Not too far from you/a poorly paid/scarcely considered/receptionist/hunches over/paper scraps/soundlessly/inking/revolutions
-“Poet on Board”
I penned this poem twenty years ago while working as a legal assistant. My responsibilities were running background checks and answering phones. I am sure you are wondering what I did to deserve such a glamorous job. Seriously, I was very thankful for the opportunity. I earned a steady paycheck for two years and saw some unbelievable rap sheets along the way. I felt invisible and underappreciated, though, which is why I wrote the poem.
After leaving the prosecutor’s office, I went to work for a large chain bookstore. There I found my calling connecting customers with books that would help them dream bigger, learn more, and get ahead. The pay was awful, but the work felt good and purposeful. I was lifting people up, in a small but meaningful way. As a retail clerk, I was still among the Invisibles. That did not bother me as much as it had before, however, because I was also happy.
For me, getting ahead meant leaving the bookstore and finding decent-paying employment. I now earn a comfortable living as a wordsmith, which, for a longtime struggling poet such as myself, is the professional equivalent of hitting the Powerball lottery. Still, I miss being a helping bookworm, and I am glad to be in library school.
In my first library studies class, I learned why libraries exist and what it takes to be a kick-butt librarian.
Libraries are here to help people grow and learn.
The best librarians have one trait in common: an overwhelming urge to do whatever they can to help their communities stay informed, engaged, and empowered.
Sounds pretty darn glamorous to me.
Copyright © 2017 Stacy Torian. All rights reserved.