Wednesday, July 1, 2009

When is a lunchbox more than just a lunchbox?

I suspect every workplace has little quirks that make it unique. The Farmers’ Museum has it’s own interesting quirks. My fellow artisans, craftspeople, and historic interpreters and I dress and live in 1845 during our working day. We also tend to be perfectionists. You can see that by looking at the personal items we carry to work. Our lunchboxes are a good example. There is no work regulation about lunchboxes. But we like to present the right appearance. I carry my lunch in a wooden crate I have had since I was a boy. It was made by a boat-maker in my hometown. He cut his own logs in his woodlot, sawed them into lumber at his sawmill, and used the lumber to build boats. My lunchbox was made from his scraps 32 years ago. A good lunchbox is hard to replace.
Many of my co-workers carry their lunch in baskets made of split ash or withies. One personalized her basket by sewing a cover for the handle. Another hand sewed the quilt that covers her basket. This level of attention to detail is not expected by the Museum. Indeed I suspect it has gone unnoticed. Yet it is the constant striving to do the job not just well but truly right that makes The Farmers’ Museum a place where the past comes alive.

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