Customer service for curmudgeons

The subtitle for this blog is not a joke. Not that I necessarily believe in reincarnation or karmic debt, but the metaphor is useful.
Yes, we actually used to use these!

I'm one of those introverted people whose temperament is most suited to solitary intellectual and creative pursuits, or to interesting conversation and recreation with a few close friends.

My fantasy job would be to sit in my favorite Tenbucks coffeehouse with my laptop (if I actually had one) running the Ask a Librarian operator's software in background, so that I could do what I really want to do: read books and write all day.

Irony of ironies, for the whole thirtysome years of my professional life I have been in public service jobs. Worse, the last twentysome have been in the helping professions—first clinical counseling and now reference librarianship.

"But you asked for the job!" the smart-alecky reader might say.

Yes, well...I'm a Preacher's Kid, son of another shy, introverted, bookish man who really cared about people in the abstract—but didn't want them to get too close.

Dad was my hero when I was young, and the helper's skills are in the genes, even though they are paradoxically mixed with the "leave me alone" genes.


[See the rest of the original post here.]