Friday, March 30, 2007

Never thought the day would come...

When I started this blog I never expected anyone to read it besides friends. Despite that, I chose to write anonymously to avoid being google searched by bored coworkers or future employers because why cause problems if you don't have to. As the blog caught on, I began to feel stifled by the anonymity. It felt weird to approach people with questions when I didn't feel comfortable giving them my full name*. How could I ask people to share information with me when I couldn't return the favor?

Late last year (I believe it was) I began to seriously consider outing myself. I felt that I content-wise I had something to be really proud of--something that didn't show the company in a bad light--and I could use this forum as a springboard to something more (writing articles, etc). Really, what harm could it do, right? It wasn't like the company had a blogging policy.

Or at least it didn't until that week.

One that I had to sign off on.

One that indicated--like most company legalese these days--that my online activity could affect my job security.

And so back under the bed went any and all plans I had to out myself. So long idea. Nice knowing you.

Since I didn't know when I would be leaving the company (the general idea being soon, followed by the even more vague idea that it would be to do something else book related), I really had no idea when I could be me. Despite the fact that my writing bears a striking resemblance to my natural speech patterns (both friends and family have exclaimed upon reading an entry or three, "That sounds just like you!"), writing this blog sometimes makes me feel like I'm dealing with a split personality. I have to remember the correct way to sign emails. There are were people I couldn't talk to about the amazing things I learned through this blog.

As a person who considers herself to be a bit on the TMI side, not talking about author interviews and the discussions we've had killed me. But I liked my job, I loved the people I worked with and I adored most of my customers, so I kept things status quo.

Then we all got laid-off, and I figured finally, FINALLY I could just say, "Hey y'all, my name is... Thanks for reading," but then I realized there was a waiting period for severance and such. There was more legalese, there was more time waiting, and it all jammed up against my desire to out myself and really get on with this.

This waiting was almost worse than working and blogging because at least when I was working I could lay my hands on a new book to talk about or experience some story to share with y'all. Suddenly without the job I was in traction. I wanted to contact people, try to get out there and really talk about the book business without feeling like I needed to narrow my focus, but I had to wait until my ties were officially severed. God forbid that I come this far only to experience an "off with her head and her money" moment!

So I stayed mum, got a little depressed as I felt directionless, got over being depressed and applied for Publishing school (I should know by April 15th if I got in, but my packet arrived whole and happy), did the temp agency thing and ran around Seattle drinking too much.

Okay, so Seattle really has nothing to do with the whole blogging/bookselling/blog-cycle thing, but since I looked at books there, I'm including it.

I'm also including this, the point of this whole post really:

I got my severance check today.

My last tie with the company is gone. I have no more excuses to hold me back from trying everything that I've been dreaming about since this blog caught on. I no longer have to sign my emails with Jade or filter myself**. I can be all the me I can be.

As soon as this check is cashed...

A girl has to pay rent, you know.

So consider Monday my coming out day. We can play the name game and everything. I'm still not going to slam the company I used to work for (or even reveal the exact location of the store), but I will answer any other questions you might have.

If you have any at all.

If not, I figure that we'll get back to what this blog was about in the beginning: books, bookselling, and the publishing world that bring about both.

See you Monday!***

*For those of you I've traded emails with, Jade is my middle name.
**And yes, despite all the weird bra/boob stories I have been filtering myself.
***Not that I won't post until then, but it will probably be trivial stuff or ruminations on, you know, the usual is-she-or-isn't-she-off-her-meds stuff.


Anonymous said...

Knowing your real name does not matter to me. I enjoy reading your blog because you are interesting as an individual. I am concerned about your job situation and have no idea what the job market is where you live nor what you are qualified to do. It looks like retail is retail and selling is selling and there should be a place where your skills would be welcomed. I also understand the desire to change now and then. I worked in a clerical capacity at a life insurance company, became a registered nurse, worked in hospitals for years, then in peoples homes as a private duty nurse. Eventually I went to home health visits. Then I quit to care for my parents and grandchildren. Now I am raising sheep. Not for the table. For my own enjoyment. I live in Texas, so I doubt that we'll meet in the flesh in this life. I do have a sister-in-law who lives in the Pacific northwest, somewhere, and an aunt in Napa, but I don't plan to travel. My nane is Helen Dagley

Joia said...

How about a contest? The person who guesses your real name gets a free tray of tiramisu (with you for company) sometime in the next 12 months.

Robin Brande said...

How exciting! But you do realize this is a horribly mean cliffhanger, right?

I'm happy for you that you finally get to be all of yourself. I agree with Helen that knowing your name won't change how I feel about your blog (love it), but I do understand that it's been hard for you to always have to rein in some of the truth you'd rather disclose.

So unveil away!

Robin L. said...

How exciting!!! I can't wait for Monday!

quiche said...

I'm sure I missed it, but I'm curious to know how long you were a bookseller and how many stores you worked in, either chain or indie.

Looking forward to tomorrow.

Chris said...

You know, I didn't really connect the anonymous thing to your job. I thought you just liked your privacy. Online, I think everyone needs a bit. I keep my blog separate from my real life. I never lie but I edit. You never know who might be reading (weirdos, you know?)

That said, I'd love to be able to call you something other than Bookseller Chick! It's kind of exciting.

If your middle name is Jade...hmmm...what goes with Jade? Chloe? No... Sarah? I know Rumplestiltskin!