A few months ago, we were moving the AV collection from the Learning Center to its new location upstairs. Part of the job was to get the films back on the shelves in the correct order. The first time, we left too much space for future additions and ran out of room. So then we started shifting everything back a bit. At one point, that required two of us, one on each side of the shelf handing films to each other. Pam and I were doing this. She was handing them to me, but then disaster struck. She had gathered too many for me to take. So we stood there on either side of the shelf, both with our hands on the films, but neither in control. It was obvious that any second they were going to crash to the ground in a mess. We looked at each other and did the only thing possible: We broke into uncontrollable giggles at our mistake and let them fall.
Obviously, it was not the only response possible. One of us could have gotten all mad because the other didnt’ hand right or grab right. We could have grumbled at the extra work we were having to do. But those responses wouldn’t solve our problems either. And the thought of our standing there holding on for dear life to those films as if they were made of crytal was just too funny.
One of the nice things about working in the library is that there is just a lot of laughter that goes on everyday. We take our jobs, but not ourselves, seriously. And we are able to laugh at ourselves, which goes a long way in making a gentle, humane workplace.
So instead of waiting for someone else to make a mistake or do something a little strange in order to have a good laugh, keep your eyes firmly on yourself. I promise that you’ll always be laughing.