I spent most of today emptying out the archives, making room for a new desk and then moving everything back into the archives. It was an incredibly frustrating yet exciting moment for me because I finally feel like the archives is becoming “my” space rather than a space I’ve occupied.
However, I think I may have disarmed a few people by having the bookcase relocated to the secretary’s office. Admittedly, the bookcase is a beautiful piece of furniture. In fact, much of the furniture in the archives is beautiful. Not that there’s a lot but what is there (the older pieces) are stunning. But there’s absolutely no room for the bookcase. But I have decided to remove the more modern bookcase and replace it with the older piece. Hopefully, this will make everything better.
I seem to move into jobs where the people I’m replacing either don’t want to let go of the job or the people who worked with them don’t want to let them go. For the first time in my working life, I am in a position where both has happened. The person I replaced is having a hard time letting go of the archives and the people that I work with (not in my workplace but the community members) are having a hard time letting go of my predecessor. I keep receiving these phone calls that go something like:
me: “Archives, Dani speaking, may I help you?”
caller: “Is it true that ____ left the archives?”
me: “Yes, he left about 6 months ago. Is there something I can do to help you?”
caller: “No. Where is he?”
Now, that call may seem rather innocuous but this particular phone call was preceded by two phone calls from community members requesting that their donations be returned. I’m not taking these calls personally. I know that the community members genuinely loved my predecessor and I hope, in time, that they will come to trust me with their memorabilia as much as they trusted my predecessor.