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Finishing Books, Buying Books, and Reading at Work

I haven’t updated in awhile…mostly because I am still looking for that groove: the balance between work, leisure, etc.

This first “real world” job has been somewhat slow in that I have received little training. But, what can I expect when I am in a busy office and doing legal work is more important than training the receptionist to do any thing more than answer the phone. However, one of the office’s lawyers, a younger lawyer, fresh out of law school, has been training me as things come up, and when I don’t have a lot of work, he tends to have something for me, even if it’s a simple letter.

One nice thing about not learning anything at a receptionist job is that you get to read. A lot. So, I’ve been spending a nice amount of time every day watching the phones and reading a book. I finished Anna Karenina last week. It wasn’t bad and I am looking forward to seeing how the movie this fall handles the novel. Now, I am finishing up Arabian Nights, which I bought a beautiful translation of (at least, I think it’s beautiful, but I don’t know much about the original Arabic. Also, I am reading a book on Russian history. I feel like a nerd because of I am pursuing Russian literature, something I didn’t study at all in college for my undergrad degree, but it is keeping me sane because I miss school more than any normal recent graduate.

Another perk to working is that I get to buy brand new books. Going along with interest in Russian literature, I bought a book on the history of Russian literature, a duel-language book of Russian short stories, Crime and Punishment (translated by the same people who translated the Anna Karenina edition I read: Pevear & Volokhonsky), and a book of selected stories by Anton Chekhov translated by the same people. I’m not sure what to read next, and I still need to blog about some of the nice passages I found in Anna Karenina.

This entry feels more like a journal entry than an informative blog, so I will say something somewhat meaningful: my mother and I were talking today and she was telling me about the differences in generations. In the US, there are the Boomers, generation X, and generation Y (this is what I got from her). She explained to me that some gen x and many gen y people (I’m a gen y from what I understand) don’t “live to work,” like many boomers. Instead, we “work to live”: we only work because we have to make a living. She said that some of each gen x and gen y put a lot of value on their time, and when a job doesn’t make them feel as if their time has been used usefully, they become unhappy with their job. This makes sense to me since I have never been really happy at a place I’ve worked… I have liked the people, I have liked aspects of the job, but I have yet to find a job that has made me feel like my time hasn’t been wasted in some way (I’m hoping my current job will change that).

Anyway, I asked her why it might be that I, a gen y person, would like school, which is more work than a 9-5 job in many ways, more than I would like a job. She said it depends on what a person considers valuable use of their time. So, for me, school fulfills something within me that tells me that the time I have used has been useful to me in some way. It’s interesting. I’m considering looking into it more since I’ve heard my mom talk about “work place generation differences” a number of times before.

So, perhaps one way to stay sane until I feel like my time at work is useful, will be to continue to read, since that has always made me feel like my time was used wisely. Reading at work, what more could I ask for?

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