Despite the wind and rain of Dublin in late January, my work is sadly not seasonal and I am literally snowed under with meetings and appointments as we try and beat the credit crunch and forge onwards through 2009!
There is quite a lot of talk in recent times about major personalities taking pay cuts; while I am in no position to take such a cut – having recently come back from a super trip to Nice, I need all the money I can get – my manager at our arts centre has spent January interviewing able bodied young graduates who are interested in coming on board as interns. This, I feel, is a fantastic way to beat the recession as these young bucks will work and work and work while we do not have to pay them a penny. It amazes me the sheer enthusiasm of these people but I also feel that it is so necessary for people to work for free – I have often done it over the years, helped people organise their events and did not earn a dime for my hard work and expertise.
Anyway, it is my job to help our interns settle into working life and this has kept me very occupied over the last two weeks. We have two on board, one from Co. Kerry and the other from Co. Sligo. This was a nice touch – they are both from the country so probably knew each other beforehand.
Both girls have made my life so much easier – my teas and coffees are waiting for me when I arrive in the mornings, my e-mails are checked and replied to, my meetings are arranged and cancelled when necessary, my phone is answered when I pop out to go shopping and my desk is tidied after I finish each evening. This is what work is really about.
But it has not been all fun and games for the two girls. I decided to bring one of them to a meeting I was having with a local art gallery curator. While discussing art, the curator mentioned some artist to which my intern replied ‘oh I know his work, I’m actually quite a big fan’ which was completely out of line – while at the time I was unable to place the artist in question, by the time I got back to the office and did a quick Google and Wikipedia search, I, of course, knew the artist as well and was very familiar with his work. From that point on, I decided not to bring my interns with me to any meetings again as little outbursts like that does not do anyone any favours.
The other girl also made a faux pas but she did learn a valuable lesson in the process. I had gone for lunch with a friend in a city centre café when who walked in – on her own! – but my little intern! Now, I really did not wish for her to show me up in front of my friend yet, out of the goodness of my heart, I beckoned her over to join us, which she did, surprisingly. Now, as you all know, any sensible person these days does not carry cash on them but seeing as the credit card machine was not working, I did not have the funds to pay for my meal. Naturally I asked my intern to pay which she duly obliged. However, once we got back to the office, she asked me to reimburse her for my meal. But did she have a receipt? No! Now this was a valuable lesson for her – under no circumstances would I reimburse her without the receipt, this is one of the basic tenets of working in the arts admin world.. She did seem rather upset at this turn of events but she will know in future how to behave appropriately when asking people for money.
Nevertheless, to anyone whom is reading and considering becoming an intern, I would highly recommend it. It is the ideal way to see real life in a real life workplace, and an ideal opportunity to meet professionals like myself who really know their stuff about art and all that. The rest of my week is going to be a whirlwind of launches and openings, which I simply cannot wait for! Someone did offer me tickets to go and see some play but honestly, I simply do not have the time to waste at such events. Anyway, it sounded odd – apparently there is no set and only one actor! What’s that all about? People can be so stupid – even in the arts it seems.
Until next time!
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