“Come and listen to a story
’bout a man named Jed…”

When you graduate from a high school that only had 49 Seniors, it is very unlikely that anyone will have forgotten about you. I had the pleasure of attending my 25th High School Reunion this weekend with a number of my fellow graduates. The Biggersville High School Class of ’86 (just between major urban centers of Corinth and Rienzi, Mississippi) met up for some dinner, drinks, fireworks, socializing… and I even got out there with a fellow classmate and former band member and played a duet of Banjo and Ukulele (go ahead… queue up the dueling banjos scene from Deliverance… or you can actually see Marlon playing banjo while driving to work.) Of course, the first question out of everyone’s mouth was “So, what do you do now?” I quickly realized that saying “I’m a law librarian at a law firm” only caused additional questions to follow to explain what the heck that was. Eventually I just said I worked at a large law firm and let it go at that.

My former High School mates aren’t the first to give me a quizzical look when I tell them what I do. Actually, my parents still struggle to tell their friends and the customers of the little convenience store they ran, exactly what it is their boy is doing way out in Houston, Texas. My wife loves to tell the following story that she determined would have made it so much easier for my parents to explain to people what it is that I do:

When I moved from Oklahoma to Houston in 2002, I received a call from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas seeing if I would be interested in interviewing for a position in their Real Estate Acquisitions department. When I got off the phone after explaining that I had already taken a job in Houston and was in the process of moving down there as we spoke, my wife looked at me and said – “Wow, that’s too bad you didn’t land that job. It would have made it easy when someone asked your Mom and Dad what it is you do… they could have just answered proudly by saying ‘Oh, he works at Wal-Mart.'”

So, here’s to 25 Years… Being a Law Librarian… And, for still making it hard for my folks to tell people exactly what it is I do.

  • Ha! This is very, very familiar. (And I had 50 people in my graduating class…32 of us started off in Kindergarten together.) My parents seem tell people that I'm a lawyer (technically true, although something I try to discourage, especially as it's usually in the guise of "Well, I'll talk to my daughter the lawyer about this…") or a librarian, which conjures up visions of storytimes and shushing. Of course, now that I work for CALI, even I don't know how to tell people what I do. 🙂

  • People do get a blank look when I try to explain my job. If you just say you work for a law firm, they assume you are a lawyer. When I explain I am a librarian, they ask if I keep up with the books. When I explain the technogeek elements, they really glaze over!

  • A couple of years ago at my 20th reunion – rural Alberta, Canada, class of 115 give or take – I gave up trying to explain what a law librarian does after the 23 repeat of "that probably isn't as boring as it sounds".

    I've been working on my elevator speech ever since. My 25th reunion is this summer.

  • Thea Warner

    I enjoyed this post, including the video of Marlon playing the banjo while driving to work. 🙂 I don't have small town roots, but my husband does. He worked as a marine mechanic for a few years while going to school in the evenings (he is now an IT manager in the legal world). He often did not have time to change between work and college, so he would change in his jeep as he was driving. He didn't tell me about this until well after the fact because he knew I was already worried enough about his jeep making it from point A to point B.

  • Every so often my 6 year old daughter will turn to me and say "What do you do at your office daddy" my answer is usually either stuff or it's complicated!