Anniversaries and carpal tunnel

Today marks four years since I started this blog, which is pretty long to stick with something, especially when you know that you’ve grown up quite a bit since starting it. There are posts I wish were different, but we leave it because it shows growth, right?

I also finished my third week of my internship today. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a real concern sometimes. I’ve been getting into The West Wing lately, and there’s an episode where Donna is concerned that she’s going to get carpal tunnel and wants OSHA benefits (which apparently, White House staff don’t get… in the 90s). What do you know – a few weeks later I’m working a desk job and feeling a little stiffness in my wrists.

Okay, so I don’t actually have carpal tunnel. I know that manifests much more slowly. Aka, not in three weeks. But I looked up strategies for avoiding and some stretches to help alleviate stress anyways. And I did them subtly at my desk.

I know. Worrying about things that are so not an issue. I mean, people work longer hours than I do with less concern for their posture and don’t have carpal tunnel. You just have to do what you can to prevent the pain. Also, you have to try not to be melodramatic about things.

Aside from the fear of carpal tunnel from excessive computer use and slight worries that I’m losing my eyesight and will need readers soon (you think I jest…), I really do love working my internship. Here are my top reasons why:

  1. I am given responsibility and independence, but I am a supporter and therefore am just assisting in helping others get their projects done. Instead of the barrage that inundates some of the people who have real jobs, I just get assigned tasks as I finish them.
  2. My desk is in such a position in the office that I see everyone who comes in the front door. Granted, there’s a back way to come up, through the adjacent building where the rest of the company works, but if they come in from the elevator, I’m right there to smile briefly then go back to work.
  3. I’m not condemned for not knowing anything. One of the perks of getting rushed into a position to fill a need is that people have so much grace for you when you have enormous gaps in knowledge. And they don’t expect you to catch on right away. There’s a learning curve, and they let you ride it.
  4. I get to interact with books everyday. So far I’ve done a lot with the data surrounding the books that will be published soon. But I also read and store reviews, so I’ve gotten to hear what people think of them. And I just finished reading one of our YA novels, so now I’ve read some of them. Either way, there’s a big focus on supporting reading, readers, teachers, and librarians here, and it’s so in line with my values. If only I could take you on a tour of my bookshelves.
  5. People there aren’t crazy. They aren’t job-obsessed, for the most part. They all do what they do well, but it’s rare to see people staying past 5:30 on a normal day. I stayed til 6 one day (to make up hours from the previous day) and hardly a soul was in sight. There was one other car in the parking lot when I got there. It’s healthy.
  6. It pays.

That’s not all that I like about it, but if I get even a twinge of carpal tunnel, at least you’ll know that it wasn’t from a horrible job I didn’t like.

But I’m not going to get carpal tunnel.

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