Museum Musings: Summer busy

I haven’t written about the museum in many months. Did you miss the updates?


It’s summer. The Museum is busy.

lots of babies

I enjoy meeting tourists   from all over the world,  it’s fun trying to guess what language they’re speaking, and I find it amusing to watch the tour groups dutifully following their tour guide waving something representing a flag, but when I need to greet the time-clock after lunch, I don’t like being stuck behind large family groups blocking the entrance door.

Everyone’s taking a photo of something ..

Of course nothing’s changed. I’m still asked for extra bags and whether the item comes with a box, and though most people don’t want to buy anything made in China they don’t want to pay the prices of something made in Italy  or the United States …

… or someone.


But since my trip to Spain I understand why tourists want bags for each postcard, and I don’t mind giving them out. Why?  Because it was lovely to give my friends postcards from the Prado Museum, in a bag with the words Prado Museum written on it.

* * * * *

Tee shirt sighting:

Siri is it warm
enough to wear a
tee-shirt today?

* * * * *

What would you say…?


Man: “Is there a Museum here?”
Me: “Excuse me?”
Man: “You know, pictures and so on…”


Woman: Do you have the scarf I saw here last week?
Me: What did it look like?
Woman: I don’t know. But I saw it here last week.

* * * * *

In the past few weeks I’ve met people from all over the world including

  • a group of Museum designers from China (who told me that China currently opens more than one museum a day).
  •  about two hundred architecture students from Uruguay

100 Riyals. By Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

A young man from Saudi Arabia gave me a one Riyal note, which he told me equals twenty-five cents.

I asked what one can buy with it

One coke.

  • a group of women who were in Southern California for a Barbie convention
  • and a kid who threw up right in front of my Satellite store.  It was disgusting, we all covered our noses and felt ill, but the man who came to clean it up didn’t cover his nose or complain about having to clean it up. I felt ashamed.

I’d like to use this post to thank those men and women who clean the Museum every day. 😀

I can always tell whether the Museum is busy by the lineup snaking out of the Ladies Restroom, and the amount of dishes stacked in the staff break-rooms.

Dirty dishes in the break room

a full sink of dishes

The sink of dishes

You know how you go into a stall in a public bathroom and see something that turns your stomach, so you run out and go to the next stall?

Do you ever think of the men and women who have to clean whatever it was that turned your stomach?

For obvious reasons I don’t photograph messy bathrooms!

I took these photos of a sink in one of the break rooms on three separate occasions.


A cleaning crew

Muchas gracias amigas!

About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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42 Responses to Museum Musings: Summer busy

  1. sybil says:

    Don’t know how you keep a straight face when you get asked such ditzy questions.

    Sad about others having to clean up our messes.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Sybil,
      Some of the questions are so ridiculous that I don’t think I keep a straight face. How can I?

      The people who clean up our messes are all the nicest folks. No glum faces, no poor me doing this horrible job in all the years I’ve known them…

  2. Val says:

    Good to see you posting, Rosie. 🙂

  3. Jo says:

    Wonderful!! How thoughtful of you to acknowledge the cleaning staff!!!
    I hope they know about this post….

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Jo,
      Thank you for stopping by, and taking the time to leave me a comment.
      I’ve been meaning to write about the cleaning staff for a long time.

  4. What a colorful life you lead! Thanks for sharing! Z

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi zee,
      I’m glad you enjoyed reading my post. Before I started working in the museum I had no idea how interesting and busy just standing behind a cash register could be.

  5. You live an exciting life. Meeting all kinds of people , seeing lots of events day after day. As a tourist, I can relate to the “taking pictures” part. I used to take mine and my family’s pictures with places or objects of interest in the background. But now I enjoy more taking life’s events as they happen and capturing the uniqueness of people, places and scenes. As for the piled up plates, there was time when it was part of my single life routine. Thanks. Great post.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi IT,
      Thank you for stopping by. I’m always happy to know someone enjoyed reading my posts, even if it’s only about my life behind my cash register. As you can tell every day brings new people with new questions, so it’s never dull.

      I love the pictures you take on your blog. You manage to always capture the uniqueness of the people and the places.

  6. Saara says:

    “Do you ever think of the men and women who have to clean whatever it was that turned your stomach?” You made me think about them now.

    Thoughtful post, Rosie. I’m looking forward to read more from you.

  7. Love the little feet sticking out from under the sweater covering the stroller. I hope the conditioned air in the building wasn’t too cold on them!

