The Least of These………..


I work as a Museum Security Guard. In order to live comfortably in New York City one needs an income of at least $75K to $80K.  As you can see Museum Security Guards are the last on the list. We are the most visible and in fact we are the face of every museum yet we make the least. Often we put our safety on the line. Yes guards have been attacked by visitors. Myself included and believe me it’s worse for the female guards. Though it’s not reported it happens. We are maligned, mistreated and pretty much taken for granted by the visiting public and sometimes the other departments. Nameless. Faceless. Until trouble or need arises. At times No appreciation.

Yet over 95% of museum security officers at my workplace have at least a Bachelors degree and often advanced degrees, many of us are multi-lingual, a good portion of us are artists in our own right. Yes. That’s right most of my colleagues are writers, painters, musicians, fashion designers, visual and literary artists. Talented and creative people.

Why do a job where you are often not respected?

Because we Love the Art. We are creative beings and working for a museum standing in those galleries day after day and sometimes night after night fuels our creativity even more. We feel we have something to contribute. Our reward comes from reuniting a lost child with his/her parents, a child, teen or even an adult’s eyes light up with knowledge as we not only direct them to a specific artwork but many times we are expected to have infinite intricate knowledge of various types of artworks on display and even those not on display, making sure that an ill/sick visitor receives the medical assistance they need in an emergency (And Believe Me when I say I’ve had visitors collapse, pass out, vomit, have convulsions and fall down stairs splitting their heads wide open bleeding profusely. I am not squeamish. Can’t be with my job.)  We are trained to deal with various types of emergencies.

Despite the low pay and being called everything but a Child of God I’m glad for the 9 years I’ve spent working as a museum guard. It has been a learning experience and I’ve even surprised myself with all the knowledge and information I’ve acquired over the years. A Few years ago just for fun I created curriculum courses on How to Read a Painting partially based on the talks I’ve heard given by the Docents (Unpaid Volunteers) and the many curatorial talks I’ve attended.  Being a museum guard can be boring and listening to the museum tours is a welcome distraction. Pretty much I came to memorized a good many of those talks verbatim. As far as I can tell the docents have a script from which they rarely deviate.  I’ve also had the opportunity to give impromptu talks about the artwork. Not only do I listen to the docent/curator talks I also make it my business to watch videos about art and read books on the subject.

Me writing this is not to malign or be critical of the other museum works. I know the Curators work their behinds off and deserve their high paying salaries as do the technicians, art handlers, etc…  My desire/wish is that Security be seen as an integral part of the museum team which we are since the museum galleries cannot open without security guards.  Also a Living Wage that does Not require working hours and hours of overtime would be nice.

Now I work the Night Shift so I rarely see visitors.  In addition to performing my Nightly Security duties I can spend quiet time reflecting on the various exhibitions since the galleries are empty and silent.

The next time you visit a museum especially one in my hometown of New York Thank that Museum Security Guard. You will bring Joy to their day. And by the way, DON’T TOUCH THE ART!!!


Museum Director: $233,398
Chief Operating Officer/Administrator: $150,100
Deputy Director: $142,994
Chief Curator/Director of Curatorial Affairs/Curator A: $123,725
Director of Development/Development A: $120,000
Chief Conservator/Conservator A: $107,832
Director of Information Systems/Chief Information Officer: $106,692
Director of Finance/Finance A: $103,000
Senior Curator/Curator of Special Collections Area/Curator B: $102,500
Director, Planned Giving/Institutional Giving: $95,000
Director of External Affairs: $94,500
Human Resources Director: $92,830
Senior Conservator/ Conservator B: $83,771
Curator of Exhibitions/Curator C: $81,017
Systems Manager/Technology Director/Director of New Media: $79,000
Director of Education/Curator of Education/Education A: $77,030
Facilities Director/Building Manager/Operations Manager: $75,400
Marketing Director: $74,375
Director of Finance/Finance B: $73,917
Associate Curator/Curator D: $69,340
Editor/Director of Publications: $68,688
Engineering Manager: $67,009
Exhibition Designer: $66,955
Head Librarian/ Librarian A: $64,272
Associate Conservator/ Conservator C: $61,165
Web Manager: $60,600
Public Relations Officer: $60,458
Grant Manager/Institutional Giving Manager/Development B: $60,416
Chief of Security: $60,416
Photographer: $58,915
Assistant Curator/Curator E: $58,052
Registrar A: $55,973
Associate Librarian/Librarian B: $55,703
Graphic Designer: $55,620
Special Events Manager: $54,368
Assistant to Director: $53,960
Chief Preparator/Preparator A: $53,077
Museum Store Manager: $53,000
Associate Registrar/Registrar B: $52,755
Development Associate/Development C: $52,020
Associate Educator/Educator B: $52,000
New Media Manager: $50,000
Associate Librarian/Librarian C: $49,728
Associate Preparator/Preparator B: $45,127
Volunteer Coordinator: $43,722
Assistant Educator/Educator C: $43,000
Assistant Registrar/Registrar C: $41,787
Curatorial Assistant: $40,000
Membership Assistant: $39,100
Education Assistant: $36,025

