Any one else in a bad job situation they can't afford to leave?

I’ve been a school librarian for 14 years, after an equal amount of time in academic/public libraries. The rigid schedule would have burnt me out after 6-8 years if I hadn’t landed in a school where I had an open schedule where students came to the library when they had research to do or wanted to find a book (with a few scheduled classes). It was great for a while. It was hopping, but my public library background prepared me for that.

Then a new administration came on board. Turnover is a serious problem, and I have been called to sub for classes 5 times already this school year. If I have a class scheduled, there’s no guarantee that’ll be taken into account. Bottom line is the stress is killing me. I get paid a lot for my trouble, though. Even if I could go back to the public library system (no guarantee, since there’s a limited market for 55 year old burnt out school librarians) I’d have to take a huge pay cut. Another school? A set schedule of 5-6 classes is what would have burned me out much earlier. I kind of painted myself into a corner staying as long as I did.

Ms. P doesn’t make enough to support one person since she changed careers a few years back. We have two kids in college, and the family depends on my income. My solution, which I’ve had to resort to once before, is to go on anti-anxiety meds to keep me going. Not ideal, but it’s really the only choice at this point.

What does “If I have a class scheduled” mean?

Classes that are already scheduled to be in the library. Last Friday I was informed I’d be subbing for the sub in PE. I didn’t have classes scheduled in the morning, but I had 3 scheduled in the afternoon. I had notified the Assistant Principal of this, but she ignored it until I brought both classes of kids out into the hall where they could be seen by the security officer and walked to her office and said, “what you gonna do?” She had no choice but to find someone else who already had another job to do (a classroom aide in this case).

The phrase “burnt out school librarian” had me smiling. The pressure must be intense on the school library front. I can only imagine. :stuck_out_tongue: Sorry dude, hope you find a better place.

No offense taken. It does look ridiculous if you haven’t been there. And I had a good run for several years.

Do you do something for these classes that are scheduled to be in the library? I mean, are you the only employee there, or is their teacher there?

No one else there; they learn research skills. It’s the teacher’s planning period.

And when you inform the administration that a class of kids will be left alone in the library so you can go sub somewhere, what do they say?

I wouldn’t say my situation is “bad”. The client pays a lot of money for me to be there so part of the demands are to be unflapped by anything that comes. Consequently, there is no crying in baseball.

However, I am at least 10 years past the point where I really really REALLY wanted to get off this particular treadmill. I have to fly across country every week to go to whatever client site we have a contract at. I would love to get a job “at home”, but they just don’t exist with my skill set. And even if they did, I would drop a significant amount in income. And while I know I could make that adjustment, the other people who share my home are not as open to the prospect. Dis-functional? Yeah, kinda. So onward I go!

What may help is to get in the mindset that this kind of chaos is normal. It’s the same way in many companies these days. Things are cut to the bone and people have to wear many hats. I don’t know how it is in libraries, but I wouldn’t be surprised if librarians in general have a more chaotic kind of job than they did before. So switching somewhere else might not be much different.

If the subbing is causing a lot of conflict, it would probably be worth talking with the administration to come up with a plan of what to do when you have classes scheduled. You shouldn’t have to scramble at the last minute. Either they don’t ask you to sub or they have some plan in place about what to do with your kids. And your kids shouldn’t be pushed to the side all the time.

You’re aware that you literally quoted his description of that exact scenario in your previous post, aren’t you?

(my bolding) If you’re going to play the delightful “repeatedly ask hostile and suspicious questions” game, you should at least read everything the OP posts.

I would say most adults have found themselves in a job they hate. It can be job duties that are terrible, or management with the IQ of a stapler, or glory of glories, both.

When my kids were growing up, my husband and I owned two rentals. The kids got a front row seat watching irresponsible people quitting jobs, not paying bills (like rent), and then trashing the place before we booted their butts to the curb. Our rentals were an incredible learning experience to our kids. One of the biggest lessons we taught them (usually with a lot of swear words) was that you don’t quit a job unless you have another one lined up. The second lesson was probably, “First you pay the bills, then you eat.”

I also told my kids that they would probably have at least one job where they would work their butts off, for crummy pay, and it would probably be something that included duties which were exhausting and dirty. I explained this awful job would be a Rite of Passage: just about everyone had at least one such job in their background. It was your proof that you had indeed started at the bottom. And once this terrible job was in their rear view mirror, they would have the knowledge that they could handle anything.

