Dave’s first week in office

June 9, 2009

Dave contemplates those men on MercuryHere’s why working at the poetry library is great: on my very first day, there was cake. Tasty cake, too. I think it was lemon, but what sticks in my mind is how that sugary goodness gave me a warm feeling after what had been quite a nervous morning.

The sheer volume of information that a Library Assistant – for that is my new title, dear reader – must absorb is mind boggling. From the oasis of calm in the reception area, it might seem like a well-disciplined and simple working environment, where each concern is neatly cordoned off from the next.


My first few days were spent flailing around in a space that does not comfortably house my legs (the bruising’s starting to subside now), panicking slightly every time the phone rang, and very efficiently covering the desk with indecipherable notes. I’m not entirely sure what “AP LOOK FOR Q’S” means, but I hope it wasn’t important.

The benefits of librarianship, however, are manifold. When Lizzie told me that I should become more acquainted with the stock, it was like ordering someone in a sweetie shop to familiarise themselves with the truffles. And if that seems geeky to you, you’re in the wrong business, buddy.

There were some lovely little victories too. After four years of undergrad and 9 months of postgrad, my good pal Struan finally decided to sign up, and Steph and Mattia were successfully introduced to Edwin Morgan’s ‘The First Men on Mercury’. It doesn’t sound like much, but it made my day, for reals.

With only a little hyperbole, the folks at the SPL are the best, ever. If the rest of my six months here are as good as the first week, I think we’re gonna be aaaaaaalright.

7 Responses to “Dave’s first week in office”

  1. aiko Says:

    Hooray for Dave!

  2. I could tell you exactly what that indecipherable meant. But it got sorted anyway, so no worries.

    • spl5 Says:

      Same Andy! And actually, come to think of it, I think I’d scrawled that somewhere too. Prerequisites of employment as SPL reception dweller: scrawl coded notes to self on miniscule pieces of paper.

  3. Robyn Says:

    Oh, guys, that’s minuscule with a ‘u’. One spelling mistake I always jump on. Hope that doesn’t cause a shadow to fall on your sunny time with us, Dave!

  4. Rob Says:

    I’ll no doubt run into you soon, Dave, next time I’m in the SPL. “AP LOOK FOR Q’S”, by the way, means “All poets/prisoners, look for quadruplets!” Those q children are always going missing in the SPL. Last time, I found them squeezed behind the photocopier with Geoffrey Hill’s 1984 Collected Poems – they seemed to know I was looking for it.

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