Friday, August 10, 2007

Geeky Scrappers

My son is a one-man geek squad. He just got a phone call from an adult neighbor asking if he could come work on a computer. The deal-sealer was the offer of $5. The boy is saving for some kind of robot, and needs over $200. He is all about the odd jobs. I paid him a nominal fee for setting up my computers at school, and moving books, and carrying trash out to the dumpster. Then I found out that he had pulled nails out of a bunch of boards for his dad, and done some other manual labor, and only charged his dad $3. That's no way to buy a robot.

Of course, once I was done with him at school, the kid ran off to help the Tech Coordinator FOR FREE. He took out some hard drives and copied a new version of our gradebook program on them and then reinstalled the hard drives and set up the 'new' used computers in classrooms. All told, I believe he worked on 35 hard drives, and set up 6 or 8 computers. And that was in 3 1/2 hours, in the time I wasn't using him.

Today we spent about 4 hours at school. Nobody needed his help. We went to have lunch and play trivia, because all work and no play makes Hillbilly Mom a dull blogger. We lingered at lunch, and had to call HH to tell him he would beat us home. HH was not pleased. He always acts like it's fine, but then starts with the eternal question: Who else was there? I don't know what he's getting at. I asked him, "Who else was at work with you today?" He said, "Everybody." Then I asked why he was always pestering me about who else is wherever I go. And HH said, "Well, I wasn't at work with my two girlfriends." I don't know what he means by that. Just because the lunch was with two male colleagues does not make them my boyfriends. He seems to forget that everywhere I go, I must drag two boys with me. He really needs to get over it. I'm surprised that he didn't make me quit my job the year I had first lunch shift with all men.

I saw a female colleague as we were leaving school. She told me she had lost her chair. I pointed to mine in a possessive and defensive manner. "It wasn't that kind, was it?" She said no, that it was a chair for her desk that she had bought and brought in. I told her that I had traded out a chair with one of her student chairs like mine, and she didn't care. In fact, she told me to take as many of them as I wanted, because she had told the custodians she didn't want all those wheelie chairs. But she acted like she would never see her teacher's chair again. By cracky, I told her to get to lookin' in all the classrooms and take it back.

This happens every year in every school where I've taught. Things disappear over the summer. Part of the reason is that the custodians move everything into the hall to strip and wax. The FLOORS, people! Stop making this some kind of lurid fantasy. They usually have some students helping, and stuff doesn't always get back into the correct room. However, I have been employed at some places where the teachers scavenge what they can. Usually, they only have the gumption to raid a departing teacher's room, figuring that the newbie won't miss what he/she didn't know was there. Sometimes, they just want the best stuff. I've even gone to such great lengths as painting my room number on all of my student chairs with Wite-Out. At one place, there was a coveted wastebasket that changed hands numerous times. I just don't understand how this lady could act like her chair was long gone. I would be creepin' and peepin' until I found it, and wait for the right moment to repossess my treasure. I got my wheelie chair back, didn't I? First of all, the other teacher may not even know it's in their room. Secondly, if they took it on purpose, they surely know they can't put up a fight to keep their ill-gotten booty.

Teachers. We are an odd lot. We're like hobos fighting over the last bean in the tin can in front of our cardboard mansion on the outskirts of Hooverville.


Mean Teacher said...

I am very familiar with this thieving problem. Classrooms are like little miniature Bermuda Triangles.

Someone stole a book shelf from my room, and that was AFTER everything had been replaced and arranged just so. And they took the nice book shelf, not one of the crappy ones. I vowed to get it back when I found out who had it, but once I found it I realized how much work it was going to take to move it, and decided she can keep it. I still have two others. I just hope every time she takes a book off of it, she remembers the evil deed she committed to get it.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Welcome to the Hobo Club. Remember that Karma is a b*tch, and that the rule of Even Steven usually applies. Though you seem to have been waiting on Steven for a while now. I'm sure he'll have a good excuse when he finally shows up.

Stewed Hamm said...

First cat pictures, then doorstops, and now chairs. The schools are a veritable den of thieves and scoundrels.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Yes, the building is a veritable Fagan's den. Every 15 minutes we burst into song, which interrupts our daily work of picking monograms out of hankies and melting down brass candlesticks. Then the kids go down to the gym to practice artful dodgeball, and line up in the cafeteria for Nancy to serve them a pint. The librarian is getting tired of never checking out books, because the checker-outers get distracted by their empty pockets before they can follow through. But it is what it've got to pick a pocket or two, boys. You've got to pick a pocket or two.

Redneck Diva said...

Men. Our husband who lives a double life is sure a jealous booger, huh?

So far at work I haven't found anything missing, but I do find lots of work piled on my desk each morning. It's like they just wait until I leave so they can fill my cubicle with all kinds of worky goodness to greet me the next morning.

Hillbilly Mom said...

You're preachin' to the choir, Sistah!

I never experienced wacky shenanigans at my state office job, either. People were too busy stretching their 15-minute breaks into 30s. And wishing they were drinking 40s, probably.