Right around the time when I was congratulating myself for having taken apart and then put back together various technology carts so that every single teacher had what they needed, all the laptops in my building died. It’s a long story involving old laptops and an operating system upgrade but the point of the story is that it is illegal to drink at work or I would probably have had a working lunch at the ABC store around the corner.
I have a fair amount of technology tricks under my belt, but when every single laptop refuses to get on the network (or is refused by the network, tomato tomahto) there is basically nothing I can do, which is the worst. Let me tell you, I didn’t go into being a librarian because I want to stand around and not be able to help people. I don’t find that to be a good time.
There are a lot of hard things about being a librarian, like rigging a bunch of different pieces of equipment together and then making it work in front of bigwigs in your district. When strangers find out you are a librarian, they ask what book they should read as if recommending books is a science, not an art. Every day is different but not always in a good way and shelving books is monotonous and it’s a drag to ask kids to pay for a book they lost. It’s super crazy hard when all the laptops in your building stop working.
I actually like that every day is different, and I enjoy showing off my technology tricks and I can probably even recommend a book that you will enjoy. (I can’t do anything about those laptops no matter how much I wish I could.) But the hardest thing for me, the thing that makes me extra super crazy, is that people hear that I’m a librarian and they say things like, “Oh, must be nice to sit and read all day.” Being a librarian is pretty awesome, and reading books in a cozy room all day sounds pretty awesome, too, but sadly I don’t think that’s a job anyone could get paid for (if so, I am clearly doing my whole life wrong and CALL ME if you are hiring).
When all of the laptops broke, I had to tell my coworkers that I couldn’t fix them and I had to offer suggestions that were basically like cobbling together equipment out of toothpicks. The only thing that I wanted to do was to hide under my desk except that there’s a mousetrap under there. So maybe somewhere else. An undisclosed location.
But here’s the thing that happened: my coworkers were so awesome about the whole thing that I didn’t have to hide anywhere at all. They were kind and patient and said things like, “I understand,” and, “I know you would fix it if you could,” when I tried to explain the problem. Nobody got mad and everybody took deep breaths and together we Macgyvered the crap out of basically everything so we could get through a few days until we get our real solution. Maybe they could see my sad face or maybe they are just nice people, but their gentleness was grace grace grace to me on a difficult day for all of us.
And that is what is saving my life this week.