that with copy machines since we've had copy machines that could do that, I know you often have to try, try and try again to get it the right size, and that huge blowups don 't usually work.  I gave you your money back and you were hostile.

Both of you assumed that since I am a white lady who works in a government building that I am prejudiced against you automatically, that I think you are ignorant. But the sad truth, which I first experienced with a college roommate back in 1979 is that YOU are prejudiced against me.

Yes, the world is stacked against you as an African American man. My dear friend who works with me, who is the antithesis of the stereotypical African American male, deals with that on the other side of the desk here every day. I do get it.

But if you ASSUME that every word from my mouth has hidden meaning, if you ASSUME that anyone who has my skin color is against you, than you are part of the problem too.

How about assuming that I might be nice, and helpful and will treat you with the same dignity I would treat anyone who walks into my library?  You might find that people will surprise you when you do that.

Respectfully and sadly,

The Library Lady

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Dear Dad

Did you believe in "watch out for what you wish for, you just might get it?"

I have wanted space to get the Man's things out of the way of the rest of us, more privacy, a place where I could have family over.

We're getting that. We've bought a house. Closing is in a month, we will move in near the end of August.
We have a beach vacation, and it's going to take lots of time to get the Man's things--and the rest of the family's stuff moved over there.

It's not in our neighborhood. It's right near where I used to work. It's not far from here, and it's a nice enough area.

No one wanted our new house, probably because it is next door to what is called "transitional housing," but there's no crime in the area. The transitional house has been next door for 20 years, no problems.

Otherwise it's a really nice house. And your money and Mom's is making it possible. Because it means we can pay off the mortgage, and sell this house after we move out. You remember what an awful mess our house is, Daddy? Still is now, and it's mostly because of the Man's stuff. Thousands of books he'll never use. Lots of other crap. More in storage, but at least we'll have space to store it--and we won't be paying $500 a month in storage fees any more.

It's a really nice house, Daddy, and I'm sure we'll love it. But you know what?  I DON'T WANT IT.

All I want is for Vulgaria next door to move out and for the Man to get ride of all these useless things that have spoiled our life here.

I am so, so angry at him for making me leave this house. My nest. My safe place. The last place where I have memories of you and Mommy.

But then, Dad, I'm still mad at you and Mom for leaving me. For leaving me to clear out YOUR house, and say goodbye to it the way we did.

And I won't do that to my girls. At least we can all say goodbye to this place together.

I love you, Daddy. Four years ago, right about now, you left us forever. And I miss you. Always.
And I love you, always.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Waiting Game

We are waiting on an offer on a house.
JR just took her state Algebra II test today.  We will have to wait till next week till the results on that.

Waiting sucks.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Happy Birthday, Mom

Hi Mom,

These are the same sort of flowers I used to send you for your birthday and other occasions because I knew you loved them. I remember being in the Botanical Gardens with you, admiring the irises.

I miss you, Mommy. I miss you every day of the year. I hear your voice in my head, still nagging me about my food choices and my grammar and a host of other things, but it was all with your love and I knew it.

I'd like to be the daughter again, and you the parent.

You're hear with me, every day, Mom. And you always will be.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Staff Day Rant

A mostly wasted morning--I know how to write an email, thank you--was followed by a nice lunch.
Then came the afternoon festivities.

We had a truly disturbing training on armed shooters by a local cop. He was matter of fact about it, which was the most terrifying aspect of all.

And we had a CPR related training which brought back not so happy memories of Dad, including the not funny but funny Thanksgiving when the firemen/EMT filled his bedroom, appearing one after the other like a Monty Python sketch.  The whole thing sent me to the rest room in tears.

The Elf won an award, sure enough.
One of her staff was given an award by the director for something I think she got one of the legitimate awards for 2 years ago. I really hate the director's awards, which smack of the old days at the library, when they were teacher's pet things and nothing more.

And then we were released. It had been raining all day, but when we emerged the sun was shining and the sky was blue, and I could hear this in my head:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Staff Day

Tomorrow is "Staff Development Day," and I am going to hate most of it. Especially the very last hour, which is the "Staff Awards," part. Because no matter what I do these days, no matter what I have DONE, I will never get acknowledged.

 No, it is likely to be the irritatingly chirpy voiced Elf with the dyed red/one white streak, who is 2 levels above me as the "Youth Services" manager of our Central library (or one of her minions) who will get an award if any children's people do.

I've been rejected as a troublemaker because I dare to question the wisdom of "consistency" in our programming, since our central branch has 6-8 staffers, the rest of us have 1 or 2, and all our neighborhoods have vastly different needs. My hard work on a proposal for improving our picture book shelving was rejected because of my being the problem child, I think.

I've proposed the "Thousand Books Before Kindergarten" program for several years. I've had done it on my own if I'd been allowed, but NOOOOO! We have to be consistent.
Now supposedly we are doing it this fall. And I will get no credit.

I have probably the equivalent in years of doing this work as all 3 of the other "Youth Service Managers" combined.
(I suspect that I have shoes older than Elf. Certainly I was a parent while she was still probably in high school.)

My hard work,  my caring, has been consistently met with a metaphorical slap in the face.

So I will go and see old friends tomorrow. I will endure stupid, useless speakers with stuff irrelevant to what we do here.

I will remind myself that 4 years ago on Staff Day I was in NYC, enduring a day of emergency room hell with my father, that makes Staff Day look positively enticing.

And I will sit through the blasted Staff Day awards.
And be glad till it's over till next year.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Time For Some Good Old Fashioned Ranting

1) I have an acquaintance from a list serv and Facebook who put up a post about a beautiful craft item. Somehow people are mistaking her for the artist and she is being snowed under by comments, emails, etc, by random strangers. So why the f*ck doesn't she either remove the post or make her Facebook feed a lot more private?

2)I am tired beyond tired of people who come to my programs with their baby/toddler/young preschoolers for years, then disappear from sight until they suddenly have a new, younger sibling to bring. If you can manage to parallel park the SUV around here to come to Mother Goose Time, surely you can manage to do the same to come in and borrow some books. It's really insulting to me--here I am encouraging you to read, read, read with your kids and you're using me as free entertainment and no more.

3) And while we're at it, do you really go to that other branch--the one with the parking lot--and not notice that their books are in absolutely crappy condition, or is it just that you figure you're better off borrowing crappy books since their staff doesn't seem to notice if your kids damage them?
(Said branch has double my book budget by the way. I simply don't get what they do with that money, as their books always look like the dog's dinner, and they never seem to replace damaged books with fresh copies.)

4)If your house is worth $730,000, and you paid $150K for it 20 years ago, why are you asking $849K for it now?  If you sold it for a fair price, I'd be in there making an offer.

And with that, I return you to your regularly scheduled programming.....................