I’ve worked for Washington State Library at Clallam Bay Corrections Center for 17 years. I love what I do, but it isn’t always the easiest of jobs. The mood of the institution can get depressing at times.
I have four library clerks, offenders that I work with on a daily basis. They have varying degrees of education but are all really good workers and for the most part have good attitudes. We laugh, talk books, sports, music, movies and all the time trying to be correctly professional and not be overly friendly. It is a fine line to walk.
One clerk has worked for me over two years and in the first year it was just the two of us running the library for one reason or another. After I had hired more clerks I gave him a small paper gold star telling him how much I appreciated his working so hard and professionally with just my help. Another clerk who has been with me for over a year got a gold star for his willingness to do anything I ask him to do plus the initiative he shows in organizing and keeping the library tidy. So, now the other two are striving for a gold star.
Today they surprised me by making a gold star for me to tell me how much I was appreciated as their boss. It nearly brought me to tears and makes me so glad that I work in an institution and can make a difference, even if only for a few.