Doldrums · Work

The Armory for the Best Weapon in the World

Started the day listening to Tal Bachman’s “She’s So High.” No wait. Mark that. Let’s start with something cooler. Whatever happened to Tal Bachman, anyway?*

Started the day listening to “Time Bomb” by Rancid.** The ride to work seemed ominous. The day before the summer carnival type of ominous. It’s been some time since this sinking feeling of something gone wrong has set in my stomach. Never hyped to this level, of course. Things are different this time around, though. In the past, summer carnivals meant grunt work. This year, though… I’m in charge.

As interim supervisor, I have all the responsibilities but none of the actual power. This also means that if things go wrong, it’s on my head. Managed to eat breakfast before clocking in for the day. Made rounds around the department to make sure nothing got neglected the night before. Read a few digital pages of the book I’m reading (Amy Chozick’s Chasing Hillary). I plopped down on my seat and entered the password in my computer. Browsed my e-mail, noticing I still hadn’t received word about the August activities I planned.

Shrugging off the disappointment of it, I continued trying to figure out Friday’s carnival. A few phone calls later, I’m slumped in my chair. Apparently my idea for Game Day Friday (just the first three Fridays) fell through. A misunderstanding on (surprise, surprise) my end. Rather than in lieu of Story Time, they wanted it added to the Friday. No dice, I thought. It’s either Game Day or Story Time; there’s way we can do both activities back to back, and no sense of pushing it later in the day when the crowd thins out. Besides, the older kids don’t care about story time. I’m just reading to kids who are in the habit to speaking over me.

I submit my amended activities plan with the crafts we’ll be doing in August. An e-mail bounced back to me. While my activities are fun, she’s worried about my sensory play activity. Like a person who has no business doing what she’s doing, she’s more worried about numbers and actual quality. But quality is what I promised her a few months ago when they inquired about my interest in the supervisor position.

There was no clear difference between our Toddler Time (1.5 to 3 year olds) and our Story Time (3-5 year olds). I began working on revamping the former to stand out next to the latter. I took notes from the greats (read: Jbrary). I read blogs from other people in my position. I even listened to what the reactions I gathered from not the toddlers this summer, but their caretakers. (The toddlers might like me, but toddlers don’t drive themselves to the library.)

Changing Toddler Time isn’t a new concept. Two supervisors ago, it was something that was brought up. But the fear of progressive thinking quashed the idea. It was swept under the rug. The last supervisor brought it up, as well. It died at conception.

My idea, I kept secret. As much as that’s a dangerous play, I needed to rework this on my own terms—without their permission, and (more importantly) without their input. And to give the other staff plausible deniability, I kept them out of the loop. That is, until today.

Next Tuesday, my brainchild (with characters created by past coworkers) comes into fruition. And right now, I’m not sure what has me more anxious. Tomorrow’s carnival, or Tuesday’s sneak peek of what I have in store for the rest of the year.

*No joke. I still own his debut album. It sits on my shelf with the other obsolete media (CDs). I should note that I didn’t purchase this album. Not really, anyway. It was one of those BMG or Columbia House mail order steals. Don’t act all innocent. I’m sure you’re guilty of it too.
**A much better song in my personal opinion. Also, this was the song I was listening to this morning as oppose to Tal Bachman, which was playing when I started writing this post. Lame, I know.

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” —Maya Angelou

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