Saturday, 14 November 2009

"It takes him days to move her way..."

Dear sir,

I am writing to you, to advise that there will be a delay in the processing of applications for this post.

This letter, received today, provides a good reason why I love libraries: they take things slowly. I applied for the above part-time position months ago – the deadline was early October. I had in fact long since given up hope on hearing back about it. Now, a month later, I am surprised to discover that they are simply taking their time.

Back in August when I was floating in a sea of indecision and uncertainty, I applied for a job in a law firm. Within days of my application being sent, I received an invitation to interview. Within hours of the interview, I was informed of my failure. Everything about that application moved so quickly: it was disconcerting.

Since then I have applied and interviewed for a number of library jobs and the continuing trend across them all has been the slowness of the decision process. This is far from a criticism: if a theme has developed in the writing of this blog, it’s the idea of taking life slowly. I appreciate it when people take time over weighty decisions that affect people’s lives: it’s far more appropriate than making the sort of snap ‘X-Factor’ judgements that society expects of us nowadays.

It is of continual annoyance to me that people take conversations so quickly, snapping from one topic to the next at breakneck speed. I prefer to slowly mull over topics, feel the weight of a good sentence, and I won’t bother starting a meaningful conversation unless the interlocutor and I have a good hour or so to discuss it properly. I also get annoyed when people organise events at short notice: I like to plan at least a week ahead – to know when I am doing something and to know when I have some free time.

There are some things in life that don’t need speeding up: that have to be done slowly. I believe that determining whether someone is fit for a job or not is one of those things and I love that in the information sector, employers take their time over important decisions. This may be because libraries and other information posts are staffed by people with well-organised minds who feel the same way as I do about having life laid out in an organised albeit unspontaneous fashion.

It may be that a potential employer is reading this after I mentioned this blog in a personal statement. In that case, I encourage them to take their time getting to know me and to not worry about making a quick decision.

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