Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Last Month Hasn't Really Been Great For Me

If you don't follow me on Twitter, or you haven't been within earshot of me in real life lately, you may have wondered about my disappearance from the online sphere as late. (I mean, besides the eight posts a week on the other blog. Not counting those. You get what I mean.) So I figure I'll give you the short version, because the long version would be significantly more miserable.

This time last month I was working two jobs -- one permanent part-time with Herzing College Winnipeg, the other casual part-time with the Red River College Library -- and puttering merrily away, in my spare time, on a blog post about local mascots. (I suppose it's just as well I never got around to finishing it; it was going to get a little silly.)

Well, shortly thereafter, word came down from Herzing Head Office -- Herzing being a network of private universities across the United States and private colleges across Canada -- that three of the four Campus Librarian positions in Canada would be summarily eliminated, the fourth position absorbing the responsibilities of the other three. This will mainly be handled through virtual reference, I'm left to assume, but I guess I won't find out; as you're probably already gleaming, mine was one of the three positions that no longer exist.

I wish everyone at Herzing Winnipeg the best, and I begrudge nobody in the upper echelons of the Herzing system their decisions, but, man, y'know? I was a department of one on the local org-chart; I inherited the shelving built into the wall and the carpet laid on the floor, and everything else was my civilization to build. (My kind of challenge!) That Library was my baby, and I raised it the best that I could.

If you saw me in there at any point during my tenure with the school -- ordering and cataloguing and physically processing the entire collection, answering questions and teaching skills and solving problems, helping everyone who came through the door -- you never saw me happier. It was all wonderful, and it was all mine, and it is all gone.

Going from doing everything to doing nothing is... a difficult transition, and one that I felt I would handle best by skipping town for a bit. So I took off to the Interlake upon the conclusion of my Herzing employment, and I did my best to cheer myself up for four or five days -- no work on Monday, so what the hell, right -- and then I came back into town to find that the fridge in my apartment had given out.

Actually, let me flesh that out a little. 'Given out' doesn't quite convey the apocalypse that greeted me, when I walked through my door that evening. It wasn't simply that the refrigerator had passively ceased to cool my food, as it had done a few months prior (and had then received extensive surgery for); it was actively blasting heat on its contents, superheating everything in both fridge and freezer to an estimated forty degrees, and had been doing this now for an undeterminable number of days.

I'd had various meats frozen in that freezer. I'd also had a big bag of frozen mixed berries in there. Have you ever had the pleasure of encountering a liquid pool of melted meat and melted berries, two inches deep and heated to a simmer? It takes maybe half a second of imagining how that smells to recognize that you would never want to smell that, ever, never never ever.

So, yeah, exactly as you'd expect, that fridge was unsalvageable, and so was everything in it. Complete loss. Not cool. (Literally, in this case.)

I'm lucky to have a great landlord (is 'landlady' still considered acceptable usage?), so the fridge was replaced within the next twenty-four hours, and she even kicked in money for replacing the groceries on her own accord, which was incredibly nice of her. But on the whole, really, as experiences go...

I don't know if you've ever rolled out of bed at whenever-who-cares-I-got-nowhere-to-be-o'clock to walk over and contemplate a completely, literally empty fridge. But if you have not done this, I do not recommend it. It is... not great. It is not a great feeling.

My work schedule is down to one day a week, now; that employment will expire midway though this month, but I've known for quite some time that it would, fair is fair. (I mean, I didn't think it'd outlast my permanent position, but 'permanent' doesn't really mean what it meant in decades past, does it.)

ANYWAY. tl;dr: I spent a lot of time being discouraged and sad, and I am doing my best to not be discouraged and sad any more. And if you happen to hear tell of any Librarian jobs within the boundaries of our fair province, I would be very pleased to learn of them.

Onward, then! Enough about me. (Man, see, this is why I never write about myself, look at that pile of bummer up there.) Tomorrow or the next day, with any luck, I should have a massive photo gallery up of yesterday's Islendingadagurinn parade in Gimli.

Then, after that, coming up later this month: Lost local music! The Interlake as a Civilization V campaign! A walkthrough of my favourite cocktail recipe! All this and maybe even more -- right here, on Slurpees and Murder!


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


James Hope Howard said...


@claycracklen said...

James, your description of what you returned home to caused me to laugh so hard I literally cried, seriously. Yet, I feel guilty for taking pleasure from your misery. I have a freezer that is malfunctioning so I can relate.

All the best!

Anonymous said...

711 and Walmart may be hiring. What? They have books, magazines.

Anonymous said...

On the plus side, your Mackstopper finally paid off.