The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer is one of those books I instantly wanted to put on five different coworkers’ desks the second I returned it. As someone who is asked questions for a living, it was fascinating to dive deep into the other side. And it definitely has value to reference librarians thinking about relationship building with customers.
That is not why I chose to blog about the book.
Amanda bravely talks about how she has made it through the years and how taking is continually a challenge for her. It is for many of us.
“To the artists, creators, scientist, nonprofit-runners, librarians, strange-thinkers, start-uppers, and inventors, to all people everywhere who are afraid to accept the help, in whatever form it’s appearing:
Please, take the donuts.”
Seriously, librarians, how do we make this list in a musician/artist’s book?
It’s not the act of taking that’s so difficult — it’s the fear of perception of accepting help in a service profession. What will people think?
“Try to picture getting angry at Florence Nightingale for snacking on a donut while taking a break from tirelessly helping the sick. It’s difficult.”
Take. The. Donuts.
This is harder for me now, in a job I love, in a job where I could easily spend 60 hours a week trying to do more. Accept the help, the love, the donuts. Take vacations. Leave work in the library. Do great work, but don’t be a martyr. You can get eight hours of sleep, have hobbies, enjoy life, even with a job that requires selflessness.
In 2015, in addition to being quick to offer help, I’ll also be quicker to accept it. Because donuts are awesome.