My inspiration for this blog comes from my blogging buddy Val (Of Absurd Old Bird) who recently wrote a post on The Five Senses.
After I read her post I wondered whether a visitor to the Museum would experience all Five Senses, and what about me, standing behind my cash register, do I experience any?
A visit to the Museum is all about sight: the people come to see the ART, I see the people.
They show me the latest fashions – you may be interested to know that women are wearing bright-colored running shoes.
You know the bench opposite me? When I watch the folks sitting there, most of them don’t notice me. I sometimes feel like a fly on the wall watching a couple having a fight, a kid whining, a man picking his nose.
Every visitor knows to never-ever touch the art work, but what should I do when an Asian tourist wearing one of those white medical masks wants to buy something? Why is she wearing a mask? What if she has something contagious like SARS? I don’t want to touch her money, remember I don’t wear gloves.
”]Yesterday at a Satellite store a Japanese student who was wearing a medical maskbought three postcards at my cash register. I wanted to give her the postcards! For three postcards I may get some contagious disease… !
Each register has bottles of anti-microbial hand sanitizer that “kill 99.9% of most common germs that may make you sick“. I rubbed some on, and when it dried I put on more, and rushed out to wash my hands at my lunch break.
I woke up today with a thick head, runny nose and much sneezing…
A Museum is a very quiet place, most people whisper in the galleries.
It’s silent until a kid throws a tantrum, someone smashes a painting, presses the alarm in the elevator, or opens an emergency door. Yesterday the emergency door opposite me was opened six times which meant the alarm was set off six times, but only one kid screamed all day.
Earlier this year I wrote a post about a tourist who smashed this Gauguin painting in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
In all the years I’ve worked at the Museum a visitor has never offered me a chocolate, but on hot days I’ve often been paid with notes and coins covered with melted chocolate.
A painting or a photo of food can make one hungry, but I still don’t understand why fast food is so popular in this country.
The menu at our cafeteria includes salads, three daily soups, meat and vegetables, interesting sandwiches, but I’ve noticed that most people seem to favor the burgers, fries, deep-fried onion rings, and hot dogs.
Just this afternoon the man who made my espresso at the coffee cart said to me, “I’m Philippino, I don’t understand why the French and Italian and German people all eat rubbish like hotdogs? I thought they ate good food in their countries?”
I don’t know the answer, but I do know that’s the reason I’m asked: “Excuse me, do you have tums or something like it?” [for indigestion]
for this section, I share something I wrote several years ago
while covering a lunch at the Children’s Store yesterday
a middle-aged woman walked in,
looked me up and down, and said
“There’s a bad smell in here.”
I squirmed, safe behind my cash register.
“You don’t smell it?” she insisted
What did she want me to say?
Did she have any idea how rude she was?
“What’s that smell?”
she interrupted the couple choosing a book for their baby,
“It smells mouldy,” said the young mother
“I think it smells like wet socks,” said her husband.
The woman glared at me, and walked out.
Did she think I hadn’t bathed, or that I’d farted?
Tourists always fart in the museum
they’re all constipated, because of the junk they eat.
Pooh, it’s disgusting
when someone leaves a smelly gift at a register,
because we can’t run away
or open a window to air the place,
we have to carry on as if there’s no ‘problemo’.
“It smells like skunk in here,”
is how my co-worker, David F once described it.
Last month, on an extremely busy Sunday afternoon,
a large group of school-girls dressed in their matching gray uniform
bought the same tee-shirt,
I checked the drawers under the display units for overstock, but
the store was packed, I had to squeeze between the students, and
was down on the floor at their feet
when one of those girls farted
right into my face
which was directly behind her bum.
Oh my god!
I don’t know what junk food this girl had eaten,
her stomach was *rotten*,
it smelled worse than skunk, but
as my mouth was open
I swallowed it –
her disgusting stink.
My stomach heaved, my mouth filled with bile
I dropped everything and ran outside
thankful for the breeze
so I didn’t vomit.
I don’t know who she was
I didn’t see her face,
just the gray skirt of her school uniform.