In this installment of "Adventures with People on High Horses," we will discuss an Art Institute employee working gallery "security."
For those who are not regular art museum attendees, there are employees roaming the gallery floors to make sure you aren't touching anything, taking pictures of things you shouldn't be, etc.
It is not a complicated job, and I imagine it is a somewhat boring job. On occasion, these employees have delusions of grandeur and imagine their jobs to be more important and all-encompassing than they are, and thus comes our story for today.
My mother and I were in a gallery, minding our own business, looking at priceless works of art, when my brother called us. We were in the city in the first place to celebrate mom's birthday, and he was calling to ask if he could meet us somewhere.
In order to not be obnoxious to the other museum patrons, mom and I stepped out to this corridor:
To the left is a locked office space, to the right is a stairwell leading to some more offices. My mom and I sat on the bottom step to continue our phone call. There was no reason why this shouldn't have been alright. We were out of the gallery so no one was being disrupted. We made sure there was plenty of space on the stairs for people to walk past us (not that there were any people to worry about...it was a Sunday and none of the office staff was there.) We didn't think anything of it because there was no signage stating that museum patrons were not allowed in the area.
Unfortunately, Miss Security Employee did not feel we were being courteous.
While I was talking to my brother she walked up to us and said, "You employees?" No 'excuse me,' or 'sorry to interrupt,' no introduction, just blunt.
Of course, we said no, we were not employees. She responded, "Then you can't sit here," and motioned for us to step back into the gallery.
My mom made her way into the gallery to continue viewing the priceless works of art, Miss Security Employee walked away to troll the rest of the floor. Since I was still on the phone with my brother, I stepped forward on to the boundary between the offices and the gallery, again staying to the side so as not to be in the way.
Before I knew it, Miss Security Employee was back. She put on her best lecture face and waved her arms for me to come into the gallery, saying "You can't stand there, come on."
I said to my brother, loudly enough for Miss Security Employee to hear and retain (because, as we have established, I am a passive aggressive jerk) "I'm sorry, I have to get off the phone because I'm not allowed to stand in a place where I won't get in the way and disrupt other people. We'll talk later." I then hung up the phone and stepped the two feet necessary to be fully inside the gallery.
Maybe there was a little more aggressive in my passive-aggressive-ness...who is to say.
She walked away and didn't bother me as I viewed the rest of the exhibit.
Thank you, Miss Security Employee, for throwing your weight around and finding it necessary to disrupt my phone call because I wasn't disrupting anyone else.
I hope you had a pleasant day.