People you meet in a library

Recently I finally got a job at a departmental library. I am incredibly happy! I have been looking for so long and I would have never guessed that my first ever job would be one I actually really love doing! I work two days a week for 5 hours, which is a reasonable time and I get paid well, so I couldn’t be happier with my working place. I am actually writing this blog from the computer at the library, so you see I have all the freedom in the world!

Working here for about two months I met lots of different kinds of people in a short time span. While the ones I am working with are incredibly nice and helpful, I had short encounters with some that made me think a lot about human nature… So here are the kinds of people that visit the library!

  • The coffee junkie (or the “seriously-I-need-this-cup-of-coffee-right-now person”

It’s the same woman every time. Fluid beverages that are not in a bottle are not allowed inside the library. No cups, mugs or bowls. This is an official rule. She damn well knows that rule because we remind her every week that, “I’m sorry madam; you cannot take that cup of coffee with you!” Every time she turns on her heels, with a half shocked, half indignant look on her face saying, “What? Really? Can’t we make an exception?” That is the moment me and my colleague would like to sigh loudly and scream no, but we calmly tell her why it’s not possible. The next argument usually is, “But I really need it!”. Now all I am thinking about saying is, how she can pour it up her ass (pardon my language!), but I do actually manage to keep it to myself and insist that she just can’t do that. Every time.

  • The Speedie Gonzales (or the “rushing-in-‘n-rushing-out” person)

Some people are in such a rush they completely forget their manners. I’ve had people rushing into the library, hissing, “I want to return this book.” and sprinting out again. Well, jokes on them, because they brought it back late and as long as they don’t pay back the money they won’t get any more books. Ha-ha indeed! Seriously now, I have been in a rush lots of times, I was stressed out, but I wouldn’t dream about talking to a stranger, who didn’t do anything wrong, in an utterly disrespectful tone, throwing things at them that don’t even rightfully belong to me! That is no way to treat any human being, really, no matter if stranger or not!

  • The lazy person (or the I-could-but-I-won’t-isn’t-this-your-job?” person)

I cannot stand these. They walk into the library, with thousands of booktitles they are looking for and think they can do this by giving us the list so we cn go search them. No. And no, this is not my job. I may show you where and how you can find these books online and borrow them too, but that’s how far it goes. I am not here to do your research homework. I will not walk around looking for these books and I will not listen to you telling me what my job is. I know it. I got the thingy that makes beepy sounds; I know what I’m doing, thank you!

  • The steady customer (or the “I-know-what-I’m-doing-and-I-won’t-bother-you-more-than-necessary” person)

I love these people. They make my day. They know the rules of the library, they know how to do stuff and they are mostly very nice and won’t bother you with simple questions because they already know. They get their key to put their bags and jackets in, they know not to take a cup of tea or coffee to go with them in the library, they know how to use the computer and search engines. These people are like wonderful fairies that fly into the library and leave bursts of glitter behind them as they go again.

All in all I can say that I very much enjoy my job and working place and can’t wait to learn more and improve myself. There are still so many kinds of people to meet in a library and I can’t wait to make these new experiences.

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Wordless Chance Encounter

I always try to find beauty and inspiration in every aspect of life, but still I find myself in loss of words and ideas, if it’s for a story or a new blog post, so I am trying out writing a response post to this weeks Discover Challenge, which is “Chance Encounter”. Upon reading the introduction to this topic I immediately thought about one I recently encountered, while taking the tram to my English lecture.

It was about 11 o’clock, I was minding my own business, listening to music through my IPod, when a girl entered the tram and decided to stand in front of me, minding her own business, looking at something on her phone. I was mesmerized for some strange reason. There are a lot of beautiful things to see in this world, if it’s part of nature, humanity or a product of humanity itself. What I love most about beauty is that you’ll sometimes discover it in the strangest places at unexpected times, just as I was right then. Also beauty can present itself in the most different ways, and is not only found in perfection as lots of people may think, it’s there no matter if it’s the aura of a person, their blinding smile or the way they pronounce every single word in a way that makes them even more meaningful. So I was standing there, in the tram, not able to take of my eyes of them, I assume it was a female that at least identified as a woman, and asked myself what it was about her that made me react this way.

Her features were very soft and round, her hair was rather short and was beautifully died light blue with underlying streaks of purple and slight green, it was an artwork in itself. Also her clothing wasn’t rather usual, a white beautiful blouse, a black leatherjacket paired with wide jeans that were teared open at the knees and black patent leather shoes. She wore them with some sort of coolness and self-confidence I could only wish to have one day. I wasn’t able to look at her face directly, and also her physical features were mostly hidden by her baggy clothing, but still I could make out certain aspects of her look and again I was taken aback.

I know how the presence of a person alone, their aura, can influence your perception of them, but I wasn’t talking to her and I only met her seconds ago, so my next guess was if I maybe was attracted to her. Living in a heteronormative world I did assume the moment that sexuality became important to me that I was a straight girl. With time I did learn that sexuality is something fluid, that does not have to be pinned down and may change through time. Also I have always been able to detect people that were beautiful to me without paying any attention to their sex or gender, and knowing I was attracted to men I never deeply thought about my sexuality, as I live in a rather conservative family and knowing coming out as anything else that a heterosexual would have caused a lot of drama and confusion. Also I don’t feel the need to, as I am not even sure if bisexual is exactly something I would identify as when I never even had a slightly sexual encounter with anything other than men.