    I’m with you about holding my nose when someone throws up – if I don’t I will also be sick… When my kids were small my husband had to take care of cleaning that stuff. I’m not proud of this but I even called him home from work to do so a few times… He deserves a medal and so do all custodians who handle the problem with such grace and fortitude!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Barbara,
      So glad someone noticed the little feet sticking out from under the stroller. I also wondered why the baby wasn’t wearing socks. Perhaps I overdressed my babies…?

      Oh my word I’ve never heard of a husband coming home from work to clean up when the kids were sick. Your Tim is a rare husband. I wonder whether he’ll provide the same service for his grandchildren?

  8. I was on an airport shuttle and the woman next to me got sick right in her bag — she said she suffered from motion sickness (we were traveling in a complete straight line to the terminal) and I’m thinking — thank GOD I wasn’t next to you on the plane! But … I know that custodians and trash collectors are my HEROES for all they do to keep things clean, so thanks for reminding us of that, Rosie!! (I gave them $100 on What Gives and another $100 at Christmas and it made me feel better than almost any other gift I gave!!)

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Betty,
      I’ve never heard of someone throwing up on the shuttle. Yuck! You are lucky you didn’t have to sit next to her on the plane.

      I remember the post where you gave $100 to your trash collectors. I was surprised to learn that Atlanta still has two men jumping off the back of the truck and hand tipping the trash cans, because the LA garbage trucks are all automated, with the driver sitting in the driver’s seat doing everything himself even tipping the bins over with two stick-like thingies that come out of the side of the truck.

  9. shoreacres says:

    You know, I don’t mean to be impolite or anything, but I’m so curious about those dirty dishes in the break room. Wouldn’t it make sense for the people who use the dishes to just wash them up? Would they do that at home? (Well, perhaps they would. I do it sometimes, but my goodness – for a meall, not a day!)

    I love the questions – especially, “Is there a museum here?” I might have said, “Well, there was, but it took a couple of days off. Can I show you something else while we’re waiting for it to come back?”

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Linda,
      I’m glad you were curious about the dishes and asked the obvious question, “Why don’t folks wash their own plates?” In an effort to be more environmentally aware the museum has recently stopped providing paper plates in the break rooms so folks are using china plates which go into the dish washers. You eat on a plate you put it in the dish washer. Simple. Right? No. Sometimes dishes pile up in the sink because the dish washer is still running or needs to be emptied (and no one would empty it on their break), and yes, there are some people who just put their plates in the sink.

      I also like your answer to the “Is there a museum here” question. I wonder if I answered with something like “No, sorry this is a car wash” whether the person would laugh.

  10. Love this post (I’m a huge sucker for museums!) …was really surprised that I was most taken with the shot of the baby’s itty bitty feet poking out from under the cover 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      Z and G,
      I think you also haven’t read any of my previous “Museum Musings” so I’m really happy to hear you enjoyed my post, and the photo of the baby’s little feet.

  11. You work in the midst of an awfully beautiful setting, Rosie! I hope that offsets dealing with the silly questions! But you also do meet really interesting people, too! This was a great post! How long have you worked there? D

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Debra,
      I’m glad to know you enjoyed the post. The museum is in a beautiful setting and by going out in the garden every chance I get, I’m able to recharge my batteries so I can come back and face the questions.

      I just “celebrated” my 11th anniversary at my cash register.

      • That IS a celebration! The garden is one of my favorite spots! I haven’t been in a while…next time I’m visiting, I’ll tell you in advance…and come in with a really good question. 🙂

      • dearrosie says:

        I’d love to meet you Debra. Over the two years that I’ve been writing my blog many blogging buddies have teased me about coming up to my cash register and asking the dumbest question they could think of, and I always say “Please do.” As I don’t even know what you look like [a pink flower?] you’ll really be able to catch me out! Oh boy what fun 🙂

        Didn’t we agree to meet after I got back from Spain?

        I work on Sundays.

  12. I can’t say any one of these is my favorite. They’re all great musings and observations. What a fun job you have to meet different people every day! Maybe I’ll get to meet you one day when we return to OC…no plans right now.
    Perhaps if there wasn’t a dishwasher things would get washed more routinely and quickly. You know – run water, a drop of dishwashing liquid, scrub, dry and put away. Besides warm water feels good on the hands in an air conditioned building.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Georgette,
      I know you’ll come visit your daughter and grandson one of these days and I’m already looking forward to your silly question at my cash register 🙂

      If there wasn’t a dishwasher? No one would wash their dishes. I’ve seen what happens when the dishwasher is broken…

      I don’t think I mentioned that I never use anything from the break room because I bring my own dishes and cutlery from home? Hot drinks in my travel mug, and my lunch in a glass dish, with plastic lid, which I eat out of.

  13. aFrankAngle says:

    Wonderful musings from the museum. (Hmmmm … that has a ring) …. and I was thinking of you when I recently rented The Way.

