05 February 2009

Why can't I be someone's protege?

What I really feel like right now is a good mentor. Or a role model. Or even just the privilege of being in the same room as someone who is really really smart.

Anyway, fake job (my so-called "internship") isn't going too well. It didn't get off to a great start with me deciding on the first day that everyone who worked at YYY Gallery was fairly not-smart. I know, this negative, judgmental, snot of an attitude will get me nowhere. But seriously, friendly but dumb.

The second thing I don't like about this fake job is that I'm not really needed. I keep running out of things do.

So the not-smart and the free-time combined has lead me to start snooping around the office. My favourite form of entertainment so far is reading through the sent email box. See below for an example of the kind of genius thinking that goes on in YYY Gallery.

. . . . I was looking at the website for the XXX Company and noticed that you have some artifacts and works from China. YYY Gallery has an exhibition up presently of two Chinese artists, Liu Jing and Li Qian. These two artist come from the Xinjiang province where they learned tribal dances, oral stories and carving. Liu Jing and Li Qian took these stories and dances and created pictorial documentation of their culture. These monumental linocuts are unrivaled in any culture of the world. Liu Jing created a 20 foot long linocut and Li Qian has created a number of large works including a 16 foot long work. Unfortunately I will not be able to send you images of the long works because email limits the amount of mega bites and reducing the images does not do them justice but I am sending some other works for you to get an idea. We have a catalog if you would be interested in seeing them all. The catalog has each image with its tribal story as well as background on each of the artists and their land. I am attaching a few images as well as the stories that go with them and the press release from the show here at the gallery.


Firstly no, I do not work in a Nigerian advance-fee fraud office. This email may sound like it was written by Mrs Mariam Abache, widow of the late Nigerian Head of State, General San Abacha, but it was not.

How many things are wrong with this email? Let me list the ways...

* The 'space, space, space, space, space' for a line-indent.
* The artists are described like singing, dancing monkeys, "Sing tribal songs, dance savage dances..."
* Mega bites? I took a mega bite of my sandwich and it was yum!
* Short sentences that still manage to sound awkward, "I am attaching a few images as well as the stories that go with them and the press release from the show here at the gallery."
* Long sentences that sound like rambling excuses, "Unfortunately I will not be able to send you images of the long works because email limits the amount of mega bites and reducing the images does not do them justice but I am sending some other works for you to get an idea."
* Even the double-space after each period annoys me!

The person who wrote this email is my superior. They earn money and have a job title that does not contain the word 'assistant'.

I'm thinking of going back to Australia for a little bit. Unemployment is taking the fun out of New York, and Melbourne's record-breaking heat wave is sounding quite nice from this grey slushie perspective.

_________________
PS - Mars, can you please start blogging again?

1 comment:

Dan said...

In this age of electronic communication I'm always staggered when someone sends a poorly constructed email. Is it that hard to do a quick proof-read to make sure you don't come across as a fool? I once had a boss who wrote emails using exactly the same structure as his verbal communication. Unfortunately, verbal discussion with him was a baffling ordeal so his emails were not worth the electrons they were sent with.