Friday, April 03, 2009

One Way or another

Yesterday, Kismet safely ensconced at playcare, I found myself with a bonus hour at the end of the working day. I went to the library. I cannot remember the last time I was there. Wandering the stacks, letting one interest leading to another, kneeling on the ground in front of bookshelves pulling out tomes and flipping through them. The smell of dust and ink. The Williamsburg Regional Library is quite awesome for a small-town library, full of books generously donated by enthusiastic readers. I was there, ostensibly, to garner some research material that will assist me in putting together an "impression" of an eighteenth-century woman of the lower-middling sort. There's a lot to learn, apart from the clothes. History of my people, history of the area, just what sort of things would I know? Sewing, yes, cooking, yes, folk remedies, yes, but can I read? Do I comprehend the politics and the policies that are irreversibly pulling the Commonwealth away from the homeland? Items on the to-do list include building a Diderot bedgown and a cap, but they also include learning how to bake Sally Lunn bread over an open fire (sparked with flint and steel, of course) and learning some useful knots.

So in addition to several books about the history of Virginia and the ways that her early settlers entertained themselves, I also got a few novels and a couple books-on-CD which are a godsend at work. I never thought that I'd get bored of my musicals, but even I can only stand so many repetitions of "The Last Five Years." Right now I'm "reading" The Resurrectionist, which is great. The reader is having a little trouble differentiating the various characters, but the story--well, stories, really--is utterly engrossing. And so work went by quickly today. A good thing, since the temperature got into the eighties, and all I wanted to do was head outside and frolic.

This week hasn't been easy, however. Monday we found out that our part-time employee was going to be let go. Her last day was on Wednesday, so we had a little potluck party for her. It was awkward, but I think she appreciated it. Our boss' boss was torn up over having to eliminate a position when she's been fighting so hard to keep us all. We also found out on Monday that another of our employees was involved in a serious car accident, requiring three surgeries on her ankle, knee, hip and spleen, variously. She's out of the ICU, but there hasn't been any discussion about when she'll be going home. So this week has been kind of tense.

I really like working for CW. The company is a fantastic company to work for. Despite recent cutbacks, I still believe they care about their employees, and they encourage a family atmosphere to permeate both the historic area and we behind the scenes. But lately, more and more, I've been coming to accept that I can't stay here. Not in my current capacity. Mostly it has to do with the salary I'm drawing: if I ever want to have a prayer of owning my own home or doing more traveling, I need to make more money. Some of it has to do with the drama of the people I work with. I would love to work in another area of CW, but the mighty hiring freeze continues. Projects I've been presenting to people and ideas I've been nursing have been shot down one after another with the now all too familiar phrase "There's no money." Fair enough. The "economic crisis" (o overused phrase!) will lessen, however, and I will need to be moving on. I don't know what will happen...but something needs to give.

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