It's unusual times, whatever your role, front of house, back of house, working at home, working on site, working with customers. Whatever your thoughts on the measures which should be in place, the way the country is being led, the way people are behaving, we are all balancing complex and deep feelings.
Be honest and kind, above all, with yourself.
Has your museum reopened this last week or so?
You may be more knackered than you realise. Your colleagues may be more knackered than you, or they, realise.
🥰 Be patient. With yourself, and those around you.
🌄 Add mental downtime breaks into your day.
👋 Ask people "Really, how are you?" and be open about how you're feeling yourself.
You may find that feeling tired from working in your open museum again won't really hit you until you stop, so plan for gentle time when you are off work.
Let friends and family know you may be mentally exhausted all of a sudden, and ask in advance for a little understanding.
Details correct at time of writing: 25th May 2021
As I have discovered starting to venture into the world post May lockdown roadmap, a couple of changes for venue check-ins in England seem to have been poorly communicated to a lot of venues, or to their staff.
Couple that with most of the public getting their lockdown information from media outlets, which often don’t communicate more than the “exciting” changes (You can go to the pub in these numerical groups!) and someone looking for tea and cake with gran as part of their visit to your museum may get a bit huffy about the changes.*
If your venue is in England, and especially if it has a cafe, a few things you need to really know/think about at the moment:
It was confirmed yesterday that in England, as of May 17th, indoor entertainment venues may reopen, in line with details such as the Rule of 6 or 2 households, social distancing etc, masks.
Your museum, venue or gallery may have had plans for weeks, already announced a date for reopening, perhaps even be taking bookings and selling tickets. Or you may have had to wait for the confirmation of changes before your management were willing to confirm and say anything. You might even be in a difficult place of being unable to reopen, or unwilling to just yet.
Either way, I bet that there's an uptick in your query emails, so to help as the same answers need to keep being provided in a chipper tone, how about a game of bingo?
One of the reasons I love museum twitter is that it's the slightly more relaxed, dare I say, sillier, side of social media interaction. And there's a LOT of interaction.
When Merchant Adventurers' Hall got a unicorn stuck in the roof, they recieved advice and jokes from plenty of people, including Mary Rose Museum, the US National Archives, Aston Hall Museum (who offered to train a squirrel), King John's House (who suggested a traditional Lion), the Royal Engineers Museum (terifying helicopter thing), Fountains Abbey just being smug that they don't have a roof...
It's a very organic, human feeling, approachable, relatable place on this part of twitter, and well worth spending a little time in.
The majority of museum, heritage and arts industry networking events I see leave a very definite chasm for a certain type of museum worker to try and cross over. An event may be welcoming, have good word of mouth, even be free to attend, but if it's held during the hours of the standard working week, there's your problem. It's not too complex to add greater access to networking events though.
Let's start with the issue, where events held during the standard working day assume that people either:
(Bear in mind that for many museum and gallery staff, their normal working week also includes weekends, and for some it includes regular evenings up to 10.00pm, but I'm talking broad strokes here)
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