Only a few hours back in my Real World job and all the magic is gone.
“I’ll be fine,” I thought, gritting my teeth bravely. “I feel strong and capable and can deal with the soul-sucking people I work with. They won’t drag me down.”
I am now so far down I can’t see any way up.
You should know I only work in my Real World job two days a week. This doesn’t seem like much. My heart bleeds for those writers working full time and scarcely getting a moment to really get some writing going. But then, there is the possibility that they actually enjoy their Real World job and don’t feel destroyed by it. The two days though are utterly soul destroying and seem to drain every lost drop of energy from my body. By Tuesday evening, I’m in total zombie-mode. It takes me all day Wednesday to recover; any writing I try to do is usually a waste. So having a few weeks off has been fabulous. I was dreading the return but never expected it to be this bad.
Today has been a trial like no other. It’s if someone (God? Fate? The Powers That Be That Like A Laugh?) has set me the toughest test: how to get through this day without losing my joy. By eleven o’clock, I was on the verge of tears. It’s all just small stuff, but it adds up.
First my manager welcomed me back by telling me all the disasters that have befallen the library in my absence, including the desk manager who had a motorbike accident and a colleague who has had to rush to Wales because her mother is dying (though she’s been dying for a while now) and has to negotiate the poor transport because of the flooding. It’s close to impossible to work here with only two but we can’t get our usual Monday afternoon staff member because one of the other libraries has virtually no staff.
None of this is new. Staff are forever sick, having accidents or dealing with huge dramas in their lives. It's just that it's ALWAYS like this. It's SO depressing.
Add to that the following:
My manager is sitting next to me at the Issue Desk which means I can’t breathe.
It’s Reading Week so that are very few students – at least it would have been someone to talk to.
I’m doomed to do admin work all day. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
The book display this week is about the Black Death and staff have enthusiastically made black rats out of paper. Nice.
The heating in the building is off. Normally I would find that quite a relief as it’s always too hot. In fact, because it’s too hot, I usually wear very lightweight clothing. With the heating off, I’m now freezing. By 11.30, I gave up and put my huge winter coat on. So now I’m sitting at the issue desk looking like a duvet.
I got my milk mixed up. Cows’ milk goes in the weeny milk bottle marked C. Soya milk goes in the unmarked bottle. I mean, fuck, that’s easy isn’t it? But when I had my Barley Cup this morning, which I can only tolerate with soya milk, it had cows’ milk in it and was vile.
I’d forgotten how utterly appalling the toilets are in this building.
I’d forgotten how poisonous the LED lighting is. My eyes are red and bleeding with pain and I’ve only been back for one morning.
But worst of all, I checked my Annual Leave and I only have two days left until October. Two fucking days. Dear God. Dear Fates. Dear Powers That Be Having A Laugh.
How am I going to get through this year?