The Library Book Project – 23 November 2009

To read more about this project, click here.

Today, this company will lose a major asset. I open the top drawer of my desk, revealing reams of printed paper that are dated between yesterday and and five years ago. No, surely I must have cleaned out this drawer since I first moved into this office? I suppose I always had far better things to do. I was a busy woman, constantly managing and advising the junior staff, who always seem so much more clueless than I was at their ages. They’re not completely incompetent, but they can’t back up their own egotistical bluster.

Amongst the stream of fury, I feel a small amount of relief that I’m not obliged to clear out all these documents. Most of them could probably go in the bin, but I’ve always erred on the side of caution, which is why the second drawer down is equally full. In fact, all four drawers contain nothing but pages which now have no relevance or importance to me. It’s liberating and soul-destroying all at the same time.

At first they wanted me to reduce my hours. That conversation left me with a sour taste in my mouth. It was sickly, sugary lines from a man half my age. Made me almost long for the days when sexism was rampant, but at least the man (it was almost always a man) in charge didn’t bullshit you and pretend that everything was for your own good.

I vowed not to let it set me back. I joined the gym. Even though I can afford books, I frequented the library because I couldn’t think of any more excuses to go outside. I ended up drinking wine on the evenings and watching box sets of my favorite televisions shows. When I retired to bed I’d still be wide awake, wondering what I’d done wrong, and why they wanted less of me rather than more. Hadn’t I proved myself invaluable?

Soon, my colleagues will come into the office and present me with a card and some flowers, congratulating me on my early retirement. None of them will look me in the eye. Tomorrow, I will be the main course on the cafeteria gossip menu.

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6 thoughts on “The Library Book Project – 23 November 2009

  1. This really spoke to me.
    On many levels.
    Least of all being reduced – in hours and then this summer – throwing out recycle bag after recycle bag that I clung onto??? paperwork not needed – especially after my services have now been withdrawn.

    • Even from the other end of the line, as someone who is desperately looking for work, it can be so frustrating. You feel you have so much you can give, but nobody wants it. And then of course, you are ostracized for not working or not working as much. It’s like a slap in the face.

      • I remember the graduate catch 22 well…. and the 1st job I took which was full time and only paid £7K a year (I rented and lived away from home!) at least with the minimum wage even if you get stuck for a bit you can guarantee more than £7000! Good luck, it will come together at some point.

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