4 Dec 2012

Working at the British Museum

Of course as an ‘active feminist’ (thanks, Carla Bruni) I want my four children, the girls as well as the boys, to learn about what work actually entails.

So I signed them up for Kids in Museums day at the British Museum. Their job was to stand in the Great Court, wearing a badge reading “I’m In Charge”, greeting visitors, handing out leaflets, and directing people to where they wanted to go. At the BM, this is usually either the loos, or what my youngest child (as befits an Islingtonian born and bred), calls The Risotto Stone.

Their observations, after this enterprising morning, were interesting. “I enjoyed people who stopped and took leaflets,” said my 10 year old daughter, who handed out booklets advertising Family Tours “But if they didn’t stop, it was embarrassing. And there really weren’t many families. It was mostly Chinese adults.” “I didn’t like being ignored by some people,” said my 13-year old son. “Some people were not very polite. One man told me to ‘stop wasting his time’. And 90 minutes is too long to be standing around the entrance.” Rudeness? Fatigue? Frustration? Ah, the realities of everyday toil.

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