Cue music. Got that immensely irritating song stuck in your head now? Now add the word “twisted” before “world” and the song becomes much more apt.
I signed up to be a mentor for the upcoming NASIG conference. This will be my fifth conference, so I figured it was time to help a new NASIG attendee. Once upon a time I also had a conference mentor for a different conference, and it was really nice to have someone I could ask all my questions regarding the conference. Attending your first conference of any professional organization is always a bit nerve-racking. Even if you’ve attended a conference for a different organization, like ALA, each organization’s conference is different so it presents new challenges and sometimes even new anxieties. So being able to be there for a new person is important. You’re the first wave so to speak. The “official” welcome wagon. Even if you don’t become the best of friends, just greeting them and being there to answer questions is a way to give back to the world of librarianship and can set the mentee’s mind at ease so they can get more out of the conference. They’ll at least know one person attending.
Yesterday I received my conference mentee assignment. This is where the “small twisted world” comes in. I just can’t make this stuff up. Really, I’m not that creative.
My mentee works for the first institution I worked for after I got my Master of Library Science degree. My first professional job, otherwise known as a “real” job (vastly different from being a student worker or intern), was at that university. Most of the people I worked with are still there. So I not only know my mentee’s boss, but most of my mentee’s colleagues. My former colleagues and I have been known to socialize at various conferences and I used to have lunch with several of them when I still lived in the same city. I’m fairly certain the person doing the mentor/mentee pairing doesn’t know I used to work there, but you never know.
Out of all the possibilities for all the new attendees from all over the US and the world, we get paired. I’m just sitting here chuckling to myself that I’m the mentor for someone that works at the first institution I worked for post-MLS graduation. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s just funny and very random and just a teensy bit ironic. It was that same institution that set me on my current career path of being a serials and electronic resources cataloger. A career I love. And now I’m the mentor for their new serials cataloger.
It really is a small twisted world after all. But isn’t that randomness what makes life so entertaining?