Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Part two of 'So What Do You Do?'

(which rhymes quite nicely, don't you think?)

Ok, so continuing on yesterday's subject of how we define ourselves, (and in some cases defend our definition of ourselves), I thought I would start/continue the ball rolling.

So who am I? What do I do?

Well I've covered the 'I-stay-at-home-with-my-children-but-please-don't-patronise-my-heroism-at-looking-after-my-own-kids' bit and the 'I-home-educate-but-really-dont-want-to-discuss-it-RIGHT-now-thank-you-very-much' bit.

Is that all I am? Is that all I do?

Well I work as well. Yes work. By that I mean not real work, but PAID employment. I have a job: I keep a seat warm at a desk in a library and I smile pathetically when people ask me questions that I - almost always - can't answer. The questions I CAN answer are:

'Where is the photocopier' (yep after 3 years I've worked that one out!) and

'Where are the toilets?' (the first part of the answer to the latter question is 'Not here', the second part is more tricky as it involves directions and emphasis on the 'down the INTERNAL stairs' which nobody asking the question listens to and inevitably gets lost but is too embarrassed to ask again 'where are the toilets?' and probably sneaks off to have a wee by the beautiful trees outside the library or, alternatively, they wet themselves.

And in between keeping the seat warm and giving not very helpful directions to the toilet I watch dust gathering on books. And library dust has a particular smell (particularly academic libraries), which you really couldn't replicate in a laboratory. But now I'm getting offtopic...

Anyway, while keeping the seat warm (and answering, or not, customer's questions) I have another very special job: at half-past eight in the evening - or sometimes 8.45pm if I'm looking at a particularly good web site or trying to finish a blog post or, as I was last night, researching the very interesting subject of temporary marriage in Iran (more about this later) - I go and count the people in the library. Which is A VERY IMPORTANT JOB [said in my best Winnie the Pooh voice]. Not only does it involve the skill of counting and finding a pencil sharp enough to tally the figures, but it also involves the challeng of finding the shortest route around the library. I've been working on this challenge for - ooh - around 3 years now and think I am close to cracking it. There are many many staircases in the library where I work, and 3 floors. So, there must be millions of combinations of ways I could complete the task. I have the secret method whereby I can cover all desks, bookcases, computer rooms etc in the shortest distance. If I had a pedometer I could prove it too!

Yes it's a sad life the librarian lives.

Anyway, back to the issue of temporary marriage in Iran. It really is a very interesting and contraversial subject. Google it if you want to know more.

And if you wish to answer the question 'What do you do?' feel free to comment (as long as it's not in Chinese with links to websites where the girls really could do with a sweater or two)


MadameSmokinGun said...


Too zoned out to understand the question. Spend too much time with children you see. Only understand surreal questions now.

arwen_tiw said...

Hmm, well, I usually answer with the slightly-too-chirpy, "I live a full, varied and chaotic life, and drag three small girls along with me." Usually people are confused (or scared) enough not to ask for clarification...

Big mamma frog said...

Maybe that's the way to go: scare them into not asking any more questions. I might give that a go.