  14. E fullstop says:

    What a nice post, Ro. It brought a couple of things to mind.

    First, that I have a new friend — a man from Cape Town, South Africa whom I met at a conference in LA last month, and who had never been to the US before. He was so curious to see whatever he could of LA that one evening after a full day of conference presentations, J and I took him on a tour of LA including to Griffith Observatory. He was so grateful that he gave me some South African Rand that I now carry with me everyday. And I told him that now that I have a South African friend, perhaps I’d see him in South Africa.

    Second, that when J and I were in New Zealand recently, one of the things we were both so pleased with is that restrooms are always pristinely clean — no matter where you are in the country. And that was the way it was for other amenities as well. It seems that Kiwis just care enough to avoid a tragedy of the commons. What would it take for us all to change our attitudes and take a few extra seconds to take a “wee” bit of personal responsibility in the bathroom…or shall I say to just “give a shit”?

    And lastly, even where I work — an environmental nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster personal responsibility — there are dishes stacked up in the staff kitchen and unmentionable artifacts left in the toilets. Not all the time. Not everyday. But just enough to remind me that we’re all human.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi e,
      Always a pleasure to read your comments. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

      I’m not surprised to hear you and J took a stranger around L.A. That South African guy doesn’t know how lucky he is to have met two of the most thoughtful, kind people in this crazy city. That’s so sweet of him to give you some of his money. I think I see another trip to the southern hemisphere coming up in the not too distant future…

      I’m really impressed to hear that there’s a country where folks take a “wee” bit of personal responsibility and “give a shit” to keep their bathrooms clean. Way to go New Zealand 🙂

      I understand that we’re all human and sometimes we forget to flush and leave unmentionable items in the toilets, but what the public leave in the public restrooms at the museum is not absentmindedness, it’s selfish, beyond my comprehension. It leaves one thinking Why?

  15. Arindam says:

    Thoughtful post. Your posts always contain a message in them. And I really like that thing about your blog. Hats off to your cleaning crew. To work in museum must be fun. I always wonder how interesting it would be, to meet so many people from various part of the world and interact with them. You are blessed to find such a beautiful place to work.

    • dearrosie says:

      Salaam Arindam,
      You’re very kind, and I thank you for pointing out why you like my blog.
      Working in the Museum is a lot of fun because we see so many wonderful exhibitions and we meet so many interesting people from all over the world.

  16. Kathy says:

    Rosie, what a lovely post. How wonderful that those who clean up after the world can teach us. That we can learn to gently clean up after those who throw up around us. I always enjoy when I visit your museum world and learn so much.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Kathy,
      Thank you for popping over. I’m happy to know you enjoy reading about my museum world.

      It’s very humbling to see someone cleaning up vomit without complaining…

  17. souldipper says:

    Oh it was so good being back at the museum just now! Many thanks, Rosie. And I learned many years ago that one of the first jobs of any good leader is to learn the names of the cleaning staff. I agree. I LOVE how you’ve honoured them and shown such gratitude for their work.

    Now the rest of you…do your dishes! That’s not the cleaning staff’s job!! How’s that? Think they’d like to hire me as their boss? 😀

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Amy,
      It’s good to know that one of my blogging buddies is happy to be back at the museum, and it’s good to know you like the post. Thanks.

      I hope the staff heard you and will start washing their dishes. I’ll let you know what the sinks look like this weekend.

  18. bronxboy55 says:

    Woman: Do you have the scarf I saw here last week?
    Me: What did it look like?
    Woman: I don’t know. But I saw it here last week.
    You: Oh, I’m sorry, we sold that one, about a month ago.

    I wouldn’t have really said that, but I would’ve thought it, sometime later or the next day.

    Thank you, Rosie, for another unforgettable snapshot of your time at work.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Charles,
      Oh I like your response, I like it very much! Next time I’m asked a question like that I’m going to try your line “oh what a shame we sold that one, about a month ago”, and hope I don’t burst out laughing.

  19. Mahalia says:

    I am late to this conversation, but am chiming in all the same. E: you are a great host! Come visit us here and we will try to meet your standards (and will show you our coloured money).

    Rosie, i can’t believe the questions you have to put up with. You should keep a book in the store of all the silly questions people ask the staff, so that you can share a laugh about it from time to time. I think this is good for morale, you know?

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Mahalia
      You’re never too late to join in a conversation over here. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

      Hey e, I hope you see Mahalia’s lovely invitation.

      Your idea of writing down the silly questions and comments in a book is a good one. It’s so important to keep laughing…

  20. jane tims says:

    Your poem about the scarf made me laugh! Jane

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