I slept badly last night.  I went to bed early, at 10.30pm, feeling very tired, but woke up once my light was out.  I think I finally fell asleep around 1.00am, having got up for a while and printed an alternative route to work, on the Tube rather than the bus, much quicker, but also more expensive.  Then I woke up around 4.30am and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I eventually decided that I might as well get up early so that I could use my SAD light before leaving.

By 6.30am (when I was planning to get up), I felt incredibly anxious and also rather guilty that I didn’t go back to the library a second, longer, look before suggesting what I could or couldn’t do for it.  Possibly I am expecting too much of myself here, given that I was doing that consultation work for free.  I did at least have time to check the Tube fees for the faster route, and it’s not that much more expensive than the bus.

I got to work on time.  Work was a bit crazy though.  I’m not sure what I can share here exactly.  I measured up the shelf space and calculated the approximate number of books in the collection.  I thought about the pros and cons of moving stuff around.  I won’t go into all of thought processes behind it, but there’s some ideas to balance about strict order versus ease of use bearing mind the users are not librarians or even academics.  I did a lot of tidying and eventually got three or four bookcases looking much more ordered than before.  I’m still not entirely sure where this is going and probably won’t for a while.

What did surprise me a bit was the number of people in the room during the day!  I can’t go into why this was so surprising without revealing too much about the institution, but there were a lot more people going in and out, or in and staying in, than I expected, and a lot more noise from elsewhere in the building than I expected too.  I also spoke to some of the people there and… again, it’s hard to know what I can say, but I think there will be more office politics here than I expected and also more stakeholders in the library than I expected, which is difficult as I’m not always the most savvy person with office politics and trying not to upset the stakeholders, but also recognising that one or two people are a lot more important stakeholders than some other people.

I did feel quite overwhelmed and tense and had an earlier lunch than I intended because I needed a break.  I discovered later that although no one had objected to me when I said I wanted to work from 9.30am to 5.30pm, this is not possible because the site shuts at 5.00pm.  In fact, the security guard started locking up the library about 4.50pm.  So I will have to work slightly earlier, but this should not be too much of a problem if I am going on the Tube, the quicker journey.  I did cope with the afternoon better and felt like I was making some kind of progress by the end, although I still have many questions in my mind about what I am going to do with the library once it’s more orderly.

My parents said I was “buzzing” when I came in.  They think I feel positive about the work and the responsibility.  I guess I am, on some level, even if I feel anxious too.  I also think that, working two days a week, there is work here for at least the better part of the year, which is good, assuming the benefactor wants the work done, and me to do it.

***

Part two of Doctor Who was OK, polished, but over-familiar and under-written.  I think I should go back to my idea of not reviewing new episodes on a first viewing, as it’s too easy to get caught up in the negatives.  Apologies to those to whom I promised to send a review.

10 thoughts on “First Day Nerves

  1. Sounds like a promising start — especially as you were working on about 4 hours sleep. Hopefully in time you will get used to the place and the people and feel more comfortable. Did you take some photos so you can show the before and after as you go along?

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    1. I hope so!

      I didn’t think of before and after photos. I might take some tomorrow, although I don’t know how they will look – the library doesn’t look particularly messed up unless you can look closely and see that the books are in the wrong places.

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  2. I’m glad to hear that your first day at the new job was positive. I taught for 37 years, and every year (at the same school and at the same job), I was a nervous wreck for the first week or two going back to work. It’s a huge adjustment, and a learning curve in every way, and it’s easy to beat ourselves up over any imagined failings. I hope it continues to go well, and that you become more and more comfortable there!

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