When I took the job as a library assistant 6 months ago, I knew I was taking a job well below my skill set. I knew that I was taking a job a monkey could do, and that it wouldn’t be long before I started to feel a bit bored and search out projects to keep me interested. Basically, I knew I was not going to love this job.
Today I started a project that makes me dread my job.
Today I started shelf cleaning.
Those of you who have worked in libraries are already feeling my pain. Shelf cleaning means taking all of the books off the shelves, wiping down the shelves with school approve cleaning products, dusting off the books and putting them back on the shelf. When done with a group of people working in different parts of the collection, it wouldn’t take long. With just one person, it will take the better part of 6 months.
The shelves have not been cleaned in well over a year. They look a little something like this:
I spent three hours today covered in dust before I threw in the towel and hid at my desk. I left covered in dust, smelling like cleaning agent and feeling dirty. The worst part of this project is the fact that there are no rules about food in the library and students where I work are pretty lazy. There will be rotted apple cores, half eaten sandwiches, trash, and who knows what other surprises waiting for me on some of these shelves. When I mentioned to my mentor that I was about to start the project, she reminded me I needed to wear gloves and a mask while working. Student already give me funny looks while I working, so there is no way I am adding to the weird.
Imagine the looks I would get in this getup while I work……on the other hand, it would keep my clothes clean…..
The project is job security since no one can be fussed to do the work if I don’t, but it is not really one of the tasks that I would like to be doing. I did a little of this at the last library I worked at, but I always had students to help, and other co-workers that jumped in and would lend a hand. I can choose to sulk over the lack of help (which I think I have done now) or I can choose to see this as a test of fortitude. How long can I make it before I grow a dust bunny in my lung or do permanent damage from inhaling cleaning solution?
I guess it is a good thing my government supplied fake insurance has kicked in.