Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ECs are Everywhere!

This post was contributed by Experience Coordinator Annemarie Bruun.

Have you ever come to the Museum and run into the same person everywhere you go? First, she greets you at the Admissions Desk, processes your credit card, explains the different types of memberships and directs you to the coatroom and the map of the exhibits.
As you head into Play Power, there she is again, tapping the big tubes with a long stick until the huge wad of scarves breaks free and comes shooting out over the crowd of waiting kids. After playing with the pipe organ and heading toward the funhouse mirrors, you see her popping out of one bathroom and then another, turning off lights and picking up stray paper towels.

You head up the ramp to the second floor and there she is yet again, discussing the FETCH! board and hunts with a child and her mother. Her walkie talkie squawks some unintelligible message and she heads back downstairs.

Next, she appears shepherding a school group into the Assembly Space, and five minutes later she’s wiping down tables in the lunchroom. Suddenly, she’s sitting by the gate in Littlewoods, advising a visitor that 6 year olds are too big to play there, but the ship is super fun for bigger boys.

At your last stop (Water Ways, of course!) after a full afternoon , you hear her voice over the loudspeaker, reminding visitors that the Museum will be closing in 30 minutes. Finally, as you go out the door, she’s waving good-bye and asking you to come play again soon.

Who is this person who is seemingly everywhere at once?

She's an "EC" – one of the Museum's five Experience Coordinators. The Experience Coordinators are the staff responsible for ensuring that every aspect of your visit meets – or exceeds – your expectations. We are in charge of everything happening in the exhibits, programs and public areas during open hours. From lunchroom spills to boo-boos requiring a bandage, ECs are the first responders. When a Play Guide or Admissions Desk clerk is out sick or on a break, we replace them until a substitute arrives.
We are responsible for opening and closing the Museum, getting change for the Admissions and Gift Shop desks, and for greeting birthday parties and school field trips. We set up for programs, parties and meetings and clean up afterward. We make sure toilet paper, soap and hand sanitizer are stocked. We train and supervise the volunteers, work-study students and AmeriCorps members who staff the exhibits, programs and Admissions Desk. We also work behind the scenes to help develop daily programs and do many of the more mundane tasks necessary to keep the Museum running smoothly. We are the last frontline staff here after closing, and only leave after all the exhibits are properly in order, all doors and gates locked, lights off, and the building alarmed.

In the end, the single most important function of an EC is to be the person you can go to with problems, suggestions and compliments – we're happy to help with the former and we always love to hear the latter! We are here to listen, mediate, explain, and to enforce our most important rule. As any school kid who has come here on a field trip can tell you, our number one priority is to “Have fun!” and we do our best to make sure that everyone does.


Arielle said...

I love it!

Carole Ann said...

I second that!

Carly Loeper said...

What a team! Our EC's are fantastic.

Cathy said...

You are like dancers - you put on a beautiful performance without letting anyone see you break a sweat!

Cathy Saunders
Director of Education