Not Exhibiting The Best Knowledge

| Working | January 9, 2016

(For a few months, I spend two days a week working in a large museum. I work in one of the offices in a staff-only area so I don’t get to see much of the museum during the day, and wear business clothes. As a result, I only know for sure where one exhibit is. I explore during lunch. On my first day:)

Visitor: “Hi, excuse me, do you work here?”

(I look down at my staff pass.)

Me: “Uh, yeah.”

Visitor: “Great. Could you tell me where the Assyrian exhibit is?”

Me: “Um … I … don’t actually know. I think it’s down there but I’ve only just started working here. Oh, but that guy over there will know.”

(The next day:)

Visitor: “Can you tell me where the dinosaur exhibit is?”

Me: “I don’t know, sorry, but that guy will.”

(Later, I ask my boss about that one. He tells me the dinosaur exhibit is in an entirely different museum. After a couple of weeks, I take my pass off when i go to explore so that people will stop asking me for directions. But as I come out of one of the staff-only doors…)

Visitor: “Oh, hi! Could you give me directions to the Japanese exhibit?”

Me: “It’s on the fifth floor… somewhere…”

Visitor: “Sorry, I thought you worked here because you came out of that door.”

Me: “I do work here… Sorry.”

(Even when nobody sees me leaving through a door, people still guess I work there and ask directions, to which I never seem to be able to help. Fast forward to my penultimate day working in the museum.)

Visitor: “Hi, excuse me, do you… Oh, no, sorry, I thought you worked here.”

Me: “I, uh, do.”

Visitor: “So could you tell me where the Germany exhibit is?”

Me: “I… yes. I can. Go right, then go up the stairs on your left and it’s the hall to the right of the first landing.”

Visitor: “Great, thanks!”

(Why couldn’t this intimate knowledge have come to me earlier than my penultimate day?)

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