||[Mar. 17th, 2009|01:45 pm]
I am so angry I could scream.
My boss just stopped by to let me know that one of the two brand new painstakingly handmade heavy wooden cabinets, full of antique photos and fragile books that I worked on for a month and carefully arranged...
HAS BEEN MOVED.
And I don't mean two feet to the left. I mean fifty feet across a very large conference room and up a step. By three people, none of whom is qualified to move heavy wood furniture, late one Friday afternoon, ON A WHIM.
Set aside the fact that it has been moved from where everyone walking in the room can see it, to where only those sitting up front in a large meeting will even notice it.
Set aside the fact that a complete exhibit has now been split in two (the larger cabinet isn't movable without special equipment, so it remains next to where the other one was).
What's horrible about this, is that the cabinet is full of old and unique photos and books, on bare wood so there is nothing to anchor them to the spot if the cabinet tilts. And my boss and I (and the locksmith, who wasn't one of the three people there) are the only ones with keys. So I am sure everything inside has been tumbled around, maybe even damaged.
Ah, but this is the fact that tops off all others: the person who suggested moving the cabinet, and who helped move it, is OUR INSTITUTIONAL DIRECTOR, the very same man who cares so much about this collection that he had it moved out of storage and near the library so it could be worked on, who asked me to look into how to organize it, who directed me to put together the exhibit and the carpentry shop to make the cabinets, who wants to be the one who writes "the book" about Mendota. He has all these high hopes for the collection, yet he a) doesn't want to pay for a professional archivist to organize it so people can use it, and b) doesn't care enough about the actual artifacts to take decent care of them when they're on display!
And when I called the person who schedules the conference room to see if she had any idea who moved the cabinet, she began laughing uproariously, like she was remembering a madcap adventure, and said it had been her and the Director and another person, and they just wanted to see if it would be more visible there. Here's a direct quote; imagine it being said with much laughter: "Maybe it would have been nice if we'd have called you to let you know?" I was sitting at my desk gaping into the phone, trying to figure out if I should reply with a loud "YES, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN.", or just sort of laugh along with her. People who think they are being funny are usually offended if one responds with cold silence. So I said, "Well, you know, yeah..." in a self-deprecating way, and laughed a bit along with her.
Lest you think I would swallow anger simply to be polite, because of the involvement of the director, there may be some politics involved here. People are very territorial around here, and duties can be informally assigned based on who feels like doing something, leading to a blurring of job boundaries; a sure way to gain an enemy is to imply that what someone thinks is their prerogative, is actually yours. So I had to do some swallowing, to keep the future peace. Otherwise I'd have shouted at this idiot on the phone loud enough to scare the patients in the library.
This is all so far past unacceptable, I don't know what more to say, except that I am so far succeeding in keeping myself from running over to the conference center to check on the cabinet's contents. My boss (who is almost equally offended by all this, bless her) advised that we sleep on our irritation, and go over and check tomorrow. I had a group here until 2, so I've been keeping myself in the library for, let me check...thirteen minutes. My 2:30 group isn't coming today.
It's going to be a long, long two hours until I go home.
EDIT: I had another strong urge to go over to the conference center at 3, but I rode it out. This is ridiculous, though. I'm going to sort the mail, finish cataloging the two items I have left in today's batch, and then go home.