Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A2A: The Teen Years (or A Page About A Page)

Tip of the Day: Be extra nice to working teens. Remember when that was you serving up coffees and checking out groceries to grouchy grown-ups.

Part of me wishes I had some wacky job in high school, like my girlfriends who bussed tables at the Old Country Buffet and had to dress up like the Buffet Bee and wave to kids. Sure, it incited some screams, but now I would cherish those memories (right Nicki and Manina? Are you cherishing?)

But no, I was a Library Page. Makes me sound like I lived in a book. Maybe I pretty much did! I shelved books here:

There were pluses and minuses to working at the Parma Public Library in high school.

1) Close to home and the high school
2) Could wear jeans
3) No uniform
4) No smell of grease
5) Got to help with children's summer programs and story hours
6) Erased all my late fines
7) Worked with my mom

1) Crappy pay
2) Could get boring
3) The library was a good, innocent place for stalkers to hang out
4) The library attracted every burnout in town
5) No other teens worked with me
6) Finding food, chewed gum, used kleenex, and unwrapped condoms in the shelves
7) Worked with my mom

My novel #4 (currently shelved) had an MC who was a Page in a law library. While I liked that book and the MC's job, it wasn't as good as it could've been if she worked at a public library. There's so much great fodder! Creepy old men asking where the books on changing bodies are located, the Churchy People challenging the library's collection of "racy" (aka PG-13) movies and mentioning it in their Sunday sermons, impossible reference questions relating to the makeup of Jesus's DNA.... I mean, those could each be a novel in themselves!

I think I might try to use my high school occupation again in a book, and now I'll base in on my experiences AND what I witness happening with the teens I now supervise in my library. (Though in all honesty, the patrons require more supervision than the teen workers.)

Any other library Pages out there?

Deena, Miss Recently Repped


Holly said...

When I was 17 I worked at Old Country Buffet and dressed up as O.C. Bee! Ah, memories.

I applied to the library seven million times and they would not hire me. I wonder if I was on some black list due to unreturned books when I was a kid.

DeenaML said...

Ha ha, Holly! That is too funny. I also think the bee costume would be a hilarious job for a teen character to have. There are so many ways to go with mistaken identity, and what do you wear under the suit...? :)

Kate Fall said...

Well, we didn't find anyone else fired from Carvel but we found an O.C. Bee! Is it just me, or does OCB sound like a disease?

I worked with my mom on college spring breaks. She was a bookkeeper. While other kids partied in Florida, I helped her get ready for tax time. I liked it, except for when I was hungover. Then it got awkward. :) Hmm, this gives me a story idea about embezzlement.

Kristina Springer said...

I never thought about the creepy people at the library-- now I'm going to be looking at everyone each time I'm there!

Anonymous said...

Luckily I only had to "be" the "bee" a few times. It was hot in there!! But the money was good. I also worked as a page at your place of employment, but only lasted 3 months. It was incredibly boring!!!