Lady Crumpet's Armoire


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October 18, 2004

Manic Monday

It was busier than usual, although I suppose one could always attribute it to being Monday. (You just hope not every day at the office is a Monday.) I'm finding it hard to write. It's been either insignificant nit-picking or impotent political teeth-gnashing. My life seems so small right now. I'm feeling insubstantial. I don't feel like I'm doing anything particularly well.

One of my co-workers is leaving for a job out of state. He's probably going batty whenever I bring him yet another item to catalog, since he's only here for a few more days. He's a really nice guy. I'm sorry we didn't get to know each other better beyond the chats in the coffee area. I don't have a shot at moving into his job, nor do I particularly want to, not without more real reference and research experience under my belt. But I did get a taste of it today:

  • In several instances, I had to answer my boss's second line. In this case the partner needed to find out something ASAP. When he described what he needed and why, I was genuinely excited. I felt personally invested. I felt we the firm were taking up a real, worthy cause. And so I started some preliminary web searches before taking it to my boss after she finished her other call. I even found a document that was included in the materials provided to the partner.

  • I had to work on an obscure interlibrary loan. My best bet were the local universities, who charge fees, but I found a corporate library who had both editions of the book I needed. Not only that, the librarian was in the area and actually brought the books to my office. I love how helpful librarians can be to each other!

  • Another attorney called from out of the office. She needed exhibits to a recently filed complaint in a major industry lawsuit. The court clerk was unhelpful, so a call was made to a document service. These services cost a pretty penny, but they deliver what you need.

  • Another needed copies of foreign treaties. In English. Even though the parties were non-English-speaking countries. I thought I was just going to turn this request over to my boss, but I was given the project to do myself (until I presumably got stuck). I did manage to find official copies, albeit in a non-English language. Thank goodness for friends in other law libraries! (Thank you thank you thank you. I SO owe you, Z!)

None of these were things I planned to do today. I managed to update a budget spreadsheet, but that was it. Otherwise, it was one of those days where you catch your breath as you furiously shut down your computer and pack your bag and leave before the next call comes and you've already stayed half an hour later than usual.

Yours, &c., LC | 05:17 PM | Librariana | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

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Mmm. I'm so very familiar with those days, though I've been lucky enough to avoid them lately.

One thing you must know about reference is that there's absolutely no way that you'll be completely prepared until you have to do it all the time. And even then, there will always be something or someone to catch you off guard. There's no "perfect" ever, so you really shouldn't sweat it if the attorney got what they wanted in a reasonable time frame.

Do you think you'll apply for it anyway? I think you should.

Posted by: z. at October 19, 2004 07:06 PM

They're really looking for someone with more hands-on experience than I've got. If I were more on the ball with my current stuff maybe I'd think about applying, but I think I prefer the more behind-the-scenes work for the moment, even though it's administrative. There's still discussion of creating a more entry-level position for me, if there's room in the budget, and I will be taking on more research-oriented work. So I kind of see myself in sort of apprentice or journeyman mode, learning and developing professionally without being on the front lines - even though I know that's where the real learning happens, when you're in trial-by-fire mode.

So basically I feel ok where I am, for now. But I'll have to reconsider that at some point. In the meantime, I'm trying to get on top of the things I am supposed to be doing, because it won't do much for my pursuing a promotion if I'm behind in my current work.

Posted by: Lady Crumpet at October 20, 2004 09:56 AM