Tuesday, April 03, 2012


So, it's been a little while. Only a little one, though, not an age! Work is keeping me busy. I'm usually there for 9-10 hours a day. There's two of us doing the work that would be done by 4 or 5 separate people at the NMA. But that's not as bad as the fact that no-one I work with (with the exception of the Assistant Curator, of course) understands what dealing with heritage actually means. So I spend a lot of time simply battling for the basics. Trying to explain why fluctuations of 25% humidity in a 12-hour period are unacceptable and we should have a dehumidifyer. Why we can't use mothballs. Why we need to do Loan Agreements. The basics. And it's a real struggle, particularly when some people see the Prison as the heritage equivalent of Adventure World (if you're wondering what that is, think Australia's Wonderland, but still open to the public).

Today I left work at 6pm, which is not unusual for me, but there were a few others, usually long gone by then, still hanging around. Turns out that there was an outing to the Fremantle Street Arts Festival happening, to which everyone was invited except me, the Assistant Curator, and the two old blokes on the team. Ouch.

That kind of hurt. It takes some balls to up sticks and move away from your family and friends to a new town, as anyone who's done it would know. You have to start afresh with friendships, and it's pretty discouraging when you hit a scenario like that one. My first thought was that it was like high-school, but in actual fact that's not true, because in high school I really didn't care about my isolation. I was a misfit who was too young and cocky to give a shit, and I took pride in that. But after having known friendships and closeness with people who 'get' me for the last decade and a half, behaviour like that stings.

I was angry and upset at first, but then remembered that there are people who love me and accept me back home/s (Sydney, now also Canberra), and I am blessed to have an amazing husband sharing my day-to-day life over here, as well as a good friend from way back living here too. I need to slap myself out of my self-pity, because quite frankly I've been wallowing in it a fair bit lately!

I rememeber the first year of living in Canberra, and what a tough one that was in terms of personal development and learning. I'm hopeful that things in WA will follow the same pattern, and things will get better once I get into my second year here. Fingers crossed, anyway!


Melbourne on my mind said...

It's times like this I choose to take a line from the sequel to Chocolat (The Lollipop Shoes) as my mantra: "Fuck you, I'm fabulous". ;)

People with a total lack of understanding are enormously frustrating. Perhaps you could investigate arranging some kind of seminar that will deliver the basics? If you bill it as a personal development opportunity for everyone, management might go for it!

Sorry things are sucky at the moment *hugs*

Isa said...

Oh I tried that idea of staff seminar ages ago, especially for the guides - means they'd have to pay the guides for extra time, and then the guides might ask to be paid more, and blah blah blah... General staff simply aren't interested, unfortunately.