A few weeks ago, our director blogged about the questions applicants had asked her during a recent round of job interviews. One of the queries was, “What do you like about your job?” Reading this post caused me to think about how I would answer that question. While I enjoy coming to work simply because the Cultural Heritage Center is a unique building and the staff of the South Dakota State Historical Society is a fun and hard-working group of people, there are particulars about my own position that I find intriguing, interesting, and challenging.
I get to do several things in the course of a week. I have the flow of a routine, but I also have the variety that comes with having that routine interrupted. The SDSHS Press staff gets together weekly to talk not only about what is currently being accomplished, but to dream and set goals for what we would like to see done. Because we are a small press, we are all involved in the process of bringing those dreams to reality. I really like that aspect of my job. Though I spend much of my time working with the financial aspects of the press—depositing money, paying bills, and producing weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reports—I am also involved in actually putting our books into your hands: packing them carefully, dropping in a bookmark or two, adding our free sampler of some of the books we’ve published recently, and including a catalog for you to browse. I imagine what I would like to see if I were opening the package. Many of our customers might be like me; part of the reason I order from a company is the care they take with my order and the condition of my package when it arrives.
Answering the telephone and visiting with people is another enjoyable part of my job. It has always been exciting for me to share my love of reading with my own kids, and it makes me happy when a parent or grandparent calls in with that same desire to share both a love of reading and a love of South Dakota history with their family. Sometimes the calls come from people planning trips to South Dakota, and they want to read up on the area’s history before they leave home. Just this week, we heard from a gentleman who had visited all sixty-six of the state’s counties and was intrigued by what he saw. He wanted books that expounded on the history of the places he and his wife had just visited. Some of our inquiries and orders come from relatives or friends of a book’s author or subject, and I enjoy hearing the excitement in their voices.
I can’t conclude this blog without adding that when I think a product is good and useful, I enjoy selling it! The SDSHS Press creates books that are well written, beautifully produced, and of interest to a wide range of readers. When I sell our books, I feel like I’ve done the buyer a good service. This is just one more thing I like about my job. What do you like about yours?