Rolling ladders

My new job is going wonderfully (granted, it’s only been 4 days).  I was a bit overwhelmed at first with the all the information that was being tossed at me, but now that it’s been a couple of days, I’m feeling more relaxed and confident.  My two and a half years of previous publishing experience have come into play quite a few times and has really helped me grasp my new position.  Amazing how everything works together.

My supervisor was talking to me about a book the other day and kept referencing its “galley”.  Mid-sentence he stopped himself and said, “You probably have no idea what I’m talking about.”  And I just smiled really big and said, “The interior layout of the book.  Got it.”

I work in one of the oldest buildings in the city, and it’s made for an interesting experience.   The ceilings are extremely tall and it’s all hardwood flooring which makes every day I choose to wear heels a very unfortunate one for everyone around me.  I work upstairs and get to travel up and down rickety wooden staircases that look like something out a Victorian ballroom.  I have to fight the urge to curtsy when I arrive on the landing.

That’s one of my favorite parts about the job – I get to move around all day.  No more sitting at my desk for 8 straight hours, only getting to walk around when I leave for lunch or when nature calls.  I’m on my feet for most of the day, navigating around this huge maze of a building and visiting various people in the department.

And I really need to emphasize how old this place is.  It has corridors within corridors and rooms within rooms, including a creepy basement that is cold, eerie, and feels like the set of Halloween.  It’s completely concrete with old piping snaking through the ceiling, occasionally dripping water and making horrible knocking sounds.  There’s an abandoned toaster oven among the many shelves of forgotten books, and I can’t get help but get the feeling that someone probably died down there.

And of course, that’s where the pop machine is located.

But the crème de crème of being having this job is the vault.  That’s right.  A vault.  It has a giant door that resembles something you would see at a bank.  It’s the designated “safety zone” in case of a tornado, but everyone is afraid to go in it because everyone is convinced they’ll be locked in there forever.

But do you know what’s inside that vault?

Floor to vaulted ceiling bookcases that require wooden, swinging ladders to get to from one place to another.  During my interview, my soon-to-be supervisor showed me the room and I immediately started babbling on and on about the library in Beauty and the Beast and how much it made me want to ride a swinging ladder and boy was I excited at the prospect of getting to fly around the room on a rolling ladder on a daily basis!

(the actual vault is nowhere near this big ... or fancy. heehee)

I got my first chance to climb the ladders and fulfill my Disney fantasy on Friday.  I was asked to put away a few titles and was secretly jumping for joy at the chance to disappear into the vault by myself for a few minutes.  However, I couldn’t find the light switch to the room and stood there like a worthless twit for several minutes wondering if I really wanted to be “that girl” who had to ask someone how to turn on a light.  There was a rusted switch next to the room, but I was too scared to try it.  Like I said, the building is incredibly old and I didn’t want to accidentally flip a switch that would make an air raid alarm go off.

Eventually I put my college degree to good use and figured out how to turn on the light (it was inside the pitch-black room) and stepped into the vault.  My dream of sailing around the room on a wooden ladder singing about the wonder of literature was quickly dashed when I discovered the painful reality that I climbed the ladders with about as much poise and grace as a water buffalo.

And then I suffered the embarrassment of falling off the last three rungs of the ladder because I apparently have zero depth perception and the propensity to wear high heels in the most inopportune times.

Ah well, at least I can check it off my bucket list.

I signed up for a 7k race last week after a co-worker dropped a flyer off at my desk.  She said she thought I’d be interested since during our first meeting, we both shared that we were runners.   I grabbed the flyer and skipped over to her desk and said, “You had me at ‘free t-shirt’”.  The race is this Saturday and will be a highly unusual distance of 4.35 miles.  I’ve heard of a 5k, a 10k, and even a 15k, but a 7k just sounds weird.  But hey, it’s good practice for my half-marathon in May, so why the heck not? FREE T-SHIRT.

Besides being healthier and have the endurance of a small horse, running has been entirely beneficial to the exterior of Courtney.  Since running my first half marathon in October, I’ve dropped a substantial amount of weight.  Nothing dramatic, but enough that several people have asked me the coveted, “Have you lost weight?”  And it feels good to be able to actually say “Yes!” rather than, “It’s the girdle”. Especially since I lost the pounds without consciously trying to do so.  I don’t run with the mindset of, “Only 10 more miles til’ I’m skinny!”; it’s just been a tremendously awesome side-effect of one of my hobbies.  I’ve gone down a pants size or two and my clothes just fit better.  I just feel better.

But I’ve been hesitant to make a formal announcement of, “Hey! I’ve lost X amount of pounds!” because I know the very day I do, I’m going to trip and fall into a vat of brownie batter and gain it all back instantly.  Then I’ll run into one of you and you’ll say, “Hey, Courtney.  I thought you said you lost weight?”  There will be an awkward silence. And I’ll look like a liar. And you’ll stop reading my blog because you think I lack credibility.   And then I’ll be emotionally distraught because my readership dropped from 2 back to 0 and, in an ironic twist of fate, will turn to food to nurse my depression and balloon up even bigger. And then I will suffer the embarrassment of having specially designed seatbelt extenders put into my car. And that will be expensive.

So, I just can’t afford to do that.

You understand.


  1. Hahahaha. I think every pound you have lost has found it's way into my gut! Excited to hear about your 7k. . . even though that is an interesting number. Oh, and how hard do you think it would be to sneak someone into this vault to "test" these ladders?


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