To relinquish a job that you dedicated so much time to for a known number of years is possibly one of the most difficult decisions to have to make. Although you may be in love with your job and the opportunities for growth or if you have a vision for the location, but if you choose to make a change, or perhaps – like in my case- go back to school, it’s difficult to continue that vision as the person sends emails with questions about certain things that were in the library.
When I took on my position as a school librarian, in Fort McMurray, about 3 years ago , I saw great potential. I gave myself an ultimate goal of having completely fulfilled my ideal library space/ learning commons by the end of (my) third school year. I know at this point it doesn’t make sense, since I chose to take a leave of absence, at the end of my second year, in order to continue my education and hopefully get a little bit closer to obtaining my BA. I still, optimistically, felt I would be leaving behind a relatively well-establish ideology that could easily be continued by whomever took over, and even if they made any changes it would be minor by comparison to how much I’d worked to make my long-term vision a reality.
And then the evacuation happened. The evacuation changed everything for that library, because once we were given permission to return to what was left of our charcoaled lives, that’s when the insurance companies started to make their rounds. I do not know what other schools had to deal with; I can only speak on what I saw, I would say I’ll post pictures to accompany, but they weren’t taken by me – so, yea… Needless to say, the library I had “created” became nothing more than garbage bags of items that either needed to stay or go. Things that I was going to deal with before the end of the school year were now mixed in with the stuff that did not need to be dealt with, all laid out on the gymnasium floor waiting to be tended to. I was slightly distressed, to say the least.
I wanted to help so badly, but nobody would give me permission to drive up and help. I had some great help from former coworkers. Some sent pictures asking if there was anything that could immediately be tossed, or kept, or if I needed something from the pile that I couldn’t find the last time I had came up to help. It was comforting. When I emailed my former boss offering a few hours of my time to help get the new librarian set up, I was assured that my email would be forwarded to her and she’ll email me if she needs something.
Fortunately, she has. I have been super content with the fact that she’s not assuming everything that was emptied out can be tossed. But like I said, it’s difficult to hand over your long-term vision of something when you had only, truly just begun to scratch the surface of making things a reality.
I’d love to say that I will go into further details about my conundrum, but, in reality, I won’t. Because this is not a gossip or a place to complain. I can’t name names or specific situations, because it’s not fair – and when this is posted I will have friends and former coworkers read this, and I don’t need to lose my credibility as a good employee lost over something as silly as posting something on the internet.
Perhaps, I will pose this question to you:
Had you ever been in a position where you were “forced” to give up your powers or abilities in a job, and couldn’t tell everybody else what to do even though you really wanted to?