Museum Security Officer/Museum Security Guard: $31,213

Numbers from


Sense of Purpose


No Matter What Other People Think or Say About Me, God Loves Me with a Sense of Purpose.  The words of the enemy mean nothing to me only what God has to say about me. My writing and photography are my Passions and my Purpose.  My brother Stephen is often my Muse.


My Raison D’être

Habakkuk 2:2-3

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Just Live by Faith

2 Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Third World – Sense of Purpose



Third World – Try Jah Love



Blanking Out


Blanking out. Something that happens more often as we get older. Those of you over 50 know exactly what I’m talking about. As for the rest of you just wait. You’ll get there.

I’ve been working at the museum for eight years and I can forget the name of a co-worker with whom I’ve worked on a steady basis for seven of those eight years.  Just yesterday I ran into one of the guards, a young lady I see every day. Do you think I remember her name?! No!! However I never forget a face. Lucky for me I was getting off the train so I smiled, waved and we exchanged Happy Hellos. Escaped embarrassment.  Such a nice pleasant young woman.  The last placed I Lived I was there for 22 years yet I still forgot folks names! Or I’d put the wrong name to a face.

Now here’s the Oxymoron. As a museum security guard the visitors expect me to know not only where every piece of art is but how to get there. Fortunately after eight and a half years I know where most of the major most popular most asked for artworks are located and since I’ve been posted in every section of the museum I can tell you how to best access them. No I do not know where every last piece of art the museum owns is located. That would be impossible as much of it is in storage and the paintings are rotated. Security Guards are not human computers.

I seem to have an affinity for paintings.  The first wing I was assigned to was 19th Century Art. At that time I was so bored I memorized not only where every painting was located but the artist and genre, Impressionism, Realism, Post Impressionists, British Romanticism (The Pre-Raphaelites) etc….

Security guards have no say so in where we are posted so I’ve been in the Modern Art wing, the American Wing, African Art, Asian Art, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts.  After listening to the docents give tours I can pretty much give you good background and/or history of artworks located in those sections.  I’m not an expert by far.

The Experts in the Museum are the Curators and the Conservation staff.  Also I’m an English Major not an Art History Major. All I have is on the job knowledge supplemented by reading books and watching videos on art.

Now I’ve also been posted in the Egyptian and Greek sections. Please do not ask me about this art for I will surely draw a Blank. If you are a student Google is your Friend and/or the Museum website/Libraries.  Or better yet Go to the Information Desk because all you’ll get from me is a Blank Look. I don’t spend enough time in these galleries to gain knowledge nor do I wish to do so. I prefer paintings and some sculptures.

When I was a girl my Dad used to say I practiced “Selective Hearing.”  I never seemed to hear him when he was calling me. Especially if he had some task or errand for me to perform. “Deborah! Don’t you hear me?!! Turn down that radio/TV!! Pay attention!!

My Dad did not like to raise his voice and when he did so I knew my ass was grass and I was up shit creek with no oars. In other words I was in serious trouble.  So maybe it’s the same thing with People’s Names and Artworks.  My Middle-Age Senior Brain is practicing Selective Memory!!  LOL!!


All art graphics are from Google unless otherwise stated.


Kinetictra – Backstory Beginnings

Kinetictra – Backstory Beginnings

“Kinetic energy is an expression of the fact that a moving object can do work on anything it hits; it quantifies the amount of work the object could do as a result of its motion. The total mechanical energy of an object is the sum of its kinetic energy and potential energy. The total energy of an isolated system is subject to the conservation of energy principle.

