Well, actually yesterday, but today sounded better... It was one of those 'whatever you do don't make eye contact' moments. He was a big guy and it was a close space; I knocked over luggage in my haste to move out of the range of his admiration. This is one of the many reasons why I think that super-urban libraries aren't for me. I've been spoiled in suburbia. Even the poor rural areas I've worked in are better than what I encountered on Thursday. This sounds harsh, and it is probably too harsh.
A couple weeks ago here at home I was subbing at a big, busy library at the adult info desk, where, for the first time ever, I was actually scared of a patron. She was diminutive, but possessing such a vibrating intensity that I feared that if I made the wrong random movement she would freak out and attack, and there's no easy way to defend against the crazy. Especially at work, if you want to keep your job. What I'm saying is that, while there are crazies (and not just the mental ones) everywhere, when coupled with the depressing nature that seems to be the urban library (or at least the one that I interviewed at), I just don't want to deal with it.
That, and they seemed to want to stick me in a isolation booth they call the [children's room] where I wouldn't have contact with anyone over grade six and their parents. That's just not me. To be fair, I don't know exactly what my situation would be there, but that's the impression I got. I visited a branch with the nicest, most enthusiastic children's librarian, but she was like a teacher. I know that there isn't a huge gap between teacher and librarian, but, the thing is, I would have gotten a teaching degree if I wanted to be in the environment she was working in. I like variety. I don't think that I want to be in a position where I help only one demographic. That would be boring. Oh, and the pay sucked. And the books weren't shiny. The HR person who was in on the interview said that she would probably offer me a position next week when all the paperwork was done. I don't want to flat out say right now that I won't accept it, because maybe she'll have a working scenario for me that would be more appealing, but I doubt it.
I know that it is the urban libraries that are needed the most. I feel bad, but I'm just not sure I could bring it. Not when my personal life will be depressing enough on its own. I can't gamble that the reward of being truly effective will balance out both a dreary job environment and a lonely existence. I have to admit that this time, for this big of a step, I'm going to be selfish. Sorry, if you thought better of me. (and on that depressing note):
Library 4: Interview Jan. 10, 2pm. Roughly 150 miles from home.
Phone Interview (doesn't get a number until face-to-face): Interview Jan. 17, 10am. Roughly 850 miles from home.
I've read a lot, so that's next.