Saturday, January 26, 2008

So, today started out like any other day... without running water. You think it gets old hearing about it, you should try living it for six days. Never mind what happens to people in places where water is a scarce commodity, and plumbing is a luxury.

I forgot to brush my teeth this morning, but I did take a bar of soap to work so I could clean up in the bathroom there. I only slept about three hours last night, and it seemed like a good idea. It turned out fine.

As I was pulling into the parking lot at work (we park in a city lot; we have a pass and everything), my phone beeped at me. It was a text from Jessica, asking how I was and saying she'd like to be friends again. I said I would too. After all, I need all the friends I can get. Even though she's a little crazy. We all are.

Had to be at work early, to get trained on the USPS web site. it's really not a bad site, and I could have easily figured it out. So that was the first hour of the day, and then I was doing other little things around the gallery, I don't remember what all. Jen is with a client, and she asks me to go and get a painting (a glycee, more precisely, which is a fancy name for an inkjet). So I went and got it, and held it up for the client, and it had some damage on the edge, not the surface of the painting, but on the edge where the stretcher bars made corners. Specifically, the black was flaking off.

My job title is "Art Handler/Gallery Assistant." I handle 90% of the paintings that come in, and almost all of the ones on the walls, even those that have been there longer than I have, I've re-hung or re-shot. I know/have learned how to handle paintings pretty well, and haven't damaged any so far. I have dinged a few frames, I'll admit. But the damage on that painting was from being on flimsy stretcher bars, not mishandling. The whole thing flexed from changing humidity, causing the black to come off where the stretchers joined.

So, after the client is gone (I don't think they even saw the damage), Jen calls me over to show me the damage, and blames me for it, and then tells me about some damage to another painting that she'd noticed. The other painting had come in on one of my days off, and it had sat on the floor (it's also exposed canvas, what they call gallery edges, no frame). The day I got back, I asked Judy what to do with it, she said wrap it and store it, so I did. We wrap our paintings in bubble wrap when they go into storage. The damage was on the bottom two corners, and it was dirty; basically, it was damaged from sitting on the floor for two days while I wasn't there. And this is my fault.

To say I was pissed would be a bit of an understatement. I went to the back and just stood there for a few minutes, calming down. There's nothing I can do. If I get mad and tell her off, I'm fired, which is bad. If I try and reasonably tell her it's not my fault, then she just tells me I'm making excuses, and I get a black mark.

So, I calm down, go home for lunch, and chill with Alex for half an hour. I tell him what's up, and that I'm thinking of blowing town to go east (to philly, I'm pretty sure) a lot sooner than I'd planned. Like, now.

He says, "Wait a few weeks, and then we can both go."

Fuckin' A. So, I'm gonna go east.

Went back to work, finished out the day, came home, and the water was on. So, all is right with the world.

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