Kinetic energy is the energy of motion. An object that has motion – whether it is vertical or horizontal motion – has kinetic energy. There are many forms of kinetic energy – vibrational (the energy due to vibrational motion), rotational (the energy due to rotational motion), and translational (the energy due to motion from one location to another). To keep matters simple, we will focus upon translational kinetic energy. The amount of translational kinetic energy (from here on, the phrase kinetic energy will refer to translational kinetic energy) that an object has depends upon two variables: the mass (m) of the object and the speed (v) of the object. The following equation is used to represent the kinetic energy (KE) of an object.”

Rather than making my Super-Heroine Kinetictra a blind college professor I’ve decided to give her an Identity closer to home. Kinetictra public identity will be as a Security Guard at the Gotham Museum of Art aka One Million Hands Touching. Kinetictra’s Tag Line will be, “It’s time to shiver a little…!”  Her Dread Locs will be weapons used to ensnare villains. Her magic spirals will capture and vanquish evil doers. They are composed of Zentangles swirling and whirling.  These amazing locs are purple with deep blue highlights and can at will assume all shapes, forms, sizes, types of silky, satin curly koils. 

Have not yet decided whether to place her on Early or Late Watch but I’m leaning towards Late/Night Watch. More morose, crazy, quirky, scary, stuff happens at night especially in the wee hours of the morning — between dusk and dawn Angels and demons battle for the souls of humans…………………………………

Two Men Contemplating the Moon Caspar David Friedrich (German, Greifswald 1774–1840 Dresden)
Two Men Contemplating the Moon
Caspar David Friedrich
(German, Greifswald 1774–1840 Dresden)

My name is Kinetictra, my day time hustle is as a Protector of Antiquities aka security officer at the Gotham Galleries located in an upscale neighborhood on the Upper North-West Side the Gold Coast of Gotham. A cultural institution where old money and new money meet, shake hands, make deals, and then stab each other behind the back when the other looks away. An eclectic menagerie of worldwide artworks that often seem to have no rhyme or reason in placement with just a focus on aesthetics.

As for our visitors especially the foreigners may as well be named, “One Million Hands Touching.”  That’s one of the reasons why I moved from Day Shift to Night Watch. There’s only some much of saying, “Don’t Touch” and fielding questions about where are the bathrooms and restaurants are before you’re ready to pull your hair out and commit hari-kari. Yup, it was a relief to get off days and into the nocturnal peace, calm and tranquility. For me the sun’s rays are sting like an Albino left out on the beach mid-day 95 degree temps with no protection.

For years I dwelt with the bottom feeders. Those moronic visitors who feigned an interest in art but only really wanted to get out of the weather. They were walking cadavers alongside big boob butt bimbo skanky hoes who never had to work a day in their lazy lives.

Now no more cigarette shit breath tourists way too close for comfort invading my personal space with their foul body odors dispensing lame pandering foolish remarks like knives of ignorance into my flesh.

The museum is populated by a wonderful yet mysterious quiet & peace undisturbed by the frenetic masses. Silences punctuated only by flowing water, the endless hum and shifting of building machinery.

Even normal noises can be unsettling. Especially those associated with people. The building has become a living breathing organism Uttering creaks moans sighs groans from over 140 years of footfalls, voices, radios, songs, cantatas, the chiming of clocks, exclamations of awe & wonder. Whispers from a Victorian century long past to digital diversity.

Oh what secrets lie transfixed within these silent walls yearning for release. 

The immortality of brick, mortar & steel record the march of ethnicities & nations who roam free these hallowed halls.

Sometimes the sudden interruption of footfalls becomes ominous, invading the sanctity of the Holy Sanctuary. Even the sound of my own steps is somewhat menacing. What spirits accompany me on perambulations among the saints and sinners?

The feeble burbling of the fountain stream’s half-hearted attempts to empty its essence, struggling to pollinate magnificent coins.

The day is at end, the light has faded. Now the night crew enters to continue the evening melody.

Nighttime stillness is the best time to pick up on all the little signals, cries, sighs, moans and whispers recorded by the walls and replayed for my delight during the hours of darkness. Sometimes during my rounds I place my hands upon the 150 year old walls and I listen in on conversations dating back to Civil War times.

The Universe is composed of vibrations. Every living thing has its own unique pulsations which emit tons of information going back minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, decades, and eons well into past lives. Darkness brings not only moonlight but night terrors, fears that become flesh and then my mission begins………