Ablism

Happy International Museum Day

I bet you think this post is about that stupid “stamp rally” in a certain popular video game, but it’s not. As you know, I love going to museums. In fact, I used to review art and science exhibits on a regular basis) as well as zoos and aquariums (I really liked Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, but Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo is small and overrated).

What you don’t know is that I used to work for one. I wasn’t a docent. I worked as an intern in the Research Department for the Jay I Kislak Foundation which was in turn creating a new Latin America exhibit for UM’s Lowe Art Museum (part of the organization’s extensive collection was donated to the university permanently upon Mr. Kislak’s death in 2017).

I got a more hands-on approach to artifact handling a year later when I spent the summer working for the university’s discontinued field school in North Port (roughly halfway between Sarasota and Fort Meyers). I was only doing basic “processing” artifacts (washing, sorting and photographing) which, while extremely important in its own right, doesn’t provide any actual “marketable” skills needed to get a contract archaeology job.

I wasn’t upset by this because literally half of the dozen or so participants were on lab duty, but I found it extremely odd that they wouldn’t let me participate in their “Media Day” in the final week. I was a Communications student (Photography and Journalism) for cripes sake!

I now realize this was likely a form of ableism… but at the time it was just “normal” for employers, classmates in group projects (IF they told me about our group sessions at all) and volunteer coordinators to keep me as far “out of sight” as possible (I always thought was just a “fat” thing as this was the University of MIAMI after all).

I have applied to multiple zoos, museums and aquariums since graduation… but none have hired me. I have, however, done two “Archaeology Labs” here in Florida (one in Tampa and the second at UM), have not they led to any more field opportunities? No, and I’ve applied to multiple field schools across the country, but I have either gotten extremely sick at the last minute (2016/2014), hit by a car (2018)… or it was cancelled at the last moment due to either financial (2015/2017) or global pandemic issues (2020).

Maybe someday, I’ll get back to working in a museum again, but as writing this blog has taught me: The more time I spend interacting with people the more abuse I take from them. On the plus side, at least, Blathers doesn’t charge for admission…

 

Categories: Ablism, Advocacy\volunteer, Autism, Chicago, Coral Gables, entertainment, florida, Health, holidays, Illinois, Miami Gardens, museums, South Florida, Tampa, University of Miami | Leave a comment

Mid-month memes

Categories: Ablism, Advocacy\volunteer, Autism, cartoons\memes, entertainment, humor, Internet\FB, sensory processing disorder | Leave a comment

Unsuccessful apartment hunting

As you can tell from the headline, I spent my one and only day in Baltimore apartment hunting. I visited several places with all sorts of rude and borderline ableist treatment, but for the sake of space, I’ll only focus on one.

It was a nice-looking building on the north end of Fell’s Point with nice freshly painted mural on its side. The neighborhood was clearly deteriorating and there was a lock an electronic lock on the door, but no number on the keypad for the leasing office. However, I did call the number on their huge sign, and was asked

“Um, noo, you need an appointment to see our units.”

“I have one.”

“Are you suuure you have an appointment? Because I have my calendar app open and it doesn’t show an appointment for a tour today.”

I couldn’t say this on the phone with her, but that question REALLY irritated me. “Hey, crazy, could you bother someone else? I’ve got more important things to do.

She then whines about having to do this, grills me on “exactly” who I spoke to and when… and then sighs exasperated, reluctantly agreeing to meet me in “half an hour.”

Nearly an hour later, she finally shows up all smiles as if nothing was wrong (I get she probably was busy, but that kind of tardiness just smacks of disrespect), but that’s not even the worst part. She puts the code in, tells me to wait in the lobby and brings out her colleague – who was presumably in the office the whole fucking time.

She literally could have called him at any time in the past hour and asked HIM to do the tour, but, no, she pulls him out as a “bodyguard” (a phenomenon I’m sadly used to) against the crazy no-appointment lady with the beard who THINKS she has an appointment but clearly doesn’t. In other words, my smiling, friendly guide has been forced into dealing with a total wack job!

In truth, I was actually going to leave at the 45-minute mark. As finding people to “take over” my last lease taught me (coincidentally also in Baltimore), people who don’t show up for apartment tours within 15 minutes of their appointed time generally didn’t show up at all. However, I got an important message on my phone, and I decided to answer it and when I was done the agent was standing behind me.

As I said above, it’s a nice-looking building with lots of curb appeal with small, cheaply furnished model that was far pricier than the size, furnishings, or deteriorating neighborhood suggested. Fortunately, the bodyguard agent was quick to point out was already being held “for a friend of the owner” (how convenient).

However, tellingly enough, neither of them gave me the standard Resident Information Form either before or after our tour with no mention of being put on their “wait list” – even if it was just as a courtesy. They did seem unusually happy to see me leave though, and (despite wasting an hour waiting for them) I was equally happy to be out of there in less then ten minutes

 

Categories: Ablism, adventures, apartment hunting, Autism, Baltimore, Fells Point, neighborhoods | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.