The other shoe dropped. Today my boss presented to myself and the president of the board her plan for her maternity leave. She’s taking her leave starting now, even though the baby’s not due for another two weeks. And then after her six weeks off, she’s returning to work.
Via telecommute. From home. Part time.
So I’m going to continue to be expected to handle all on-site concerns and duties. For six months after her maternity “leave” ends. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
But something interesting happened at this little get-together too. I have never really had any interaction with the board president, partly because it’s not my place and partly because she and my boss seem so buddy-buddy. So it was weird when the board president had my back during part of the meeting.
The Boss announced that the next exhibit would open in October. The board president lost it. She said that it is totally unrealistic and unfair to expect an exhibit to fall into place in 7 months, especially given all of my other responsibilities and immediate priorities. The Boss insisted it was “fine” and that it “has to happen. Period.” (Of course it’s fine for her! She’s not doing any of the work!)
The board president persisted. She is an exhibit developer for another museum and she said that at her institution, they take up to 2 years to put together new exhibits, because it takes that long to research and develop content, fundraise, write the text, gather the visuals, select the artifacts, prepare the gallery, and install the exhibit. The Boss, having zero experience in exhibit development, drew a line in the sand. “We have never taken more than a year to put together an exhibit and I’ve already committed to an October opening and that’s when it will open. I’ve told potential sponsors that it opens in October.”
My boss went straight from her MA into being a museum director. She’s never worked in exhibits, education, collections, or anything else. She has no clue what it takes to put together an exhibit. She couldn’t articulate the steps that have to happen if her life depended on it. And since she rules with an iron fist, when I tell her that I can’t accomplish a given task in the time allotted to me, she sees that as my own shortcoming, that I’m disorganized and not managing my time wisely. But maybe she’ll listen when the board president speaks.