With that I want to say that this may not be the first woman I met that flabbergasted me and made me think of the option of exploring my sexuality, or maybe I don’t even want to change the label queer, even after experiencing and that is okay. I don’t want to make a big deal out of something as little as “One day I want to marry a man and have kids, but I also really want to kiss that woman I met on the tram the other day.” That chance encounter may have been wordless and short, I do not even exist in the mind of that beautiful, beautiful woman most probably, but it made me think and rethink about certain things, and inspired me to answer to this challenge. Also I had yet another opportunity to encounter beauty, and that’s AWESOME!

 

I am a feminist

I am a feminist, not an angry feminist. But I am a feminist and I am angry!

Storytime: Recently I finally got invited to an interview after writing loooots of job applications. Their bureau is as we Austrians would say “in the world’s butt” (meaning far away, mostly not near any civilisation), but I need that job desperately. So I arrived there and sit in front of three people, one of them being the big boss interviewing me. After being asked loads of pretty specific questions and me being slightly on edge towards the end I finished a rather successful job-interview with my maybe future-boss. Hurray!

Until- “Well, you seem pretty confident for a female candidate!”

Are. You. Kidding. Me. No, he was serious, but as I said, I was desperate for that easy and well-paid job and did not want to lose my opportunity by telling him that I was confident as a human being. Maybe he even wanted to test my limits I don’t know. Although his next move, which was helping me into my jacket, led me to the fact he just may be old-class or a tiny bit conservative.

I know we live in a society that has assigned gender-roles, but isn’t it our duty, as a well-informed and educated generation, to destroy those and go back to wearing what we choose to or like and act in a way we feel comfortable to? Why can’t a man help me into my jacket because he is helpful, no matter if I was a male or female?

I am a feminist and there are so many, many more things feminism is about. Not only do female workers get paid less than males, women of colour do get paid even less than white women! Transgender people do not get recognised as their true sex and gender, even after going through operations and therapies. And those are just some of the problems feminists all over the world are trying to fight and find a problem for at this point. Mostly it upsets me how badly lots of people think of feminism, as a cult or something negative in general that is about not shaving and hating men, when it is clearly not.

I do not want to explain every single time, why we all should be feminists, men, women, everyone! Why all our lives could be improved this way. And I personally am going to throw a fit if I hear for another time how women are not capable of certain things because of their nature or society. I want to play video-games without having to prove myself, I want to say “I love football” without people questioning my knowledge of such, I want to go out at night without silently repeating every trick I know for  getting out of someone’s arms and clutching my keys between my fingers.

There is so much more I could say about this topic, but we still have plenty of time and I only just begun 😉

P.S.: I did not get the job

Welcome to the 21. Century!

Hello there! Welcome to a world where the human race is somewhere in between being open and tolerant towards others and totally closed up and conservative. If you ask why, you live under a rock. Watch the news.

Here is a personal story that, yes, is not that important, thinking about the fact racism and homophobia still exists, but still shocked me somehow.

The other day I wanted to walk into the building I live in, when I spotted a neighbour I don’t really talk to, but still see every now and then. So I did want to hold the door open for him. I, a young lady, holding the door open for a young man. Didn’t bother me in any way, until he said “No, it is alright”. I thought I didn’t hear him correctly and insisted on him walking into the building. Afterwards he did say thank you, adding “Normally it’s the other way around, haha” and I responded “Well, we do also live in the 21. Century, so.” I should not have to add that this was the most awkward elevator ride I have ever experienced. Adding a tight-lipped smile to my comment I stayed silent for the whole ride. I was offended. He was offended. It was awkward.

For heavens and hells sake, why would anybody feel offended if somebody holds the door open for them? Did I somehow attacked your masculinity, young man? Do you feel sterilised because a lady held the door open for you? Well, then I have to tell you that I enjoyed destroying your conservative look on the world and society, because I WOULD DO IT AGAIN, MUAHAHAHAHA!!!

Okay, let’s get serious again.

I do know that it was common for a woman to walk behind men and to let them hold doors open for her, but didn’t we already grown as humans? Does society still think a woman is not capable to take care of anything? How do you expect the next generations to accept women in every job sector, as equal to men and as strong enough to make their own decisions, if we won’t accept a woman to hold the door open for a man when the situation is given?

I want to live in a world where a man holds the door open for me and vice-versa, not thinking what an awesome gentleman he is, but because he is a human being as much as I am and it is a form of politeness and respect. Yes, it is nice to get invited to dinner where you don’t have to pay, but I will never assume it (by the way: who invites mostly pays, unless stated or agreed otherwise). Yes, you should help someone, no matter what sex or gender, when they are having difficulties carrying heavy bags or something. And yes, even as a man you should offer your help to a man. I know the “Bro-Codex”, it is okay. Really, bro, really!

To any future “men-I-will-hold-the-door-open-for”: if you feel offended by a female that holds the door open for you, start looking for your confidence that has been buried, when society threw their standards on what “real men” have to be like on you. I feel sorry for you being raised in that way, just as many other men and women, but it is on you now to educate yourself and make a difference. I hope you make the right choices.

(Wow, that escalated quickly ^^)