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My first job?

Janitor.

No, seriously.
Janitor in the Biology wing of the science hall.
6-8 AM, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
I took the cleaning cart out of the closet
and the taxidermied animals would watch me
as I mopped and wiped down the lab tables.

It got to me. I think I lasted maybe three weeks?
The smell of chemicals paired with those
glassy glazed eyes peering out of dead fur?
Creepy. Yuck. Shitty first job.

I had just started college, you know?
I am learning to navigate roommates
and classes and I’m supposed to
start my day hanging out with
stuffed bobcats and birds of prey?

Luckily, I had volunteered at my
high school library and put in
an application at the college,
even though the library didn’t
really hire freshman.

Someone quit and I started in November.
Interlibrary Loan Department.
Worked their all four years
and the three summers between.

Thought about becoming a librarian.
I was afraid I would get shushed.

But I enjoyed pulling the books
other schools requested,
wrapping them,
securing the packaging
with my arsenal of tape guns.

Unwrapping the books that
we had requested. Calling
the professors or students
to let them know they had arrived.

It was like Christmas, all year long.
The books were presents.
We read gossip magazines in the break room.
Much better than dead animals.

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