Joy (cithra) wrote,

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shelf-reading in the Library of Babel

I was planning on going back to work today, but I can NOT wake up. Instead I keep being dragged back into a dream where I am working in this huge private library.

I'm supposed to be sorting and reviewing books, or reviewing and sorting books - the order is somewhat arbitrary. There are both new books coming in and many older volumes that still need to be reviewed. "Reviewing" consists of opening the cover and looking at the piece of paper there, to see if anyone has written about the book. If they have, and it is accurate, you take the book to the section of the library where it is supposed to be shelved. If it isn't accurate, you can either correct the review yourself and take the volume to a special section of the library where the reviews are reviewed by more experienced staff, or simply take it there and put it in the advanced staff review pile, without adding any of your own commentary. The more commentary you provide, over the years, the more you advance in pay, prestige, etc.

The library was huge, and the structure of what you were required to do for your job was very amorphous - something I wasn't entirely comfortable with. I kept getting drawn into books and not getting any reviews written - some people were very tolerant of that because I was new, some people seemed to look down on my inability to focus without a more concrete structure to work within. At one point I ended up helping a senior gentleman who seemed almost senile complete some sort of transition in position that I didn't really understand. It was open 24 hours, and some people practically lived there, while others came and went as though it were a "normal" job. I kept wanting there to be more structure, more routine - something I could follow by rote as I got used to the situation and surroundings; there really wasn't any such thing, except for the occasional announcement that groups of 'outsiders' had stopped by for a drink in the cafeteria - which was when you had a chance to visit with friends who weren't part of the library project.

There's a fair amount of job-angst lurking here... I worry sometimes how well I would/will do in a profession that is less rote; where I pretty much have the privilege/responsibility to schedule my own time. The more I like what I am doing, the more responsible I tend to be, at least.
There was also a part of the dream that had to do with testing a three-wheeled car and its transmission that was straight out of what's going on with my mom's vehicle (except hers is a normal 4-wheeled car).

Ok, time to face the real world again. Quick shower, rustle up my badge, and wander down the hill to secure the blessings of my paycheck. I just spoke with my acting boss, and I don't have to climb on a plane to Philadelphia next week, at least. I'm glad they brought it up, I wasn't looking forward to trying to argue, but I'm not up to a six hour plane trip right now.

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