Take a day off from work and things get turned on their head in your absence. After about a week of being virtually AWOL, our library director tendered his resignation suddenly yesterday (speculate away), so we are now without out figurehead. Thankfully my direct boss is the most capable, awesome person I have ever had the pleasure of working under, so the ship is far from sinking. In other news, in the past week I have learned that two of my good friends here have lost their contracts; leave it to the non-profit world to give young, extremely talented staff the short end of the stick while people of dubious qualifications are allowed to grow fat off the institutional dollar until things become unmanageable and resignations need to be handed in. That's about all I'll say on that issue, though perhaps even that is a bit too much.
For those of you who have ever asked me about getting into the museum to work, I guess I have to be frank on one thing. You will love working here, and your work will make you very happy. However, at the end of the day you must know that you are 100% expendable and can be cut off at any time. Your job, most of the time, will be viewed as worthless in times of need, and if you are given the ax someone else will be made to fill your shoes as well as the ones they already have on. No matter how good you are, you are easy to part with administratively, even though those you work with may appreciate you 100% and will mourn your loss.
Money is tight, and spending is often foolhardy. You have extremely intelligent people in charge of the funding in places like this who are, perhaps, not the best managers of money. Projects are funded but carried out in ways to cut cost that often lead to shoddy work that requires everything being done over in a decade or so. Nobody believes in investing in doing things right the first time because the dollar sign fills those in charge with fear; in the long run more money is wasted by not getting things right in the first place, but the only people who seem to notice are the grunts forced to do things half-assed. What to do though? It's not entirely the fault of those in charge, as they're daily forced to try to stretch the museum's budget as far as it can possibly go. In hard economic times, places like my employer see their funding dry up both from the government and private donors. People lose jobs, just like in any sector, but it doesn't make it suck any less to know that when it's people you're close to.
My wandering rant... I'd just love to see things get better, but I, along with pretty much everyone else I have or do work with know that 90% of us aren't here for the long haul. If our funding doesn't dry up, we'll grow tired of working hard for the sheer enjoyment of being in a great institution, and otherwise little financial compensation. On to bigger and better (?) things with nagging doubts in the back of heads that perhaps we should have held on to this place just a little longer. Some do manage - I'm pretty sure I won't be one of them. Regardless, I wouldn't have it any other way. This experience has been invaluable, even taking into account all the lumps that have come with it.

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