In which I catch up on what’s actually happening

This is going to be an off-topic post, just to let you know.

I’ve spent the majority of my waking hours for the past week or so, dealing both with the effects of the Flu vaccine — or, no, wait: I’m dealing with the Flu vaccine while asleep — and keeping up on all of my Business assignments in the meantime, along with applying for Library jobs. Job applications are the reason I’m having to work so hard on my courses, now.

I wasn’t sure I wanted the main position I applied for, but it could be life-changing if I get it; and I saw it the day before submissions closed. I had nothing better to do, so I applied…and it took all afternoon. I could have read my way through a chapter, or started in on a project, in that time. On the upshot, the hours I spent on the applications got me to think about what I actually did in the course of my last two positions. It was a lot, let me say that; and I have a lot to work from, in subsequent applications.

I’ve gotten to the point of thinking that maybe it was just my last work environment which was toxic, not the entire field I trained within…though of course, that would be hard to calculate, having mostly only worked in said environment. I need to stop trying to endure screwed-up working conditions as a test of my skills. It’s, seriously, damaging and unhealthy. According to everyone I talked to, I shouldn’t have had to endure what I did; and my experience there did cause me to consider leaving the field.

Of course, it would have helped if I had known that the person I went to for help with certain interactions, was not my direct Supervisor. That fact didn’t come up, for years.

It’s not like this is Primary School and we all have to, “get along,” because we’re forced to be together and no one assumes any of the kids have major issues. We’re adults. No one is forced to be there. Sometimes relocation, or a longer commute, is a better option than staying in a toxic environment. Sometimes being unemployed is a better option than working in a toxic environment, but you know how bad it has to be to get to that point?

The major thing I’m going to have to do, if I get this specific new job? Well, I’m going to have to refresh a lot of knowledge, let’s say that. It’s been almost exactly a year and a half since lockdown began: that’s 18 months off of the Reference Desk. If I get the job, I expect there will be a lot of phone calls, as well…which are never the easiest things to deal with, but likely preferable to in-person Reference Interviews (which carry the risk of getting sick).

And, yeah — maybe I should try looking around their catalog from home first, before anyone has the chance to get back to me.

Back to my courses: last meeting, one of my Professors surprise-assigned several chapters out of the textbook to be done before the next meeting (in a week), on top of incorporating material from those chapters into the project, also due next meeting. When…we aren’t even supposed to get into those chapters for weeks, according to the Syllabus.

I didn’t say anything because it’s plausible deniability, if I didn’t hear it. Of course, it’s also plausible deniability if he forgets he said and wrote it, as well (he has directly contradicted himself before). I wouldn’t be so casual about this class, but it’s pretty clear that the circumstances of my situation are way outside the scope of the Prof’s imagination. I’m not going to get into what he said that makes me think this, but…

What was I saying about feeling alienated within my classes, again? I mentioned that, right?

I knew that if I brought this up, however, it could turn into a meltdown that would make me angry every time I tried to engage with the material (or the Professor) again, so I let him go off and alienate a bunch of the class, instead of risking my own comfort. Battle not picked, I guess.

Anyway, the last two nights and days have been full of reading, as the studious part of myself can claim that the project I’m supposed to be doing may be much easier and better-understood if I actually read the chapters (even though I’m not all the way pushing myself to get them done). It also takes away a large burden of work from four weeks later in the semester, which should come in handy when my short course eventually starts.

So right now: well, I’m taking a break to write this, as I’ve been doing classwork all day long (with breaks for meals). This has been the pattern. I just need to be sure not to assign myself the completion of more than one or two major assignments, for any one day. At least, not until I can complete building immunity to this Flu shot.

Aside from this…there has been a lot going on around me, but it’s family-related.

As regards my beadwork, I’m getting a better sense of how what I have read (from Nolo Press) fits into the larger scheme of things. As things stand now…I don’t expect my schoolwork to yield #1 priority until the end of this year. By the beginning of next year, I’ve thought I would either have a job or be looking for a job, and seeking to gain some monetary return from selling online…if that still seems like a good idea.

The thing is, I basically know at this point that this will be minor income (over the long run), if not a loss; and so…I do wonder if it is actually worth selling (as selling means I have to keep a quantity of materials, meaning I have to outlay funds). The time I use planning and creating jewelry could become a time sink, more profitably, more usefully, used to study: to read and to learn other languages. Both of the latter help me in a dream of becoming a published author and a translator, as well as supporting a main job as a Librarian. Not to mention that selling anything at all becomes a liability risk, even if it should be a small one. Then there is the time that I know I will need to spend in Professional Development, should I gain a job and ongoing career, as a Librarian. If I am not hired by the end of Fall semester, I may opt for one or two of these courses of learning.

The question for me at this point, is whether the entire beading enterprise: where I spend a lot of my own money for the hope of breaking even or a small gain, while also risking my own assets via the threat of litigation, is worth it in the long run. As I’m looking at it — and as I am in this Financial Planning class — I don’t think it is. There is the possibility of hiring on workers…but when you’re looking at furthering a career that you’ve worked hard to get this far within, and this in exchange for a livable salary with benefits and retirement — as versus working in a cottage industry for (largely, short-term) money, which cannot financially sustain you in the places you want to live, the first choice looks a lot more viable than the second. The first can finance the second. That doesn’t mean to stop making jewelry; that means not to do it in the hope of substantive financial return (i.e. making a living by doing it) over a long period of time. (Making “some money” at it may be as much as I can expect, and breaking even won’t happen for a while.)

It also means to look realistically into distributing patterns if I find I actually want to help others with my skill, and get some practice with Web Publishing (and Jewelry Design) at the same time. If I self-publish a pattern book, I can even publish my patterns first to the Web, and later as a printed collection (Publishing houses often don’t want to publish material which has first been set free on the Web; there are exceptions).

There are a lot of ways I can employ my skill sets…jewelry production does not maximize them, by any means. But maybe it’s good experience to have, even if I don’t end up following through with it as I initially imagined.

And again, I’m glad I took the time to write this out. I’m also glad I’m in these Business classes. Even though classes in general can be tiring, I’m learning a lot; and it is possible that my Financial Management class did just save me a good deal of pain.

Published by Haruna

Haruna is a Librarian by training, currently pivoting from Public Services into Technical Services. Their undergraduate major was English -- Creative Writing, and they hold an additional small degree in Art (i.e. Visual Arts). They are now pondering whether a career in Academia is viable or desirable, given the current situation.

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