My kids are grown, in their 30s, they have good jobs, houses, cars, kids, bills, and they are incredible people. I’m proud of both of them

Now, I know you are obviously not a young adult just starting out. You mentioned two kids in college, so you’ve probably got the house, the cars, the bills, and all the grown up responsibilities. My words to you would still be that first lesson I gave my kids: don’t quit your job until you have another one lined up.

You’ll have to get creative to find another job. With your background in Library Science, you can be qualified to do just about anything that entails research. Check out your local branch of Uni ersity of Phoenix or Kaplan University. Look to any civil service jobs. How about local news agencies?

Ask your kids for help, in either creative job searching or helping to pay for their college.

Admitting you are miserable is the beginning. You can stay where you are and grind yourself down to the ground, or you can look around and make your own possibilities. And in doing so, you may head off a heart attack, a stroke, or some decimating autoimmune disease.

Best wishes.
~VOW

Actually, you have the bona fides for any job where the unwritten job requirement is “Somebody Who’s Smart”.

Seriously, almost every company could use someone like you. Best guy I worked with was a playwright who decided he needed a regular paycheck. He was the best Client Liaison our ad agency ever had. He’d get inside the client’s head with insightful interpersonal skills, learn their field with laser-like research, and could form a workable plan out of clusterfuggy chaos.

I’m pretty sure ALL of my jobs were bad situations I couldn’t afford to leave.

I’ll do some research on non-library jobs for librarians. My big talent is probably organizing. For instance, a number of students need to use computers for beginning of year testing. How many students? What grades? How many computers? How many computers can’t hold a charge and may need a charger nearby (and the student with it will need to be seated near an outlet)? Who shouldn’t be sitting near whom? How many in a group know their login info (I pretty much know, because they use it when they come to do research)? How long does this assessment typically take?
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There are people who know all of the above, but no one else knows all of it. The big issue with other jobs is whether or not I’d be taking a pay cut, and how big it would be. Newer teachers aren’t well paid, but I’m at the top of the scale. Someone with a Master’s degree and close to 30 years of experience can make pretty good money. There’s a mortgage to pay, and two kids in college. If I could gut it out for six years (including this year) I’d be eligible for a pension of 40% of my highest salary. I’d love to hit that milestone, but I’m not going to take years off of my life to do it.

I have a cousin in a similar situation. There are too many school administrators out there (including hers) that have taken a page out of the business manual and put their teachers and librarians under the gun to become more “productive” which means to teach more kids and handle more job responsibilities. Like P-man she has to teach several classes and run the library without the assistant she used to have (who was eliminated due to budget cuts)

The days of the school library being a quiet, pleasant place where all that the librarian had to do was sit at a desk and help a few kids who dropped in to browse for books are long gone.

P-man, good luck to you in finding a way to lessen your stress!

I’m working in the most toxic environment I’ve ever experienced in my not insignificant IT career. I’d leave tomorrow, but I love the work (if not the job) and they pay me a butt load of money to do it. It’s the text book case of Golden Handcuffs.

I’m burnt-out academic librarian. I work at an R1 institution in a major research area. I’m a department head and I’m decently paid. But I’ve been understaffed for years. I’ve been doing 3 jobs for 3 years, and this semester I have another 1.5 on top of that. I’ve run searches, but those searches have failed. I delegate where I can, but the folks in the department are also carrying additional workloads because of this.

I don’t trust our dean. They’re newish, within the last 5 years, and has no ability to set actual leadership for the library. I’m ready to move on - and I’m not completely burnt out on libraries - but I have to find the right job to move into, and where I am that means either an Assistant/Associate Dean position or a director at a small institution. I’m ok with the former, but not the latter.

Mostly I just wish I’d win the lottery. Of course, I rarely play it, but I still wish I’d win.

I like it busy. I can handle 25 kids working on 25 different projects at once. It’s not quiet, and I don’t particularly want it to be. The sad thing is when I’m pulled out of the library too often it takes a while for kids to come back. They get too used to me not being there.

Well, I was in a bad job situation and I didn’t think I could afford to leave. But, I got laid off so I don’t have a choice. And, I think the severance package might allow me to find something I enjoy.