Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Family

I wrote my title yesterday, not knowing what I'd put with it: it's the kind of writing exercise I relish. So - here goes.
The immediate thought is to ramble on about the Kennedy clan, or perhaps that chinless (I can talk) crowd that haunts Buck House, in London. But hell, they're both cliches, and both families deserve to now fade into obscurity.
So - I'll instead burble on about new people, new experiences, and new hopes... a blither that's all wrapped up under the false moustache of my title. I am, of course, referring to My New Job: Access Services Librarian, for the Waitakere City Library.
It's always a thrill meeting new people, and I've been given a rare opportunity of meeting some astonishing people who actually bring the ideas / notions / dreams of a cloistered community to my mind. I was the new guy on the block, and very aware of the fact that I was becoming a part of a very privileged group. My first real confirmation of this thought came when I stepped into the office: a long room, perhaps 50 metres. And the dominant design feature was that fourth great love of my life: bookshelves. Bookshelves filled with books of all kinds. Books, and magazines, and and talking books, and CDs and DVDs. Initially, I felt awkward and lumpen, as though I was a three-legged elephant. However, the feeling quickly passed. I was introduced to people - people who astonished me by their genuine and heartfelt welcome. Yes, that appalling cliche "welcome aboard" was used once or twice, but there was no feeling that I was walking up the Titanic's boarding plank: instead, I was being brought into a well-knit and cohesive group of people who still had room for one more.
They even put on a morning tea for me: sausage rolls, chocolate cake, and that embarrassing two-minute talk about myself. As I blithered to a somewhat dribbly end, someone said "But we'd heard you also wrote.."
Yes, they'd been talking about this strange older chap who was joining their team. And a few of them had checked out my blog, and were complimentary about Henry.
That was yesterday. That was the good.
Today, with the person I'm replacing, I went out to meet a few of our clients: the housebound of the city. The Library staff choose appropriate books for these people, and delivers them: it's an expensive process (that's the bad) but one which the city deems as necessary. Certainly, when I had quick chats with the dozen or so old-timers I met today, I can't argue. It was a privilege. We based ourselves at a branch for the day, away from the head officey-ness of where I'm based. Guess what? They welcomes me, they knew about me, they all have a genuine passion for what they're all doing, and they see my role as being just as vital as their own. So much so that they all gave me the impression that they considered it an honour to help me get to my feet quickly, and continue my / their / our work.
I said to a friend this evening that I was struck by the fact that no-one seemed to have personal agendas, no one seemed to be burdened by a vaulting, overweening, personal ambition. There were no dagger-wielders, looking for a back to plunge their weapons into.
They were, and are, concerned with ensuring that they worked as collaboratively as possible, that we all strove toward a common objective, that we were all seen to serve the people of their city, and beyond.
They are, after all, Librarians. And very proud of it, too.

LISTENING TO: Acoustic Alchemy, "Positive Thinking". One of my favourite shut up and think albums.
READING: Umm... nothing. True. For the first time in a long, long time... and for the briefest of periods... I don't have a bookmarked book. Some Librarian!
WORD OF THE DAY: Gratitude. I don't have to tell you why.

NO MORE HENRY. As from tomorrow: "Quiet Woman".

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