Saturday, July 22, 2006

It's Been a While...

* NOTE - These are e-mails I've received via the Zenformation Professional. I reserve the right to NOT answer questions about my personal life but may answer them privately. I NEVER USE REAL NAMES as a form of "patron privacy." E-mail text is unedited (other than identifiers), and some content may be objectionable to some folks. E-MAILS ARE DELETED immediately after letters are published.


First, let me apologize. I've been working on this long-ass ZPM posting for about a month now. And then, a few weeks ago, I accidentally deleted my entire ZenFo Pro mail folder...three months' worth of mail.

I know I received some emails from Cat and several other bloggers that I still hadn't sent personal responses - please don't be offended. Simply click on the email link and send me a copy of the original message.

I did manage to pull a few emails addressed Dear ZenFo Pro before I lost my data.

"Layeth The Professional Smacketh Down" Feedback:

dude you fucking rock. my gf works in a library and we actually met in the library in college. i just wanted to say thanks for being independent enough to write something about some of the insane pple who work in libraries.

- California, June 10, 2006

Thanks! And, yes, it's true - there are indeed a lot of insane people who work in libraries. - ZP

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say THANK GOD somebody finally decided to "layeth the smack down" on some of the nutjob rebels without a clue in LIS (Library and Information Sciences) that seem to think they have to police the Internet and LIS blogs for inappropriate content.

I found your post on the Carnival of Infosciences a few weeks ago, and, man, can I relate to deal with coworkers who gossip about how I dress (I LOVE THE RAMONES!!!) to the fact that I talk to patrons like human beings before I talk to them like they're stupid or ignorant. There are days I honestly go home and want to cry I'm so frustrated with being young and a librarian.

I've almost quit my current job twice. One of our branch managers sent me an email informing me that she found my tattoos inappropriate and reminded me that we'd be revising our dress code soon. I felt like I was being threatened and scolded. I have patrons (I work with a lot of teens) who compliment me on my ink. And yeah, its a wonderful way to ease tension when trying to help kids when you can find something that interests them.

I'm so sorry for the rant, but I think you can probably relate. Thank you for being you and please keep blogging.

- American Midwest, July 1, 2006

Hey, everybody needs to rant about work-related stress every now and then. And as a colleague who also has had to deal with rumors at work, I can feel your pain.

Ask anyone who's ever worked in a library, and you'll hear all sorts of rumor-mill experiences. We work in a profession full of catty people; it's truly a bizarre environment in which to work.

I learned a few months ago that several of my coworkers were occasionally reading my blog. And I've gotten teased about it (Oh yeah, this post made quite a few people giggle) and I'm sure some find the content reckless, lewd, and/or appalling. I debated whether or not I should close up the ol' ZenFo Pro site, but then I realized that, well, it's easier to dispel rumors when one has an online ready-reference resource.

Besides, I can always gloat that PATRONS of my institution found my blog more than a YEAR before any of my colleagues. It's not like who I am behind the ZenFo Pro is exactly the best-kept secret in Oxford Fucking Ohio.

Here's my advice: don't let them get to you. Gossip-mongers dwell on the lives of others because they are insecure in who they are, so uncomfortable in their own skin that they look outward for self-worth.

There is NOTHING WRONG or UNPROFESSIONAL with a librarian or other information professional expressing themselves.

I'm assuming your ink is required to be covered - which could be considered a form of institutionalized censorship. While employers do have the right to ask you to cover up body modifications, it's downright stupid for people supposedly dedicated to preserving the free expression of ideas to waste time (and tax dollars) developing dress codes for their coworkers.

Keep strong, don't cry, and remember why it is we do what we do - we're service providers and our users come first. - ZP

And Then There Was This One Guy...

You are so full of shit bro. I see you in Oxford all the time. You sit on your laptop at [coffee shop] with your headphones and write your shit. You're just another kid who can't fit in with the status quo and can't accept that your little dream world will never fit in here. Why don't you do everybody a favor and move already.
you trash facebook trash the accepted social life here and expect people to listen. aint happening kid. and shut the fuck up about women here too - just gettem loaded fuck em and move the fuck on. that girls want smart guys is complete bullshit. who gives a shit what a woman wants in a hook-up.don't blame me if youre not cool enough to fit in.
let's see if you have the balls to publish this you goddamned pussy.

