Monday, April 7, 2008

spikey-haired librarians need not apply

a few months ago i went on an interview at a fancy pants private school. this was possibly the worst interview i've ever been on in my life. it was down right painful. and i interview pretty well. most people are very charmed by me. anyway, i would like to note that i had gone on two other private school interviews and they had been just lovely. so this is not to say that all private schools are awful. just this one.
i walk in and it is obvious that my interviewer holds me in complete disdain. i actually wondered if she had called me in for the specific purpose of putting me down so that she could feel better about herself. first whenever she would discuss my work as a librarian she would be sure to say public librarian as if i may be filled with germs. like a public bathroom. thanks!
then she said that she didn't understand why i was interested in working at a school library. and that public librarians are so pigeonholed whereas school librarians need to know a little bit of everything and need to understand so much more and aren't they so much smarter and better than little old me, pathetic germ-infested public librarian. it was at this point that i wondered why on earth she had called me in. i mean, she must have read my resume which clearly states that i have had several years of public librarian experience.
(i could go into a long diatribe about how she is the one who is pigeonholed, working in an ivory tower while i am out on the frontlines dealing with The People. but i won't)
i tried to maintain a positive attitude. we then got on the topic of music collections and i proudly told her that i was once in charge of a music collection. she asked me about collection development practices and i explained that i tried to maintain a balance between classical, jazz, and popular music. then, this part was great, she looked at me as if she was smelling something really gross and said, "well yes, you're obviously interested in pop culture ..." pause to look extra disgusted, "with your ... dress (expensive banana republic dress! what gives lady?!) ... and your spikey hair."
my hair is not spikey. my hair is 60s mod. it is feathered at best, but not spikey. i'll show you spikey lady. you want a piece of this?
then she went on to say that she was unsure if i would be able to "handle" her students. i then politely told her that i do in fact work in the ghetto and that i have on occasion had to discipline gang members and i think, i think, i can handle disciplining her extremely quiet well-behaved over-priveledged clientele. (at this point i looked out the window to see about 20 students sitting in the library in complete and utter silence. all reading books. yeah, i think i can handle that.)
finally, this painstaking process was over. i got up to leave and approached her with arm-outstretched to shake her hand and tell her it was nice to meet her (although this is a bold-faced lie). then she looked at me in shock as if this was a very odd thing to do. but i went with it. i shook her hand, damnit. and i walked out thinking that there was no way in hell that anyone would ever willingly work with this woman.
so it was a happy little validating surprise this morning when i saw that not only was the position still being listed on it was even re-listed recently (so there is no way that the position was filled and it is just up there accidentally). ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

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