So I had a lot of things planned this summer. When school let out, I made a list of everything I wanted to fill my days with for the next three months.
There were varied hobbies amongst the usual meet-and-greets with friends: singing, stretching, beat-boxing, making videos, writing, stuff in general. Yep, not a weird list at all. Typical kid stuff.
One of those things on the list was to get a summer job. I was going to take my time looking for what I would consider a perfect summer job that didn’t eat too much of my summer, gave me the work experience I wanted and needed and paid me reasonably well. Needless to say, I became Goldilocks over the whole thing and whittled down my options to one or two temporary jobs which NEVER REPLIED MY RESUMES TO THIS VERY DAY. Rude. This apparent inaction led to a lot nagging from Mum so out of desperation for that to stop, I very nicely asked my friend to recommend me to her boss for her job. My friend set me up with an interview the next day and I pretty much got it. Bam. Connections, guys.
My friend was working at the museum, so that’s where I was headed this summer. I was going to work at the museum. Cool beans.
I was actually pretty excited about this. I think it’s cool to work at the museum. I’ve always wondered how they roll and I do like museums.
Well, I’ve been three weeks into this job so now you’re going to get a first-hand read on what it’s like working in museums hohoho~
There are three main duties to this job: the lobby, the entrances and exits and the roving throughout the galleries.
The lobby is by far my favourite if I happen to be in the mood for talking. When you’ve got ten hours in the same building, a bit of chit chat is nice. The job, as I understand it to be, it to comb the queue with the museum guide and price list in hand and to introduce the guests to the current exhibitions so that they know what they want when they reach the ticket counter in the front. This basically moves the queue at a healthy pace so guests don’t stop and think when they reach the counters. It also encompasses a lot of miscellaneous reminders like no food and drinks allowed, leaving the bigger luggage behind the counter, registering for visitor passes and where the loos are etc. etc. We also have to get surveys done in the afternoon so we have to catch the guests before they leave for their feedback. Those are our lobby duties. It’s pretty slow-moving in the mornings and nearer closing times on weekdays but it’s busy all day long on the weekends. I like it busy. It’s pretty exciting and I feel so helpful haha.
I get to speak to Chinese tourists once in a while and it’s nice to actually use something I learnt in school. One of the tourists actually thought I was from China haha! I was quite proud that my accent could pass off as native Chinese. Oh yeah~
For the entrances, we check the tickets and just give reminders like how photography is allowed but not flash or film photography. When I see a family with kids, I throw in an extra reminder that they can’t touch anything either. (Children…) Sometimes, when I’m really tired and I completely miss checking the box, the little critic in my head just goes “You had one job, girl!”. Waheva. Yea, but if you get tickets like that, sorry about it. Wasn’t. Thinking. Nnngh.
For the exits, we just make sure that no one slips into an exhibition they didn’t get a ticket for. There are currently two exhibitions in the museum and they both end in the shared retail store, so some people may ‘wander’ to the back of the other exhibition. And if they do, well, we’re there to stop them. *cue the James Bond theme song*
The last duty is roving. Everybody loves roving. The lobby comes second. Entrances and exits come last. Roving just means to walk about the galleries, to check that guests don’t touch anything they shouldn’t, or run around or eat and drink. We also answer questions all the time about where the toilets and the exits are. But it’s basically a low people interaction shift. I love roving when I’m in a mood, the kind where I am just not feeling helpful or smiley. Too much roving can be boring, though. If that happens, I can always do a mutual swap with some poor soul who does nothing but lobbies and entrances all day. But I don’t usually swap. I like to stick to the schedule. Less thinking. Haha.
We come in one hour earlier before the museum opens to do a little debrief; reminders on the tours and workshops available throughout the day, so on and so forth. Then we split up to do our morning duties. Those include cleaning the glass showcases, checking through all the interactive displays to make sure they’re all working and refilling the exhibition guides at the entrances of the exhibitions. We get a daily roster and we rotate about every hour so that we don’t die of boredom. Haha nah, just kidding. It’s to ‘gain experience’.
I like several aspects of this job. Could be childish but that’s why I like it here.
Next to the job, I like the people, I like the uniform (complete with walkie talkie) and I like the food.
My colleagues here come from everywhere and they’re really neat. They are super friendly and they show me the ropes to everything. It’s fun to work with them. We help each other out and cover here and there. It’s kind of like family, a bit. We bond through the mutual survival against the managers and obnoxious museum guests. Yahaha. That’s not to say there isn’t a fair amount of gossips and cliques (not that I’d notice cliques, I always think everyone is friends with everyone). When the job’s repetitive like that, the only common topics we can talk about are basically each other (and the guests, of course). Sometimes, I wish we could bond over something more positive instead of “Did you know that one guest did/said this this this etc. So dumb!” but the stories are actually relatable and really funny. There’s no real meanness in that and I also learn a lot about how to respond to guests who go too far. Nice kids, nice kids.
The other thing I really love about this job is the uniform. I’m actually the kind of person who likes uniforms. It saves me a lot of thinking and decision making. The museum’s uniform is pretty swell. They issue a standard black long-sleeved collared shirt which you pair with any black pants and black shoes you own. And I don’t know why (could be the cut of the shirt or something) but I look so good in it that I want to wear it five days a week for school. I look like a rocking badass. I look even better when I get my walkie on, just clipped to the back pocket with the earphone in on ear. Badassery.
Lastly, I like the food here. They served crabs on my first day. ‘Nuff said.
Ha well I meant to put that up two weeks ago but a little procrastination went a long way. I’m just starting on my 5th week here and let me just say, the weekends can really kill off any sort of passion for the job. What’s changed since I last wrote?
Lobbies are less fun and way more stressful on weekends, unless I’m doing surveys. Shudders.
The exhibitions can get chaotic. Weekends in the late afternoons. Let’s just not go there.
Some new blood have just joined us and they’re fun that I’m actually half sorry to be leaving so soon because I think I would have liked hanging with them.
Hotel food is the new normal.
Still rocking the uniforms.
One guest can either make or break your mood for the entire day.
Parental upbringing gets very accurately reflected in the museum. Yes, we watch you, parents, because we are watching your child and if they touch anything, we judge ye. Ok, no, but seriously. You really get to see the different kinds of upbringing from different families. It all comes out in the museum.
This cat eye eyeshadow is trending. All, and when I say ‘all’, I mean ‘all’, all the girls in dating couples are wearing that. They all look the same. ALL THE SAME.
Ok, yes so that concludes my very insightful take of working at the museum. (Minus the last one that was random) Hope you learned something hahaha.
The weekend has taken me out and I’m coming down with a little flu bug. 😦 I’ll be ending this job in another week or so and I think I’ll miss it, but I think I can do without all that crowd control stress thank you very much.
Thank God for off days.