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Wait, I Could Have Had a Sinecure?

Imagine, all this time I’ve been working my behind off in library jobs, and I could have spent it reclining on a chaise-lounge reading fat novels? Or so says LSSI, the library-outsourcing company, in a deliciously slurpy quote for the New York Times:

“A lot of libraries are atrocious,” Mr. Pezzanite said. “Their policies are all about job security. That’s why the profession is nervous about us. You can go to a library for 35 years and never have to do anything and then have your retirement. We’re not running our company that way. You come to us, you’re going to have to work.”

Once upon a time I was an outsourced librarian (for the EPA), which meant this: I was paid much less than the federal employees, my benefits were not as good as theirs, and my “supervisor” was some wahoo several states over who had most recently supervised clerks at Toys ‘R’ Us. It was never about anything other than saving the feds a few bucks, which became painfully but at least publicly evident when the EPA libraries were threatened with closure.

I worked hard there, and I “have [had] to work” at nearly every other library I’ve worked at for two decades. Where I work now, we work full-tilt all fall, then do projects over the winter break, then work-work-work all spring, and then catch up on projects all summer. I typically get to work before 7:30 and I’m usually there at least til 5, and I’m in earlier and stay later as needed, and I drag work home. The library is hardly alone in this level of work effort; it’s just typical of our campus. We do great work, and then we get up the next day and do more of it.

God forbid I ever encounter (or have to work for) a Pezzanite. Among other things, you have to be some kind of cad to generalize an entire profession to the Times so boastfully.

I could go on, but you know what? It’s already 5:30 a.m., and I need to get a move on — the day ticks away as I write.

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