More often than not, a job listing consists of three basic elements: a general position summary, a breakdown of minimum qualifications, and a list of responsibilities. Anyone who has ever written a job description knows that it is just about impossible to create a comprehensive account of position responsibilities—you just can’t anticipate everything. So, this list of roles frequently ends with four magical words: Other duties as assigned. This ingeniously vague phrasing opens an inexhaustible realm of possible assignments—from the banal to the bizarre. Crystal Bridges staff are no strangers to these odd jobs. Here are a few memorable tasks and obstacles encountered in recent years. All Hands on Deck
Crystal Bridges opened its doors to the public on November 11 of 2011. We anticipated high attendance that first month, but the reality exceeded expectations. On the first day alone, we welcomed over 5,500 guests and Museum Members—and the following days were just as busy.
I worked as a Guest Services Associate at the time and can report that by the end of the first week my feet were throbbing, my voice was hoarse, and my cheek muscles were sore from smiling—I had previously been unaware that this was even possible.
With the seemingly endless stream of eager Museum goers, we needed all of the help we could get on the front line. It was time to call for backup. By the end of day two, there were administrative assistants cleaning audio guides, accountants passing out brochures, educators manning the coat-check, and directors bussing tables.
We made it thought that first month thanks to the commitment and flexibility of the staff. Without such dedication, my aching face might have never recovered. The Voice
Crystal Bridges employees have an array of hobbies and talents—some unexpected. Jamey McGaugh is among this skilled group. In addition to being the Development Officer at Crystal Bridges, McGaugh is an actor. He has also done voiceover work in the past. Knowing this, Director of Education and Exhibitions, Niki Ciccotelli Stewart, decided to enlist his talents when it came time to record the audio guide.
McGaugh’s voice can be heard in a number of audio tour introductions, as well as in the volunteer orientation slideshow and the Museum’s phone system recording. (On hectic days, I like to call our main line just to hear his pleasant tone as he recites the Museum’s hours of operation.) Groundhog Relocation Plan (GRP) Groundhogs are adorable, but when ours began to dig a series of tunnels on the Museum Store’s green roof, it became difficult to overlook their fluffy antics. Fearing for the safety of the staff who would have to navigate these shallow trenches without falling to the concrete courtyard below, the Trails and Grounds crew developed the Groundhog Relocation Plan, or GRP. Through trials, errors, mishaps, and successes, the team perfected their groundhog removal technique.
For details about this momentous feat, check out Trails and Grounds Manager Clay Bakker’s post Trails and Grounds Reveal the GRP.