As many of you know, up until this past April, I was working at a tiny historic site in a rather rural area in Northern Virginia (yes, those still exist!) It was a museum job (I have a master’s degree in museum studies), but I hated it with a passion. One of the things I hated about it was that even though I was in charge of the site, I was not a full-time employee. Which meant that I did not get paid vacation or sick days, and that meant that if I had to take time off for whatever reason, I had to make up the time or I wouldn’t get paid for it. Oh, and have I mentioned that I’m making almost the same amount of money at my current job, as a receptionist, as I was being in charge of a historic site???
Needless to say, I only worked at that job for a year.
I’m bringing this up again because I just found out that another person who has been working for the same organization is also leaving her position. She worked at another historic site which at least had more staff than mine and was in a better (more urban) location, but her position was also not full time, and paid even less than mine. She also has a master’s degree, and worked for this organization for about a year.
Two individuals with advanced degrees only work for your organization for a year before moving on to another job? What does this tell you? Maybe that you should try compensating people fairly for the work that they’re doing, even in the museum field? But the organization that we both worked for is not even a museum organization. Their main focus is on the golf courses and campgrounds that they run, not on the historical sites that are also a part of the organization. They pat themselves on the back for running these historic sites, yet treat (and pay) those who work at those sites poorly.
So, to her I say “Go you!”
And amusingly, even in this awful economy (especially in the museum field), the organization has been unable to find anyone to take over my position in charge of the Wee Historic Beastie. I think that tells you something.