It happened again. I ran into someone I haven’t seen in years and one of the first questions he asked was, “So, where ya working now?” And I forgot my line.
I’m supposed to say, “I work at the public library.” Instead, I left out the key word...public. In most towns, that’s not a problem. But in my town, the follow up statement goes something like, “Oh. I didn’t know you were a bartender.”
You see, there’s a bar here called The Library. And what should be a source of pride—I work at the library!—is always followed by a shot of reality. “No, I work at the public library,” I say. To which they respond, “They still have those?”
I guess the owners of the 21-and-over Library wanted to give their patrons an honest excuse when their parents (those paying the college tuition) ask why they couldn’t reach their sons or daughters the night before. “I’m sorry, I was at The Library all night. Could you please talk a little softer?”
I just want to be able to say, “I work at the library,” and hear someone respond, “Wow! I’ve wanted to work there since I was a kid. You are so lucky!”
Maybe I’m wrong—I don’t know the names of the bars where you’re from—but I don’t think it’s like this for other public employees.
“Oh. I didn’t know you were a bartender.”
— “No, I work at the public defenders office.”
— “No, I work at the public health department.”
— “No, I work at the public utilities commission.”