I found this extremely amusing. I could quibble and say that 90% of IE6 users hate their prehistoric browser and would upgrade immediately if their employer's IT department would only allow them. But still, messages like this help the cause.
This was originally going to be in the path not taken, but that post took a different course so it made sense to take out this detail.
The transition between university and getting a real job is never easy, and for me this change also corresponded with moving from Australia to the USA. I temped for a year at the University of Minnesota. There is always something nice about working in a university, even if it’s not the position you might have wanted. I think there are even fewer male secretaries than male librarians, but I mostly enjoyed the work and I think I was pretty good at it - I was offered and eventually accepted a permanent position as a “Senior Secretary”. Not long after that I got my first library job.
The next transition was when I chose to return to Australia after living in the USA for over 6 years. I was blogging then and I only need to review posts from 2004 to remember how difficult that change was. There were no full-time librarian positions for me in Tasmania, and there probably never will be! After being unemployed for a demoralizing few months, I got a job at a Vodafone call centre. Call centres are one of the blights of twenty-first century life - horrible for customers and dehumanizing for the employees. Still, that job was not a total loss. There was a good camaraderie (born of shared suffering) with my co-workers. Some of the phone techniques which I learned there still work for me in libraries - that faking a smile makes you sound more friendly over the phone, and being cheery (even if it’s kind of fake) helps things - it’s better than wallowing in the misery.
Immediately after Vodafone, I worked as an information officer for NEMMCO (now called AEMO). It wasn’t quite the library job I was after, but even now I’m glad that I have a solid understanding of how our electricity system works. It’s something fundamental which we all take for granted, but it’s also quite arcane. That job did lead me to Sydney, which is where I think I needed to be, because that’s where I started working in libraries again.
I remember that hoping that blogjune would reboot my blogging practice. Well it did and it didn’t. It seems similar to going on a crash diet - you make an improvement in the short-term and then easily fall back into bad habits.
I don’t regret participating at all. It was unfortunate about getting sick in the middle of the month, but these things happen and other people were dealing with similar problems. It was good because I did feel re-energized about my blogging, and despite this hangover, that hasn’t entirely dissipated. I also discovered a few great new (for me) bloggers to follow, and felt re-connected to the blogging community.
I’ve also decided that the habit I need to get back into is not publishing a blog post everyday, but doing some blogging activity every day. The first is just not sustainable for me, but the second is doable and is something I’d like to do. By blogging activity, I mean reading other blogs, commenting in other blogs, drafting and editing my own posts, tweaking my blog’s design and publishing.
In keeping with my self-imposed rules, I’m writing this #blogjune post in the explodedlibrary bunker rather than the main blog because it seems a better fit here. This is where I keep the offcuts I can’t completely delete as well as the place where I’m less self-conscious.
A post making excuses for not posting every day is not the sort of post I want in the main blog, but it may be ok here.
It’s not as if I was super sick. It was just a cold, but it was prolonged, very draining and somewhat gross. It's not as if I were in hospital, I could have posted on those days but chose not to. If I’m feeling sick enough to stay home from work, I believe I should rest myself from as many commitments as I’m able to. Besides, calling in sick during the day and blogging up a storm at night seems problematic. I doubt anyone at my work had even noticed, let alone said anything. But I’d rather err on the side of caution.
But this experience has been good for me. What I really need to practice is getting back onto the horse after I’ve fallen off. This is where I start to do that.
The next thing I need to do is start reading blogs again. When I stop blogging, I stop doing everything relating to blogging, including the reading. This isn’t ideal, it makes it more difficult to get going again and because I think that reading blogs is an integral part of writing blogs. This is why my next post, will be a little survey of what I’ve missed.
For me, the theme music of #blogjune is the Seeker Lover Keeper album. Seeker Lover Keeper is an Australian supergroup consisting of three of my favourite Australian female singer songwriters - Holly Throsby, Sarah Blasko and Sally Seltmann. I downloaded the album just as #blogjune was starting. Listening to it again tonight makes me feel that I am back.
People outside of Australia may wonder why the ACT is capital letters - it’s because Australia’s capital city, Canberra, is located in the Australian Capital Territory, the ACT. It’s a concept that’s similar to the District of Columbia.
I’m sure that somebody will be writing a description of the theme on the conference website, it may even be me.
I achieved half of it - the blogging part. Between my main blog, Libraries Interact and the secret anonymous blog, I wrote five substantive posts in the 15 days. That's definitely an achievement for me. And at least for tonight, the increased volume of posting is continuing.
I did not do so well with my goal of making 15 comments in 15 days. I think there are two main reasons for this. I underestimated how much extra blog reading this would entail. Of course, it needn't be extra reading - I could just read one post and make a comment and be done with that task for the day. But no, and this leads into the second reason, I felt self-conscious about this, and couldn't do it unless I really felt that I had something to say to a post. Sometimes it took me a while.
Who knows, maybe in June 2011, I'll embark on a 30 comments and 10 posts challenge. It's a fine line between giving myself a little extra motivation and having a contrived goal which makes blogging seem like another job (albeit an extremely small and part-time job). But then, in the last 15 days, there have been moments when the lazy part of me really didn't feel like wrtiting, but I pushed myself, and the results were good. A little discipline is sometimes a good thing, maybe?
Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy [quoted in Conroy’s speech to ALIA Information Online 2009, Stilgherrian]: And while we acknowledge there are technical issues to be tested [about mandatory ISP level filtering], the Government does not view this debate as an argument about freedom of speech.
Blogging has been quiet lately. I’ve been blogging long enough that I’ve noticed pattern to the quiet times. I like to think that personally and professionally, I am resilient when it comes to dealing with change, but my blogging is not. Much of my blogging is about being in the right rhythm. Sometimes unexpected change disrupts that rhythm and it takes me a while to find it again. I have been going through a lot of this lately and it’s going to continue.
The other thing that dampens my blogging output is when my thoughts are dominated by things which I can’t really talk about in public. It could be bad stuff happening at work, it could be a job search, it could be both of these things. The good thing is that these things do pass.
I do plan to be blogging in 2010, and it’s going to have a different direction from last year. Although 2010 is likely to have enormous changes, I would like this change to be the constant background which I get used to. I am also considering some lifestyle changes which will give me a few more hours every day.