The irony is not lost on me

Today might have been the roughest day I’ve had in a very long time.

In my former life, I used to be a visual journalist. I existed on tight deadlines, no sleep and lots and lots caffeine. Working in newspaper is ridiculously stressful, and it takes its toll on you – physically and emotionally. I used to have nightmares about incoherent nutgraphs, wrong by the numbers boxes and misspelled headlines. And eventually, I realized that my lifestyle was going to kill me before I hit 40.

So I sought out an alternative that helped me fulfill my career goals but without the stress. I know! I’ll become a librarian!

But I took a job at a law firm. And to say it’s been easy is an understatement. I’m not knocking other forms of librarianship, but the urgency involved with my position can be overwhelming. It’s far more than I could have ever expected.

Today was one of those days that really tested my patience. Before I left yesterday, I knew I had one immediate request to tackle first thing in the morning. When I checked my email last night, I knew of 2 URGENT requests. When I checked it before work, there were two more in my inbox with the dreaded red exclamation points next to them. And by the time I arrived at work, I had more than I could count.

Apparently “trial starts next week” is some sort of secret code for “EVERYBODY PANIC!”

I was thrown back to my newspaper days. On one hand, I THRIVE in this environment. I step up and take control when no one else does. I tackle everything with gusto and eagerly take on everything that is thrown my way. On the other hand, it’s exhausting. And at the end of the day, I’m drained. Physically, you exist purely on adrenaline and Coke. Emotionally, you’re on edge and struggling to accomplish everything without snapping at people.

I had to remind myself today to slow down and take a deep breath. I shut my door at lunch and refused to answer my phone for an hour so I could have a little quiet time. I did some yoga breathing to calm my self. And y’know what? It might have been the most glorious lunch I’ve ever had.

I cranked through so many article requests and corporate hierarchies and D&B requests today. At the end of the day, I feel accomplished. However, I am reminded how thankful I am that I only have one of these sort of days once in awhile instead of every day.

I just hope I don’t have nightmares about Lexis and Westlaw tonight.


About indie librarian

a recently MLS librarian's observations
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