Wednesday, January 9, 2008

HM And The Angry Hour

All right. It was two hours. Two hours of my time that I will never get back. I ain't no spring chicken, you know! My time is valuable.

It all started when the last bell rang, and I grabbed my coat and raced the kids down the hall for my parking lot duty. Upon exiting the building, I was a bit discombobulated to see our leader and another staffer standing by the steps. The staffer said, "There's Mrs. Hillbilly Mom." No poop, Genius. That's what happens when I have duty. I suppose she thought I was trying to sneak out, and code-ily alerted our leader. Aha! She doesn't know that I park at the OTHER end of the building. I started on my merry way to the other set of steps, where I do my duty from. It's more prepositionendingsentence-friendly. Our leader turned, and called, "There's a man with a camera. He's supposed to be here." Good to know. Before I dash across the yard and tackle him to protect the helpless students from him in case he's an unidentified pervert.

After cooling my heels and all other body parts for 15 minutes while shooting the breeze with Mr. S and his cohort, we declared that the time for duty had ended. The photographer had entered the building, but HIS cohort, who was spied standing beside the drive with a steno notebook before the kids even got out of the building, came over to chat. Seems they are safetly consultants that we've hired. She had issues. She thought we needed a speed limit sign on the 100-yard drive, and a stop sign where it connects with the road. Oh, and she saw a kid in a maroon truck squealing his tires, but she didn't get the license number, and she thinks someone needs to talk to him about it. I wonder if she knows that people in H*LL want ice water? D'ya think? We always report activity like this to the principal. And he talks to the kid about it. Then the next day, a different kid does it. The cycle continues. Maybe we need to put up signs at staggered intervals that say 'No Tire Squealing... We Mean It... We Really Mean it.' And if that fails, we can whip out our district-issue coiled-up spike strip tire-shredder thingy from the holster on our belt of Kid-Be-Good tools, and make sure they get the message. She kept harping about stuff, and asked if we had any concerns. She said she would be there tomorrow, observing the hallways, and students entering and leaving classes. So I told her there was one issue that personally concerns me, and that is the fact that the kids go to their lockers when they get to school. And roam. When we first moved into the building, they had to go to the lunchroom, or the gym. That is where the supervision is. If they walk the halls, you don't know who is bringing in what. And this safety woman had the nerve to tell me, "Well, that wouldn't go over very well with the kids, this being a high school. They need to go to their lockers. They would feel confined." Sweet Gummi Mary! Are we running a school or a country club?

Oh, and it got worse. My #1 son was put on a committee at the beginning of the year, and it was supposed to meet from 4:00 to 5:00. So I had to stay longer than I wanted today. I planned to get some grading and planning caught up. But no. When I got to my room, my aunt was there. She invited me on a trip to the casino Saturday. Well, she invited me to go on the bus that anybody who calls to reserve a spot can ride to the casino. Then she left to go to the same meeting as my boy, and my Basementia Buddy called. She finagled me into playing Trivia in a few weeks, even though it's my birthday weekend and I had planned to sit this one out. After hashing out the specifics of our strategy, she called our team leader to get the low-down, and then called me back. After we trashed the competition for a while, and she finished chewing all the ice in her soft drink cup into my left ear, she hung up.

