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A Formless Complaint

| Right | November 14, 2015

(I work with the arts centre in my town. I’ve worked about seven shifts at this point, so getting to grips with things, but still a bit hesitant at times. One day in my last half an hour a tall, artfully-disheveled-looking 60-ish man enters. He charges up to the desk (and into my personal space).)

Man: *unintelligible due to the gallery’s echo*

Me: “I’m sorry; I didn’t catch that, the echo and all! Can I help?”

Man: *very condescending* “HOW… MANY… PIECES DO…” *points at me* “YOU- HAVE- IN-HERE?

Me: “Erm… I’m not exactly sure myself but I can—”

Man: “Ah, no, you’re only the help. I understand.” *under his breath* “Women.” *laughs through teeth as he charges off around the exhibition*

(15 minutes later after he’s been around the gallery.)

Me: “I hope you enjoyed the exhibition!”

Man: *smug* “Well, I counted them.”

Me: *smiling through gritted teeth* “Oh? I’m sorry that I couldn’t tell you the exact—”

Man: “There’s… a lot!”

Me: “Um…okay brilliant.”

Man: “There aren’t enough people I know in these pictures. I didn’t like it. Where did this even come from?”

Me: “It’s from the Tate.”

Man: “Oh… well, still. Maybe… arrange something more interesting next time.”

Me: “I’m not actually in control of what is shown in the exhibits, but if you could fill out a visitor survey for me, I could definitely pass your suggestions up to the curator.”

(The man just stops and stares at me for an uncomfortable five seconds.)

Man: “I don’t believe in tainting art with forms.”

Me: “…”

Man: “Just… project this onto the creative directors. Okay?”

Me: *giving up* “Okay, sure. I’ll let them know.”

Man: *emphasizing* “Project.”

(He walked outs of the gallery whilst sighing under his breath.)


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