- OXFORD, OHIO, May 18, 2006
First, "bro," I'm not a kid. I'm 28 years old and, well, I went through my cool-obsessed bullshit at a time when you were still eating paste and picking your nose in grade school.

Secondly, I have never given a shit about "fitting in" anywhere I've ever called home. I'm quite comfortable with myself these days.

And, oh yeah, I do give a shit what a woman wants in a "hook-up."

Forgive me for not wasting too much time responding to this, but, well, any guy who would admit, via email, that he's pathetic enough to have to get a woman drunk before she'll sleep with him really isn't worth much of my time. - ZP

Hunting Down the Information Bounty Hunter...

I'm home for the summer and wanted to know if you found my note on your office door. I found you in the [ZenFo Pro's employer] directory. not hard.

could you post something about how I think some of the people who post comments saying they see you in [ZenFo Pro's] library are fucking retarded. Damn it's not that hard to figure out where you work. There'swhat four libraries in town?

LOL guess I'm a better researcher than most. maybe i could get a job in a library? :)

- AKRON, OHIO, May 29, 2006
Well, if I haven't turned you off a career in libraries by now, maybe you should consider it.

I did get your note. Thanks for thinking enough about my G'maw to leave a message.

It's not that difficult, is it?

Yes. I'm really a librarian. See...I have witnesses.

If you've figured out where my office is, well, feel free to stop by any time. The door's (almost) always open. - ZP

Feedback on MizB and the ZenFo Pro's Laxative Abuse Debate

OMG. I just read your thing on eating disorders. Glad at least some guys in this town are sick of it. I was reading some of the comments and thought that that bohemia woman had the best conversation EVER on this.this was the most honest thing i've ever read about what it feels like to have a problem like this and it helped me so much. validated a lot of my thoughts. this is awesome! Thank you!

k. i'm a little biased I guess because i'm recovering from my eating disorder. i have the bestest best friend in the world and she finally helped me realize that i really needed to get my shit together. i was 85lbs for my whole second year! OMG I could've died. not sure if confronting people is always the best but i know it sort a helped me but yeah, i know i'm the one who has to fix my self, to love myself. its like an epidemic here jesus. there's sooo much presssure to be iddybiddy here.

- OXFORD, OHIO, April 8, 2006
I'm glad you to took something away from that post and the exchange between MizB, Smurf, and all the other folks who commented. Here in Oxford, I can definitely empathize with your situation.

I'll just add that I'm so glad you're healing and learning to love yourself.

Take back your life - don't let anything here, like perceived social norms, get in the way of your recovery.

Good for you, chica!


Miz BoheMia said...

Wow Jason, I am truly touched by that last letter. I like to face things head on and have no shame speaking up about it and mostly have always hoped that out of that some good would come in the form of my experiences being helpful to someone and if reading what we all previously wrote on the subject of eating disorders was able to help that brave girl who wrote you out then it was all worth it! I am totally teary eyed over this mostly because I completely understand that darkness and that pain and the work and effort it takes to put up the fight necessary to get away from it all.

Mystery girl, if you are reading this, do not give up though at times you may feel like you want to and know that there definitely is light at the end of the tunnel. Take it from someone who has been there! And if ever you need help finding someone to help you, because I highly recommend counseling, do feel free to contact me at

And Jason, I just read the comments below and "one of the hottest moms on the planet"? Ooooweee! *Blushetty Blush* and do not mind hearing such sweet, sweet words I tell you! Gracias! And hey, coming from a hottie like you it sure means a lot! Besos to one sweet amigo!

cooper said...

You do get them don't you.

Sadly I delete a lot of my email before I read it. Often by mistake but I have fast fingers.

The thing is if one person can be affected by an idea , a thought , an person even in two years...then it is all worth it.

Cat. said...

Thank God for Technorati! I missed this post (vacation) but just found it via them.

I'll see if I still have the original email I sent....

...and here I thought you'd been all offended.... ;-)