Captain’s Log 5,795
The comments on yesterday’s nasty cheap shot in the media have been overwhelmingly positive. For those of you who commented, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Every word means so much. The stress of dealing with this has taken a toll on me (as expected). Loss of appetite, headaches, disrupted sleep, etc. I know they Confederacy is having a great time trying to wear us down. They are mean-spirited, nasty men who are not used to hearing the word NO.
Quirky geeks of the world, unite!
One of the adjectives used to describe me in the article was “quirky.” Apparently, I also appeal to oddballs. Interesting. I have no issue with being called “quirky.” I am quirky. I am also quite a geek. I am not sophisticated or elegant. I am an oddball myself, and that’s okay. But the fact of the matter is……I really DO know what it takes to transform a museum into a quality visitor experience. It doesn’t matter what kind of museum you are running, the same rules apply. It is not about our “stuff,” it is about the people.
If I was male, the adjective used to describe me would have been something other than “quirky.” If I was male, they might have described me as “visionary.” Men who think outside the box are rewarded and showered with praise. Women have to fight for it every inch of the way. Look what Julie Taymor went through to convince producers that the Lion King could be adapted for the stage. If a guy had presented the idea, it would have flown on the first try.
I called the grand dame of the park and asked her advice. She is the head of all the committees that govern everything that happens there. Her committees must approve anything before it even goes to the city offices for consideration. If she doesn’t like something, it doesn’t happen. We had a nice chat on the phone and she went on at length about how impressive the museum has become in the last few years. The fact that we have no debt and almost a half million in the bank (from an operating deficit of almost $200,000 five years ago) was all she needed to hear. According to her, we are the fiscal shining star. We are not the biggest museum or the one with the most glitz and glam, but she said we are obviously the best managed place in the park. We keep 11 people employed, make constant building improvements, produce excellent exhibits, etc. And….we don’t spend money we don’t have. What a concept. Our city councilperson who is also serving as our acting mayor also thinks this whole business is a load of lame sauce. With the grand dame and the acting mayor on our side, I think we are quite fine.
But getting trashed in the media still hurts. This is not fun. I didn’t sign up to be disrespected and have my institution smeared in the media. If we had done something wrong, I could understand. On the contrary, we just decided to go about our business in our little but quirky museum – doing our own thing. We have not violated any codes or any portions of our lease agreement with the city. We pay our bills on time. We do no harm to others. We cooperate with other museums and institutions. We are a good neighbor. And somehow, that is not enough for greedy types who think more is better. And if killing something good to get what you want is the only way to achieve it, let the beheadings begin. What a nasty way to think or do business.
Off to an early morning meeting with the board president. Then, it’s Free Tuesday for the rest of the morning. Then, I give a speech to a Kiwanis group over lunch. Then, I finish a grant and tie up the remainder of Free Tuesday. And then, I meet with a PR specialist over dinner to see what steps we need to take to make this nonsense stop once and for all.