Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Be Still

It'll take more than 140 character to express my love for silence so I have to blog instead of Tweet. Darn, right? The three of you that read my blog might appreciate a few extra words now and then.

Today my supervisor took me out for a milkshake on our break today. She was worried that I was overstressed and perhaps unhappy with my job. Overstressed yes, but for the most part I really do love my job. I'm surrounded by books all day long. I get to talk about books all day long. And I get paid! What's not to love there? Now, the people well there lies the problem. I'm teasing. Mostly.

Over the last seven months I've met a lot of people. Several of these people don't have jobs. Several of these people probably don't sleep in a house most nights. But most of these people are still very kind and polite. And after seven months I've even started remembering names and faces. I know there aren't very many people in their lives that care enough to remember who they are. One gentlemen, I know, lives in his car. He stays in the library for most of the 12 hours we are open. I guessed his name when he walked up to the counter the other day and he smiled the broadest smile because I knew his name. We may exchange only three or four sentences every day or two and he never expected me to remember. But it's not just the names of the everyday homeless that I remember. A well to do patron comes in every so often to bring us gifts of books he just couldn't wait to read and went out and bought himself. Several months ago he was telling me about some Michael Connelley stories (author of Lincoln Lawyer and Fifth Witness) and mentioned another series by this author that we didn't have in our collection. I requested them and a volume containing three stories was purchased. When he was in a few weeks back checking out different books I asked if he had seen the one we had just bought. He was surprised I remembered a conversation from back in early spring. Some people, some conversations I do remember. Others I don't. But it's people like these two guys that make me really love my job. That make me look forward to going in to work to help.

The flip to that coin though are the patrons that come in that have had a bad day. Or just a bad life. They're rude. They're never satisfied. They're impossible to please. They are no fun to be around. But they're everywhere, in every job especially jobs that deal with the public. And then there are the children. The children whose parents come to play on the computer for two hours while their children loudly run amok with no supervision. The children whose parents kick them out of the house at 9 am and expect their kids to stay gone all day long so they can sleep or whatever, and no they don't always go home for lunch.  This group of people I don't like, or rather the irresponsible lazy parents of the children and the mean people. This group of people tends to dominate the library in the summertime. With temperatures rising peoples nerves are getting thinner. Luckily, school here starts in just a month and hopefully our days of 100+ degree weather will end soon as well.

But no matter what kind of day I'm having, good or bad I look forward to when I'm off work, the children and Nickel are in bed fast asleep, and when the house is totally quiet except for the hum of the air conditioner. When I close my eyes and take a deep breath and just savor the peace. Savor the quiet.

Psalm 46:10a says “Be still, and know that I am God". Often I shorten that verse even more and remind myself "Be still, and know". And when I'm savoring the quietness I shorten it even more to simply "Be still".


Anonymous said...

I like your job...there's just so many good "stories" to be found at the library. -Melodie

Leslee said...

You're punny!

Eric Castillo said...

Great blog. Really good read and a reminder to just be still. I don't do that enough, especially lately. Thanks for the reminder :)