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22 Jan 2008 / Julie

Death sheds new light on the purpose of relationships

I stayed home from work today to see the bf off to his 2-day interview + presentation and nurse my tummy. When the bf was on his way, i turned to taking a slow day of recovery. I eventually got to watching movies and reorganizing my files (which i had started earlier this week with 2 new boxes and a newly purchased label maker). After watching Never Been Kissed I put in 10 Things I Hate About You. Not 20 minutes later I get a text from my old college roommate, “Heath Ledger is dead. Overdose on OTC drugs.”

WTF?

So I ran to my computer (the fastest I’d moved all day) and googled for information. Sure enough, Heath Ledger, dead at 28. And Brad Renfro only a few days ago.

The news jolted me awake. Here I am, sitting at home (granted, nursing a tummy ache) and letting the day go by while my age-mates are out there dying.

As I was reading the article, my friend who’d txtd me the news called. She lives in Boston now, attending grad school for a second career choice, and with our busy and erratic schedules we don’t talk much anymore. But we had a long and wonderful conversation that we’re now planning on making a regularly scheduled thing. I think it’s sad that we have to schedule our friends to make time for them, but I guess as long as we’ve made time for them as in the end, the only things that matter are our relationships with people- our family and friends- not the numbers we crunch at work, or the quotas we have to meet or the long hours we put in (unless, i guess, if you’re lucky enough to work at something you love).

If we focus on what really matters- the people- our lives (and our work) will be more fulfilling. I had mentioned to someone the other day that it isn’t the information that matters, it’s the relationship and conversation between you and the customer. Yes, getting the right information is important, but not as much as the relationship. If a customer comes to you with an information need- say they’re in crisis- the hotline # you give them is important, but so is the delivery- the expression of care that you show them- the genuine concern for another human being who has come to your for help (because, lets face it, on the list of places ppl go to for help, librarians are, for the most part, last on the list).

I’m not 100% sure where I’m going with this little existence-jolt induced rant of mine- but let’s be more patient with our customers, more available to our friends, and more caring about everyone…

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