Then the safety photographer waltzed in. He wanted to take some pictures and talk to me. Because obviously, anyone found after school at 4:10 is there to be interviewed by an outside firm. Then he told me of all the violations he saw in my room, like I was supposed to rush and fix them without consulting my leader. Oh, and one of the things he noted was my bookcase from Basementia, which is over four feet tall, and not secured to the wall. I said, "Well, that would mean I could not move it when I wanted to rearrange the room." And he countered with, "Let me guess. That is your personal bookcase." Them was fightin' words. You see, my Basementiacase is not...how you say...attractive in any way. It is dark brown wood. There are scrapes and scratches and the shelves are bowed one way or another, and it has those metal tracks that you set the shelves on with little hanger-thingies that always fall out, so you only have three per shelf instead of four, and then the balance is upset by adding or removing books, and a shelf teeters. Not that it is dangerous. But it looks like, perhaps, it would have a future on Antiques Road Show. As if it were hewn during the Middle Ages, and hauled by donkey-cart down a pig trail, and shipped overseas by the Airbus of Mayflower times, and floated down the Erie Canal without a boat, and dragged by oxen sled to the mighty Mississippi, where it was harnessed to a long rope and towed across behind a ferry, then pulled on a travois by He Who Hauls For Hire to the area where Basementia now sits. In fewer words: it's a bit rough. That fella had nerve to suggest that it was my personal belonging. I assured him it was not. And he said, "Well, if there happened to be a little kid there when an earthquake struck, and it fell over on that little kid, you can bet that the parents would have issues with it being district property." I countered with,"These pictures up here over the blackboard are cut from calendars, and they are secured to the wall with tape. But every now and then one falls off, and theoretically, it could slice open a students jugular vein." He did not respond. He puttered another minute, told me my TV should be secured to its rickety metal cart with a strap, and that my mini-fridge on its sturdy plastic table should also be belted, but Miss Hoity-Toity Microwave, a resident of the same table, did not need to be tied down. Then he made a not-so-hasty exit.

Oh, but seconds after he left, the custodian came in and hoisted himself onto a desktop (which I do not let the students or my own personal kids do) and swung his legs gleefully, and asked, "Who IS that guy? Why's he walking around?" Of course I had to dish the dirt, even though we'd already had a lovely chat during my PLAN time. I told him how the guy says I need curtains, and to cover my door window. I did not tell him how I wished the guy would have opened one of my cabinets and received the rain of flotsam and jetsam that he so richly deserved--I'd give him somethin' to safety-report about, by cracky! Oh, but then the safety guy came back. "There you are. I've looked up and down the hall for you several times. Room 104 is locked!" Duh. I think that's the safe thing to do when you leave for the day. My new best friend at first told the safety guy, "Just kick it in." Then he followed him out the door, neither of them to be seen again.

At this time, my #1 son returned. It was now 4:50, so we packed up the LSUV and headed for the Mansion. With my work undone.

I didn't even bring it home. I had a blog to write.

3 comments:

DPA said...

I wonder if the straps and bolts and harnesses and other safety devices are bought from them.

We're not allowed to have curtains or other covers on our windows. We used to be able to have them on the bottom half of the window, but the top had to be open. Then one day the Superintendent came and declared that all windows must be uncovered. I'm special though. I'm allowed to have them because my outside windows face the bathroom entrances, and they conceded that it was too much of a distraction.

I hate it when outsiders come in and jack with my stuff. Some computer people came in a while back and when they left, all the stuff I had downloaded was gone and I couldn't get it back because I can't log in as an administrator. This means I have to live without a Google toolbar while I'm at work. Can you imagine??

Redneck Diva said...

Safety schmafety.

In my office we have to wear ID badges. Most of us wear them on lanyards around our necks. A month or so ago, the other aide and I went to the SSAdmin office where they have an ARMED guard at their front door. No armed guards at DHS where angry people come to gripe about us taking their kids or them not getting enough food stamps, etc. Anyway, the ARMED security guard told us that our lanyards were a safety issue because a disgruntled client could use it to choke us if that was how they wanted to roll and that we really should talk to our supervisor about getting some breakaway lanyards. So we immediately came back to the office and told our supervisor who poo poo'ed the whole thing away. Then lo and behold day before yesterday the caseworkers were all abuzz because it came down from the state office that we needed to be wearing breakaway lanyards....

I love working for the government...love it!

Hillbilly Mom said...

DPA,
Yeah, in one building we were told that we could not cover the door windows. It smacked of hanky-panky or poor teaching...something to hide.

As for the outside windows, the custodian said, "If you can't have the curtains open to look out, then just take out the windows altogether." Because why live in an atmosphere of fear? I'm so sure that if an intruder alert is called, I'm going to run to the windows to close the curtains. I think the door getting locked is more important. Which brings up the issue of leaving the doors locked and closed during class time, so that any time somebody comes to the door, you have to go let them in. When will I have time to teach?


Diva,
I hope they've told you not to leave anything on your desk. We had to stow all staplers, pencils, desk calendars, etc. away. And we had to keep the telephone on the other side, so that WE were between the claimant and the phone.

It's a wonder you love that job so much, what with all the poo-pooing in the office.