Further Thoughts From the Conference

I’ve gone into DC the past five days for the American Library Association Conference. Today, I head back to the real world. Before the real world, I thought I would add a few more thoughts about my time in DC.

I’m going to miss going to the city every day. I’ve lived and worked in the suburbs for the past 24 years. My wife has gone into the city every day for the past 24 years. I would happily trade places with her. I loved taking the train to the city and having a nice 20-minute walk through DC to go to work. I loved having a city with multiple lunch options outside my door. My normal work life has Wendy’s and a grocery store as the only close options if I don’t want to pack a lunch. I loved jumping on the Metro to go to a baseball game after work on Saturday. I know working in the city is out as an option at this point, but I really need to make an effort to head down more on my days off. I hate that I live so close and never go, but it’s hard to convince my wife to go back after she’s been there for work all week. She’s happy to stay in the burbs.

Larger crowds still annoy me. I don’t understand how people think it is a good idea to just stop walking in the middle of the crowded hall(or on a crowded sidewalk). I don’t get groups of people deciding these areas are the best places to stop and chat with friends. I don’t get the people who go to an author talk and then talk loudly with their friends. If you have no interest in actually hearing the author speak and would rather chat with your friends, go have coffee somewhere. Generally, I don’t understand why people don’t care how their actions affect others. This isn’t necessarily a crowd only thing. Unfortunately, that attitude is something I deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes I wish I could be someone who can do what I want without considering how it affects someone else.

I was much better this time at schmoozing with people in the exhibits. One publisher has promised to send me books for my branch(and one to me personally). I spoke to another company about partnering on a training we are doing at the state level. I stopped by the booth of a company we do business with to tell them how much I like their service. I talked to CIA recruiters. I stopped by the state library association booth to say hello to the people volunteering their time. It was like Bizarro Tater went to the exhibits in my place.

It was a good five days, but now I go back to my suburban life and Bizarro Tater goes dormant again. Maybe I can convince admin that I should go to PLA in Nashville in the spring.

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Unsurprising Things That Seem to Surprise People

It’s hot in summer – It’s July in Maryland. Sure, it’s hotter than normal and it isn’t fun, but it’s not shocking that its hot and humid in Maryland in July. Every summer it seems people are shocked by the fact that it gets hot and humid in July. Maybe you should set a reminder on your phone for next year.

It’s Cold in Winter – The same thing will happen around January about the cold and snow. It’s Maryland. It gets cold and sometimes snowy in winter. Why are people shocked by this? If you don’t want seasons, don’t live in Maryland.

Libraries are Busy in Summer – Any place that is popular with families and kids will be busy when schools are out. Especially now that no one lets their kids just play outside all day in the summer. More people will come in for your classes. More people will come in for books and movies. It happens every year. It will happen again this year.

Traffic is Bad Here – Traffic in this area sucks. It doesn’t take much to make it even worse. That’s why I use Waze and give myself a time cushion to make sure I arrive places on time.  If you use bad traffic as your excuse to be late all the time, it’s not the traffic’s fault. It’s you not planning for the fact that traffic sucks. It really shouldn’t surprise you if it happens every day.

You Have to Take Metal Out of Your Pockets at a Metal Detector – It drives me crazy to be behind someone who slows down the security lines because they didn’t take keys out of their pockets. It’s a metal detector. Keys are metal. This is not rocket science.

I could probably think of more, but it is time to get ready to go to work in case I am surprised by bad traffic.