Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Corporate Tumult: Comes with Mouth-Breathing Morons & Knuckle-Dragging Idiots

My apologies for the delay in posting a new scribble to this blog. I had to fly out-of-province for some family business. Now that I've returned, I'm in the process of negotiating a contract with my present employer. Things are a wee bit hectic.


There've been some interesting happenings afoot in the professional life of this librarian. Most of it revolves around the misunderstanding of what we librarians contribute to the corporate organisation. Throw in an IT consultant ("I've been coding since the '70s!") who feels that librarians "don't know nothin' about nothin'"; directors who believe that the library/librarian are simply administrative assistants and, in this case, should fall under the direction of the Business Communications department (Isn't that Marketing, etc?); the fumbling micro-management of the 'certified' Communications manager who insists upon hand-held instruction to get his head around this librarian's Master's degree-in-practice before determining what this librarian is to do; and, the CFO who really doesn't "understand why the librarian is involved in any way, shape or form with this company's information. Aren't there serious disclosure issues here? Our secretaries can do the same work for less money!" So let them. (See: Let's set the tone... for a description of my role within the company.)

It's frustrating and I'm looking for a new job, but we're heading into the Holiday and winter months in a professional field that really seems to be drying up in Canada on the best of days. I can see where this is heading, unless the stars are in my corner & I employ some of that professional savvy...


I love my work; there's a reason why I became a librarian. However, time & time again it's an uphill battle for basic recognition and respect for our professional contribution. (That's our ongoing 'Library Advocacy' in Pro-Speak.) I know that I'm not the only librarian with such frustrations; librarians meet at the pub for a reason. I'm fast reaching the conclusion that the ROI (yes, 'Return On Investment' in Corp-Speak) is too low to continue with this schlep.

I'll let you know what happens in a day or two. In the meantime, I have a mail merge to do. No one else in-house can figure out MS Outlook and imported Excel address lists. Lucky me, as the result of my efforts towards Information Literacy, I'm now in charge of the company's mail. (The degree of information illiteracy in the corporate sector is stunning.)



Hedgie said...

At least the librarian knows how to do it. I get a lot of the trouble shooting calls like Mail merge because I'm the baby on staff.

G said...


In my previous librarian gig, I did more staff training for MS Office than actual librarian work. Might as well have hucked the MLIS aside and just told people I was a certified MS Office Consultant. Probably would have been more money in it too.

Idiot that I am, I stuck to my ideals and here I am today, in a different librarian gig where instead of teaching Office, I'm troubleshooting Dreamweaver and Photoshop for the Marketing department.

That Certified Adobe Trainer title sure is sounding appealing, though ...

Jushi said...

I did a class recently for incoming Geography grads about library resources. In my introduction, the prof paused as he introduced me, turned to me and asked, "Are you called a librarian, or do you go by a more politically correct word?" As if to indicate that being a librarian was somehow an insult. I think he figured that since I was a guy, I must be more than just a nobody librarian. I explained to him, and the class, that no, indeed, I was a librarian and that this was fine, that while I do have a Master's in Information Science, and could thus call myself an information scientist, I was proud to be a librarian. Which, more or less, is the truth. The longer I'm in this gig, the easier it is to accept this life we've chosen (misguidedly or otherwise). But it still has its moments of being treated like a clerk. Maybe we should all just call ourselves information scientists? Has a certain cache, as well as the benefit of sounding intimidating, something "librarian" definitely lacks.