job satisfaction and an akward moment

My life as a history student has come full circle this week. I have given the library instuction on how to access the catalogues and various other stratagies for collecting literature on history from within the Utrecht University Library. As a student my friends and I sat through the very same instruction. It was a strange situation to be in two days ago, but a gratifying one too. I have laid a few ghosts to rest.

Missing one of these instructions in my days as a student prompted a dip in confidence which I never wholly recovered from. I felt I couldn’t use the catalogue properly and was missing out on much of the avaliable literature, which to a degree was true. Sitting myself down behind a computer looking through lists of incomprehensible babble was not a hobby. These days I have develloped an interest in information techonolgy and clicking away at a screen isn’t half as daunting as it used to be. I have slain that dragon and the citizens of the village that is my confidence are safe forever. Never will a book or publication on even the most remote subject area go unnoticed.

You may think that I regret not attaining this pinnacle earlier, but I don’t. Being able to help others with this knowlegde for an extended period will take care of that. As a MA student I will only have used that knowledge for some months. Now it may be a year or longer that I can tell others where to find their desired books. And what goes for history now also goes for all the arts, be they performance or classical; literary or otherwise. I can be counted on.
Through numerous personal relations workshops and questionarres that I have had to part-take in I have also learned that people find me enthousiastic and motivational. A humourous person who likes to help others. (The downside of this is that I am often chaotic.) I see opportunities rather than risks and challenges rather than problems. This is all great.

Needless to say I enjoy my job (even though it’s dark when I wake up and getting out of bed to go to work is a real chore.) Also I can’t overstress the personal significance of that history instruction. It really felt like a little triumph. Helped by the fact that the group’s teacher had been mine too five years ago and he had remembered me. We shared an akward moment getting reacquainted.

‘I remember you’, he said. His unkept beard that used to be a wrap-around mustashe moving up and down as he spoke. ‘You used to study here and I taught you’.

‘Yes, I’m Pieter.’ I stuck my hand out for him to shake it.
We both knew who we were so really there was no need for this little ceremony. But we had come to far to stop it now and it needed to be completed.

‘Uhm, Leen,’ was his hesitant reply. We are now work related. No change in hierarchy really, but a change none the less.


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