Some days you get to meet really inspiring artists and some days you're stationed outside melting in the 100+ degree heat on the one day that you didn't think to put sunscreen on, awkwardly waving to strangers who are really not trying to look at art. Alas, I do it because I LOVE ART, guys.
This job has really challenged me in terms of social interaction. I know I was a Girl Scout and all, but sometimes it feels like I'll never get used to approaching people on the street or even manning the front desk at the gallery. Last summer when I interned at the Blue, I did a lot more of that, but this year, I've been cozily tucked away in the office working on the computer, away from people whose names I am seemingly incapable of remembering, the phones that I still don't know how to work, and most of all, children.
Unfortunately in order to get over social anxiety and learn how to work through problems, it's necessary to face the fire, so I'm glad they sent me out today to practice.
They told me to tell people we had free air conditioning so that they would be incentivized to come into the gallery and away from the heat, but when I approached a woman saying "would you like some free AC?" (a terrible way to phrase that, by the way - now I know), she just responded with "no thanks, I rent." As in she rents her apartment. As in she totally thought I was trying to sell her an air conditioning unit, not a walk around the gallery. So that was probably the most embarrassing moment of my career, but luckily I don't think anyone recognized me in these Roseville Arts sunglasses.
After a while, my boss armed me with free sunglasses and sidewalk chalk for the kids, which was a relief. At least then I felt like I had something to offer people instead of helplessly begging them to come in. With the sun glaring down on us, people were endlessly grateful for the sunglasses. And even in the heat, kids were excited to draw.
In fact, I really admire those kids for being so determined to draw out in the heat. The first two girls who came up looked SO tired, but they grabbed the box, dragged themselves over to a minuscule patch of shade, and started their masterpiece.
That's how I would like to be. I love this job like that little girl loves chalk. Sometimes it's hot, but you just have to be persistent and take advantage of the opportunity.
To my superiors, if you're reading this: I swear I am trying so hard. Thank you for being patient with me.