Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Art Gallery

For the most part, I slacked my way through college. My parents and my summer jobs paid the bill. There were a few semesters where I worked; one or two at the day care and one at the Art Gallery.

Or Gallery & Museum, whatever they call it now.

My job (have we talked about this? I checked and I don't think so) was to vacuum and broom the floors.

I had my section, and I was to vacuum in one direction, pick up the vacuum, walk back to the end where I started and vacuum another strip in the same direction. Then, take the broom and repeat the one-direction thing to erase the lines. Fortunately I was (am) fairly OCD so the challenge of leaving no footprints at all from room to room was entertaining.

Not as entertaining as having a ipod would have been, but they hadn't been invented yet.

I had to move pretty fast to get my section done in the allotted time. This bugged me because I hated to sweat.

I had my prissy image to uphold, for one thing.

Also, on the days we didn't vacuum, or if there were big things on the floor that the vacuum wouldn't pick up, I was supposed to put them in my pocket (or my shoe, one girl suggested).

I was not about to carry around garbage or whatever I found on the floor, so I would drop it in vases or stash it on the edges of picture frames (the tops, if I could reach them).

Another deeply rebellious thing I did was touch all the paintings in my section. Like, a Rembrandt, or someone like that, famous to the world at large. All the ones I could reach. Of course you don't touch art. It was a way for me to channel my anger, or to act out with no consequences, or something misguided and immature.

There was a "museum" section with artifacts from Bible times and this had cases with mannequins with costumes on. Once, another worker wanted me to go into the museum and get a spray bottle (the glass in there had to be cleaned). I thought it was weird why she didn't get it herself but I went.

We worked with only a few lights on, a weird midday dusk of religious art and vacuum sounds. The museum was creepy with the mannequins and a fishing net hanging from the ceiling. I saw the spray bottle on a ledge by the costume display . . . wait. I tilted my head. That bottle looks like it's inside the case . . .

And then one of the "mannequins" moved. Waved at me.

I promptly fell screaming over and the ladies who worked downstairs, scowling and gilding frames, came up to see what happened, my scream was so loud.

My last day there, the day we left for Christmas vacation, I made one of the tiny galleries (the one with the humongous circular mosaic) stripey for Christmas: I broomed a strip one way, then the other way, so the carpet pile stood up in contrasting colors. I pranced downstairs and announced that I'd made my floors candy cane striped for Christmas; the frame scowlers laughed at my cute joke.

I've always wondered if anyone noticed.

1 comment:

  1. How is it I never heard about the mannequin story? That's downright hilarious!
    The candy cane stripe thing is SO you! :-) and I would have noticed.

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