It’s usually not a good sign when the person with a mental health issue looks around the room and wonders who in the crowd has the most problems. Doubly so when that room is not on a psychiatric ward, but is instead a library workroom. Admittedly this could be because the one with the mental health issue (namely us) is feeling so withdrawn from reality that everyone else just appears to be acting exceptionally irrational and odd. It could also be that we are working with a bunch of crazy librarians…
Exhibit 1 – Our friend with the husband and brother dying of cancer.
She asked us today when it would be possible to start calling out “dead man walking” whenever her husband comes into the room. Now before you think this is too harsh, it actually suits their sense of humour which is very dark and sarcastic. Humour is the only way that they are able to cope with what is happening, so we laughed along with her.
Exhibit 2 – The self-absorbed lady we’re having to teach how to teach.
How in the world has this woman made it to this level in the profession and still be totally incompetent? She doesn’t know how to search for information – which is sort of what we do lots in libraries. She considers that because she is over 50, she is incapable of learning about technology – apparently when you turn 50 your brain gets fried. We’ve yet to get out of her where you go for this brain frying, but we’re a tad worried because Exhibit 1 is also over 50 and we like having our sarcastic “non-brain fried” friend around!
Exhibit 3 – the work avoiding library assistant
OK so on the surface of it, work avoidance isn’t a problem – at least half the population do it regularly. But do they do it loudly? Do they moan about their daughter’s hair loss while avoiding work? Do they continually bug those around them by asking questions that we had to ask her before the restructuring? NO! If you’re going to do nothing, do it quietly!
Exhibit 4 – the team leader
Our team leader is an amazing woman. She has been doing the work of 2.5 people for the last year. It’s starting to show! Good grief, just give the woman a holiday before the short term memory loss caused by stress turns her into a goldfish.
Exhibit 5 – library manager
In many respects this exhibit is mis-labelled because I don’t think she realises that she is meant to be managing a library. I think she’s also forgotten that we’ve had several rounds of redundancies since she last realised she was managing us. But at least she makes a delicious spicy chai…
Sometimes we look around and wonder if we’re the most sane one in the room… Sometimes that brings a level of comfort… Sometimes it’s just really worrying…