Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Secret Lives of Interns: Loading Dock Clean Up

A blog post by Rachael Gilman.

Jobi, Karen and the interns (including me) got down and dirty the other day. We cleaned up the loading dock in preparation for the upcoming exhibition “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People.”

Coming soon! Mark your calendars!

The title of the exhibition comes from a speech made by the Pope in 1993 for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising when he said “As Christians and Jews, following the example of the faith of Abraham, we are called to be a blessing to the world. This is the common task awaiting us. It is therefore necessary for us, Christians and Jews, to first be a blessing to one another.” The exhibit includes photographs, video footage, documents and artifacts recording the efforts of Pope John Paul II to break the chain of 2,000 years of difficult relations between Catholics and Jews.

What does this have to do with cleaning the loading dock? Well, “A Blessing to One Another” is a traveling exhibit and it will be arriving at the JMM on two 53 foot semi trucks. There was no way all those crates were going to fit in the loading dock based on condition it was in.

The loading dock was so messy that we didn’t take any “Before” pictures.
This image is a re-creation of what it looked like.

Just before lunch we gathered in the loading dock to get instructions from Jobi. Turns out our first task was to organize and consolidate all the boxes of museum publications sitting on the floor then to put them up on the publications shelves. Since that task didn’t require all of us, Julie decided to tackle re-organizing Ester’s mailing center nearby. After shifting a few boxes of publications, I started helping with the clean up of the storage shelves that hold mailers, envelopes, shopping bags and boxes for the museum shop. I think Ester was surprised by some of the things she had sitting back there. Some of the shopping bags and boxes went up front to the shop. The rest were re-organized to fit on the shelves.

Several artifacts had to be moved from the loading dock down to the storage rooms in the basement. So cart “Blanche” was brought out to help us. We had to carry the two large menorahs by hand and then make room for them in storage room 3. The most difficult to move, in my opinion, were the signs from Baltimore Hebrew University. First we had to record what was written on the signs in case any letters fell off during the move. They were really long so they didn’t really fit on the cart and the metal backings were flexible so the signs had to be supported all the way downstairs to their new temporary home.

The menorahs in their new home in the basement.

We were given instructions to place any tools, drill bits or light bulbs we found over in the “workshop” area. We found several misplaced tools and I personally found three drill bits. Jobi also decided it would be nice to get all of the paint, from the little cans to the huge buckets together in one place. There were some shelves over by the loading dock door that already had most of the paint cans on them. We shifted all the paint cans to be on one shelf and stacked them so they would fit. Then Melina and I sorted through all the stuff on the bottom shelf that had been hidden behind a large piece of plywood. We were able to make enough room to fit all the large buckets of paint on the shelf!

After a little more shifting and some serious sweeping the loading dock was declared to be clean enough to store things for “A Blessing to One Another.” Everyone was pretty happy that we were able to clean it up all in one day, too. It may not look super clean in these “after” pictures, but trust me; the loading dock is MUCH cleaner.

Looking pretty snazzy!

Esther must be much happier with her freshly cleared mailing space!

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