As promised, JTA talks about work and badges.

OK, so last time I blogged I apparently promised to talk about my new job, and about having badges on my coat. And then because I had a new job, and was still doing voluntary work for Three Rings and the British Red Cross, I never really got around to it. And then I couldn’t blog about anything else because I’d promised to talk about having a job and badges, and the previous post didn’t seem like it was the ideal wall of text in which to make promises I then failed to keep. So here we go. You’re more than welcome to skip the “reading” part, I just wanted to get this done so as not to lie to the Internet.

I used to work for Blackwell’s Library Supply, and it was a not-completely terrible job, but the lack of human contact didn’t really suit me – the people I worked with were great, but it turns out that I’m actually slightly more likely to enjoy work when I feel like I’m directly helping people. Which is a surprise to me, too. Oh, and I worked 8-4 in a warehouse with no windows, which meant I got hammered by SAD the year we were living in a south-facing terraced house with windows on one and a half sides. Plus, it wasn’t a library, and having put in quite a lot of work to become an information professional, it seemed worth trying to get a job as an information professional.

So I sent a few job applications out, with the inevitable result that some people never wrote back, some really cool people got me along for interviews or just enough of the pre-selection process to make sure I was extra disappointed when things went no further… and one very nice employer not only invited me to interview but called me as I was leaving my dentist later that afternoon to ask if I minded very much if they took up my references. (I very much did not mind).

A few weeks later I missed a call whilst half way up an Alp, and discovered on calling back, that I had a snazzy new job. Hooray! Weirdly, according to the policies of the organisation I now work for, I cannot link to their website from my personal blog. (Which is a policy that has the capacity to be excitingly spec-ops-y, but sadly is not).

I can tell you that I work in public libraries, and I could if I wanted write out the URL of their website in full, or link you to another site whose sole contents were a link to their website, or link to a page of search results for their name with instructions to click the top link… but that feels a little bit like I’d be embiggening loopholes for fun, and since one of my other hats is the publicity side of things for the Three Rings project, I’d feel bad doing that.

Still I’m an information services librarian, and get to do a lot of work with social media which is terribly exciting, and with online and printed reference resources, which is also keeping me busy. And every now and then I help out on the reference desk and get to help actual people with actual research, so all is well! I’ve spent the past few months hammering away to get my CILIP chartership portfolio done (it’s currently away being reviewed by the board), so with a bit of luck I shall soon be the proud owner of a bunch more postnominals. Huzzah!

And that’s all there is to say about that, I guess.


Then we have the issue of putting badges on my coat, which I’ve been working on doing since the first Real Ale Ramble. Then I stopped for a while, because I got Miriam and consequently spent less time wearing a coat and more time driving, but as my coat usage increased during my Masters I started thinking about it again and I figure at some point in the future it’d be worth having a record of what badges got stuck on when and why. Because I actually am exactly that sort of hoarde-the-information-for-the-future kind of information professional. Sorry.


So, for reference, here are the badges on the back and left shoulder of my coat:

The badges on the back of JTA's coat There we see the original badge, from the Real Ale Ramble, surmounted by the flag of Shropshire (because if you’re going to have a county badge, it might as well be from the best county). Off below the Ramble badge is a patch I managed to get in Les Gets, the afternoon I received the job offer I mentioned earlier (so that’s clearly a good omen). It’s presently waiting to be offset by an NCR badge, which I’ve not got the time to sew on… And then on the shoulder there’s the inevitable “Look I am a geek and like BSG” badge, which has won me compliments from two different waiters and a cute girl in the Games Workshop on New Inn Hall Street. Good things, badges.

Betimes, over on the front of the coat, things get more involved:

The badges on the front of JTA's coatAt extreme left of this shot, and not quite visible at this angle is my Aberystwyth University crest, which is useful for confusing Oxford tourists under the impression it’s a college they’ve not yet seen from their open-top bus tour, and then there comes another BSG reference which suggests I’m capable of flying the Mark II Viper (old, low-tech and yet ultimately reliable right when you really, really need it to be, so it’s perhaps inevitable that I like it).

Probably the right way up (and once mistaken by a friendly chugger for the flag of a minor African state), is my Browncoats patch in the middle. (I have a coat, and it is sorta brown. There had to be a Firefly reference somewhere). Interestingly, nobody knows which way up these things go, because when Jos Weedon was asked he said “The point goes up”. I assume he meant the point of the star rather than the triangle, because the other way up looks strange and is, additionally, a pain to sew on neatly.

The KSLI bage I wear on account of it’s being my grandfather’s old regiment (although his sole advice to me for when I got conscripted – he died before anyone noticed what shocking collapsed arches I’ve got – was to “throw down all your kit when they let you out the landing craft” on the grounds that there’d be plenty to pick back up once you’d managed to flounder out of the shallows and into some cover). I once got approached by an in-retrospect grumpy old man who’s opening gambit was “You. I actually served in that regiment.” but I was so pleased to find someone who recognised it that I was half way through eagerly reminiscing and asking where he’d been before I realised he probably thought I was just wearing it on spec, and by that time he’d realised I wasn’t. So that was kinda nice.

Oh, and then there’s a modicum of assorted metal badges: one very old British Red Cross badge, two little badges that you get free with every x pints of blood, and a final BSG reference whereby I get to be in charge of a Battlestar. Should the opportunity present itself.


So there we go. I have duly fulfilled the promise of what my next blog post would be from last time. I suspect I just put that line in there so as to take the edge off the rest of the post, intending to pop back and lash together a quick post by way of pushing the miserable-looking Jethrik post further down the archive, but I never found the time. Still, with this patently uninteresting blog post now done I think we can count the blog decks cleared ahead of any Tiny-related blog posts I might feel the need to write, and that’s the main thing.

In other news, I have resumed playing LoTGD, and am happily ambling around in my third incarnation. It’s good fun, I still recommend it. But I’m not going to promise to blog about it next time. We’ll see how we go, I think.

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  1. On November 28, 2013 Dan Q says:

    “The point goes up” provides for eight different orientations of that badge: one for each of the five points of the star, and one for each of the three points of the triangle (none of which coincide with a point of the star).

    But yeah, I think you picked the best way around.