In the bookroom

My last day of work before summer vacation, as you probably know, was on Wednesday. My two last jobs were to clean the staffroom and to finish organizing the English bookroom. I wasn’t doing either job alone, so I was reasonably sure that both would be completed by early afternoon. Then I could merrily drift out of the school, and not have to look at it or think about it for two whole months.

There were four of us in the bookroom, two working on one side, two on the other. I was counting books, putting them in ziploc bags, labelling the bags, then piling the bags into small bins that were organized according to level of reading difficulty. Some of the bins needed labels and they all needed to be placed on the lower shelves in the correct order.

I love doing that kind of thing! I think my middle name should have been “Organizer”. I’m never happier than when I can put some semblance of order and tidiness into what was formerly a mess. I could spend days doing this without my energy or enthusiasm flagging! I mean, there’s a reason that I always volunteer for these kinds of jobs: I enjoy it and I’m good at it.

The women I was working with were also quite good at it, so we progressed quickly and efficiently. Then, about two hours in, one of the women on the other side of the room called out, “Are we ready for champagne and orange juice yet?”

“Oh, yeah!” we chorused back at her. Then our chat turned to our various experiences with champagne, our favourite brands, whether or not we preferred it chilled, occasions on which we’d had it, etc. We didn’t notice that the woman who had sparked the discussion had left the room.

Till she returned. With a tray of cheese, crackers, nuts, glasses, orange juice, and … champagne. Real champagne.
“Anybody who works in this grotty, dirty bookroom deserves champagne,” she declared with a huge grin.

Two things: 1) what a way to end the school year! and 2) who do you think is now going to be my partner forever when there’s organizing to be done at work?


11 responses to “In the bookroom

  1. If you’re so fond of organizing how about coming to Germany and doing my flat? 😉

    • mrwriteon – Everything is fun as long as there’s champagne!

      bevchen – I will be close by (sort of) on Thursday. I have a couple of hours in Athens before our flight to Cairo. I’ll also be a few hours at London Heathrow two weeks later, again waiting for a flight connection. I’m sure I could quickly pop by during one of those layovers and see what I can do at your place! 😉

  2. You do know how to have fun, don’t you. That’s just one of the things I like about you.

  3. My favorite sound: the sound of a cork coming out of a champagne bottle. It always means you are celebrating something.

    • Linda – Hell, if there’s champagne, I’ll celebrate waking up in the morning! But I suppose that morning we were celebrating the soon-to-be clean and orderly bookroom – which is still a cause worthy of celebration, of course!

  4. Totally off topic, but we went to the King Tut exhibition in New York yesterday and I thought about you and how great your trip is going to be. The stuff they had here was beyond amazing and interesting, but I imagine that they kept the even more fabulous stuff in the country. It is almost shocking to see how beautiful this stuff still is, thousands of years later.

    • Kimberly – Wow, I didn’t know about that exhibition (not that we’re stopping in New York anyway!), but it sounds amazing. When I was last in New York in ’07, I was totally blown away by the Egyptian exhibit and the Temple of Dendur at the Met Museum. I told myself then that I would someday see where this stuff originally came from, and in just a couple of days, I will!

  5. That sounds like a brilliant idea to make the organizing go smoothly. I’ll remember that the next time I organize the bookcase. Orange juice and champagne. Coming right up.

    • Nora – Isn’t it, though? I think it would be prudent to only drink a little, however – otherwise I doubt much actual organizing would happen!

  6. Well now you’re done organizing the school, how about you come organize me?

    I’ll furnish the champagne.

    • Jazz – I’ll do it, but you have to promise not to cry or swear when I force you to throw out ALL the stuff you haven’t used in the past year.