Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's George's Fault

In 1999 I was working for a public library system in the Northern Minnestoa as their Automation/Systems Librarian. It was actually a very rewarding job : nice variety of work, autonomy, a good director. I might have stayed there for many years. But one day in late autumn two things happened. The first was George. He was President of the Board, a retired school custodian, local political creature, an Iron Range Serbo-Croat, and a bit of a pain in the ass. So when he came by my cubicle to chat it altered my reaction to the next thing, which was a call from our then automation vendor, the second sentence of which was "What would you think about working in Singapore ?". Any other time I probably would have just laughed, but on this occasion, with the weather getting colder and the days getting very short, looking at George, I instead uttered the fateful words, "Let me call you back".

George passed away on Monday, after being an effective pain in the ass for the library system for many years. Having spent nine of the last ten years working outside of North America, I blame him. So as I sit drinking my morning tea in my half-rebuilt, century-old Estonian farmhouse watching the neighbor's crops grow, I have to say, "Thanks, George".

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