Since 2008, I’ve had a day job as a photographer for the Metropolitan Opera. I’ve been working in theater in various capacities for eleven years, so I’m well acquainted with the many varieties of crazy that bloom wherever there’s a stage. But the Met seems to spawn its very own brand of insanity.
Shortly after I became a Met employee, I started keeping a list of particularly odd things I overheard on the job. I think the time has come to share some of them with you. All of these are direct quotes. Get ready.
Strangest questions I’ve been asked on the job:
1) “Can you please go photograph the severed head of Saint John the Baptist? It’s on Doug’s desk.”
2) “Can you print more money? It needs to be boob-friendly.”
3) “Do you need a monk?” (I was asked this by approximately twelve different people in one evening. Each time, I replied, “No, that’s okay, I’ve already got one.”)
Strangest questions that have been asked in my presence:
1) “Who’s in charge of damnation?”
2) “What time is the end of the world?”
3) “Can we put a couple of nuns in the trough upstage?”
4) “Where have we been storing the bomb when we’re done with it?”
5) “Does he have his magic glove of fire on?”
Strangest sentences that have appeared in work emails:
“I’ve found the answer to the whore-underwear question.” (I actually wrote that email.)
“We are looking into the flaming hat scenario you mentioned. This should not be a problem.”
“Can you give us any information about exactly what you did with the speaker in the baby?”
“The costume fitting for Figure of Death is tomorrow at 3:00.”
Strangest things I’ve heard over the PA system:
“Super nuns are released!”
“Drug dealers to stage right, please!”
“Actors, you can bring the elephant on.”
“Jack the Ripper, please come to stage left.”
Strangest things I’ve done at work:
1) Ridden in a boat while in an elevator;
2) Photographed multiple varieties of cake while on a platform that was moving back and forth across the stage;
3) Sneaked into a private Bon Jovi concert;
4) Photographed the entire men’s chorus in their underwear. (Let me assure you, that wasn’t as pleasant as it could have been.)
And now you’ll have to excuse me. I need to go to the armory to take pictures of some taxidermy deer heads.
Ha! This is fantastic! I wish I had thought to write down the quotes I'd heard working in cable television for years.
Those are some sweet quotes. I am envious. I work with software developers and astrophysicists so the quotes around here don't get any more fun than "Let delta i denote the user input white noise sigma for measurement type i, where there are T measurement types of interest." and "This will enable the user to test for rigorous Cauchy convergence of the sequence."
In my osteology and bio anthropology classes we say the strangest things. Like "Vertebra for everybody, it's like halloween candy." Or "I'll pull out some syphilis for you guys." There are so many more, we say the strangest things.
Emma Pass says
Your job sounds AWESOME. Working in a library, I get asked some strange things sometimes, but nothing like that!
Who IS in charge of damnation, anyway?
jennie englund says
BON JOVI, you lucky duck!?! What!?!