Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

{November 18, 2010}   My Office Mates Abe Lincoln and Mary Todd

My secret is out. I like to watch documentaries while I’m working. Occasionally I’ll shake it up with some Simpson’s episodes but for the most part, you can come in to my office at any given time and I’ll have on Biography or the American Experience.

I’m sure people are like “What? I’d love to watch movies while I work.” Well, it isn’t like that at all. It’s white noise to me, a background. People listen to NPR at their desks, the radio, music from their computer. I’m a visual listener. The computer work that I do is constant and to move my eyes to something else is a good distraction, both for the eyes and the mind. I’ve been doing this for years and from experience, I can’t do a movie. You actually have to watch a movie. A Simpson’s episode is good because it’s a good distraction and you can listen to it and not have to watch anything and it can still be funny but I would say my favorites have been the American Experience shows.

These are great historical episodes that are incredibly fascinating. I’ll listen to one for days. Catching new things each time or actually watching parts of it while I have my salad at my desk for my lunch break. Being the Abe Lincoln fan that I am, I’m watching a three-part Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln series that has just captivated me and I’ve been most productive in finishing up several projects to this. If Abe and Mary Todd can get through what they got through, I surely can finish up that monthly report!

When I have visitors in my office, I usually set it to pause or turn it off to conduct my meetings. On one occasion I left my office with the Lincoln series still going ~when I came back, I had a visitor waiting for me in a chair outside my office.    I invited him in and as I took my seat on my side of the desk I grabbed for the remote. When I saw what part was on so I can restart it when he left, I inadvertantly blurted out “Dang it, I missed the assassination!” My guest was a little alarmed but it became a great ice breaker and in the end he too was a big Lincoln fan. It ended up being a very successful meeting. When you have Honest Abe and Crazy Mary in the office, I couldn’t expect anything less.


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