Oct 23, 2011

Taking the Bad with the Good

I like my job. I really do. I feel so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful project, and to associate with the people I do.

But sometimes, it drives me crazy!

This last week was kind of a difficult on at the Ol' JSPP. The entire week was working on one thing--checking the website. This is a completely repetitive task that involves little to no brain work. Basically, you are given a checklist, then you head on over to the JSP "ready" site and check links/images/pop-ups. In order to keep me from going utterly INSANE with the monotony, I had to resort to watching BBC period dramas* on YouTube. (I know, my life is so hard. I'm getting paid to watch some of my favorite movies.)

It wasn't until about Wednesday that things started to get really bad. Before that, my eyes would be exhausted from staring at a computer screen for 7 and 1/2 hours the whole day, and I'd have a bit of a headache, no big deal. Besides, I got a free donut on Tuesday. But on Wednesday, the ready site was down the entire morning, meaning we couldn't do any work on the site. When something is unpleasant, you just want to get it over with (besides the fact that I wanted to finish Northanger Abbey). Besides that, I don't like leaving things at work unfinished. I did have some other things to work on that morning and the site was up in the afternoon. The other interns, though, weren't there, which meant that the work was going pretty slow.

On Thursday the other interns were there, but other things had started popping up. The woman we were checking the site for wanted us to be done by Friday, something we thought was completely plausible. Then, another girl comes around with an assignment that she wanted done by Friday/Monday at the lasted. We finally agreed that we would have to take the second assignment home and work on it there (because we both had a few extra hours during the week we hadn't used). The website was touchy at best and the entire JSP staff was off at the ADE conference in the afternoon. We tried to get as much done as we could and then I headed home, carrying half of a 600 page manuscript with me to work on when I got home. By this time I was getting a bad case of the jitterbugs, so I played the piano to release some of that pent up energy until dinnertime.

Friday was by far the worst day of the week. Everyone was gone to the conference, except a select few. The website was again being "bipolar" as two of my coworkers independently called it. At one point it said it would be down until Tuesday!! Fortunately it came back up and didn't give us anymore trouble the rest of the day. Then, we were given another project and since the website woman was at the conference, we were told to abandon the website for a while and work on this one. This is what was probably the hardest this week: everyone wanting us to work on their project. Everything seemed to have the same deadline and there were a few "discussions" about which was the most important--print or website. As interns, we just have to try to do what we're told without getting everyone mad at us. The only highlight of my day was watching Doctor Who at lunch time, a Friday tradition with some people I met that work in different departments. I stayed late to try to get done what I could, but even with Bleak House, there was only so much I could stand, meaning that I had to leave without the website check being completed. I was so exhausted. I didn't even read on the train ride home; I just couldn't bring myself to use my eyes for anything.

Have you ever been so tired that when all these negative/sad thoughts start pushing forward and all these emotions come bubbling up, you just don't have the energy to keep them at bay? That's how I felt when I finally reached Daybreak and got in my car to drive home. Some song (okay, Adele's "Someone Like You") came on the radio, which prompted some thoughts about something that had happened early that week, which prompted some other thoughts, which prompted some emotions and I just couldn't keep them at bay. I found myself driving with tears running down my face, and the antsy feeling that comes from doing the same thing for about 30 hours that week. I finally turned the radio off and came home. I went downstairs to change out of my skirt and found myself crying again for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

Fortunately by the time I had gotten some food in me and was at a bookstore with my parents looking for the perfect book to buy with my mom's 25% discount, I was feeling much better.

I have been thinking about something lately, though. I think that I would rather take the hard times with the good, then just having the good all the time. Without the hard times I wouldn't be who I am (for better or for worse) and the good times wouldn't seem quite so sweet. Without having had an awful day on Friday, going to the bookstore probably wouldn't have been such the sweet relief it ended up being.

*For those wondering, I have so far watched North and South, Persuasion (2005), Northanger Abbey, Little Dorrit, and have almost made it through Bleak House.

Oct 7, 2011

Why I Love Google and Other Stories from My Job

I work in a library. That alone is awesome. A library is full of books, and this library in particular has really old books.

Plus, working in a library means that I am not the only nerd around, as being a nerd is a prerequisite to working in a library. No matter if you are in the library proper, or upstairs in the projects like I am.

I love the people I work with. The first day when I met them all I thought, "Wow. Historians are really awkward." Which, okay, they are, but they are also a lot of fun too. I have a great friendship with the other intern, and love our little chats that cover topics from Disney Channel stars to raising children (even though neither of us have any). It makes work more enjoyable.

Now, on to why I love Google. At work we have been spending a lot of time working on Geographical Directory entries to put up on the website. This means a lot of source checking--over and over again. These entries have gone through about 4 or 5 other people before I get them, and yet I still run into problems. Our lovely source inputers sometimes just put a source in without making a photocopy of the original source, or where it's from, or even who said it! Such was something that I ran into the other day. It was credited to Joseph Smith, but it obviously wasn't. I decided to take a chance and type a phrase into Google. The first three results popped up with the quote. I looked at two of them--both Wiki sites--Wiki sites are also wonderful because of their inclusion of sources!! I looked at the source for the quote, looked in the Library's catalog and discovered that we had it! I ordered it to be brought up to my desk, problem solved! Seriously, what did we ever do without the internet?

If we didn't have the internet, the Joseph Smith Papers Project would probably not be getting done. Instead of a 20 year project, it would probably take a life time. Tracking down the papers, and the sources, would take a long time. And my job would take even longer than it already does.

Anyway, that's why I love Google!