What a great day! Though I’d quite forgotten what a real day at work was like. I am down in the basement in the documentation office.
It’s bizarre but everything I discussed with Nick, my supervisor, was something I’ve learned since starting my MSc. And the standard they use is SPECTRUM, which I wrote about in an essay last semester. Quite a handy place to volunteer then.
The place is a bit of a labyrinth so my first lesson was navigation. We met at one entrance then left for another entrance where I was shown how to get through the secret door and up to the control room. From here it was across a gallery, through a second secret door and down a few hundred steps into the bowels of the museum where it is quiet. It’s the quiet you notice most. Rachel said (Rachel is an Australian who also volunteers, working on Fridays too) that sometimes an hour will go by in absolute silence. I find that a bit frightening.
I have a special Science Museum pass which Nick said I must wear all the time. I hope he meant at work, because I have taken it off now. I also have to go to the control room each day to collect the special pass which will give me access to the secret doors.
Nick spent ages going through the meticulous documentation prepared by Oliver, the boss of volunteers and then, finally, we started on MIMSY. MIMSY is the database and what a database! Extraordinary. HUGE! COMPLEX! I really like it. I think I shall enjoy updating MIMSY.
What happens is that a curator wanders around with a spreadsheet in his hand. He isn’t anywhere specific, checking things but just might be there because he is having his lunch. But he always carries the spreadhseet just in case he spots something. When he does, he looks at the spreadsheet and if it doesn’t have a location in the location column, he fills it in with pen. This then comes to me and I update the database. That’s it. I will be updating records for medical and dentistry objects.
I know that sounds really, really dull but I’m going to enjoy it. And I managed to get the train home with Mirinda though it was awfully crowded and we couldn’t sit together until Ash Vale mainly because she doesn’t employ a buffer.