One of the great things about working for a Museum is that you have the most interesting place of work in the world. Every time you step away from your desk you are in a Museum, it is a lucky job to have. So setting out to manage the Museum from my bedroom seemed like a whole new world. Things that seem so normal now, had to be tried out for the first time; Zoom to talk to the team and making sure we all had a laptop to work on and could link to the files we needed.
And for us all, the great uncertainty of what we would now do! The team started planning and thinking, making content for social media and sending out emails while I started looking at the numbers. It was very clear that we needed to furlough all of us staff to save as much money as possible.
The first ever online meeting of the board was not without a few technical hiccups, but we could all clearly see that to protect the Museum we needed to protect what money we had in our reserves. I have planned out the budget for the next 40 weeks, and the lack of income was critical, we had lost 89% of our income when we closed the doors.
Making the team and myself furloughed was a quick process and we started a new kind of life. The staff stayed in touch, as did I with the trustees, as they set about fundraising emergency money for the Museum. The staff all gained new skills, baking, home workouts, looking after the cats and for me, home schooling my three children.
The Museum started to feel a long way away, a constant though in the back of my head, thinking and planning for when we could come back from this deep freeze and bring the Museum back to life.