Dealing with personalities

The next gallery opening on June 20 is by a well known photographer who traveled throughout Africa and took striking pictures of wild animals.

A faithful volunteer with the precision of an engineer, hung the photos in a beautiful arrangement on white walls. Since they hang on the same walls that other artists’ work have been admired, there are nail holes and some smudges to cover up. The perfectionist said the photos must come down so whomever patches the walls can get to all of the spots. He cannot come back to do the cover and plaster of the holes himself.

So I contacted another volunteer who has done some work for the center in the past, and he has agreed to patch it all up on Monday. I told him that the guy who hung the collection said the photos must come down. (He happened to be there to get a look at the photos before the show next week.)

“What? That’s not necessary. The guy who hung those photos is an idiot. I can patch the holes without taking them down.”

“Okay.” I felt I’d better obey.

So I called the administrative assistant with the good news that the patcher will come and patch the walls but he won’t remove the photos.

“Oh, you must remove the photos, or he cannot get to the areas that need to be patched, and there’s a good chance the photos would get ruined. You must take them down before he gets there.”

“But he’s coming at 9 a.m. and I don’t have a key. So I must get there when another staff member comes and that means I’ll be taking down the photos while he’s there.”

“He was probably just kidding you.”

“No, he sounded like he meant it.”

“I’d be there but I’ll be entertaining my friend from Germany in San Francisco. But if you want the key we can meet now. We’re on our way to San Francisco.”

Well how likely is that, that I could intervene their trip to San Francisco to get the key so I could take down the photos before the plaster guy shows up?

The melodrama will be continued.

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