NaBloPoMo Day 22: A Bunch of Random Stuff

 I'm not surly today, just really tired (pretty much zero sleep after the Cottage Girls Night of Awesome on Saturday and slept last night, but it wasn't enough, and my work day was super-gnarly today). This post from nine years ago was in my Facebook memories and made me both smile and miss Pam and my bonkers little girl who is now my bonkers big girl who doesn't live with me anymore (at least not in the winter time). I mean, look at the little smunchkin.

One thing that I've learned and found surprising since I started working in the school office is that apparently a lot of kids show up late to school every day. Part of my attendance duties include noting down all the lates, and I've been doing this somehow assuming that the copious number of late students had something to do with Covid. Then I looked up one day and said "hang on, are this many kids late every day ALL THE TIME?" and Heather said yep, pretty much.

I try really hard not to judge people when I don't know their situation, so I just won't here. It does really add to the craziness in the office and makes keeping accurate attendance records more difficult. The main reason it struck me is because both I and my kids would have had a nervous freaking breakdown pulling up to the school every day late. Who are these people that are so confident that the school day starts promptly for other people but not for them? (okay, that does sound judgy, sorry). Today a father called the school in the morning and told me that the woman letting the students in "wasn't cheerful enough". I refrained from saying that if his kid had gotten there on time she probably would have been at least ten minutes' worth more cheerful. I love the women I work with and they are generally extremely courteous and kind to everyone, but this kind of thing makes me think of when my kids were in school and sometimes the office staff seemed bitchy, and now I think OMG, THIS IS WHY. Maybe people could take a beat to remember that there are two or three people trying to keep track of the safety, comfort and whereabouts of several hundred children, and yours isn't the only one on our roster?

On the subject of maintaining professionalism under difficult circumstances, the office administrator recently went outside to the buzzer that people use to alert us that they're at the front door - the doors are kept locked all the time now because only students and staff are allowed in. This again creates a lot more work, because someone has to answer the buzzer, try to decipher what the person is saying through a mask through the staticky speaker, and then decide how to address the situation. We wanted to make sure that the person outside couldn't hear anything we say if we weren't pushing the button to answer them. To be clear, the worst thing is usually something like "no thanks, we're full" or "gee, who could have foreseen Oliver needing mittens on a minus twenty degree day" but still, better if no one else hears that. 

After we'd done this, I was working and dimly aware of Janis handing Heather something to try to fix. All I could hear was Heather saying "well I can't get the blade out. Wait, maybe the blade is supposed to stay in", and I burst out laughing and said "talk about things no one else should hear - like 'next person that drops off an unlabeled lunch gets shanked!'" Which was hilarious, especially because the principal had just come out of her office. It's fine, what are they going to do, fire me? we're desperately short-handed, the next person who buzzed the buzzer would have to get offered a job. 

Angus is staying in residence for Thanksgiving break instead of coming home because it would mean a Covid test and five-hour drive just a couple of weeks before coming home for Christmas break (will probably go a friend's place for actual Thanksgiving). He said he wants to learn how to season and marinate and cook meat when he gets home, but he's trying to cook chicken strips tonight. I asked a couple of rudimentary questions and he said "idk, I was going to look up a recipe, fail badly and then call you so we could laugh about it", so looking forward to that. 

My Purge All the Things Wave just crashed into Must Get Ready for Christmas Wave, which is distressing because somehow I had managed to go into complete denial about the fact that December inevitably follows November, and now I have to pause the Purging All the Things and shove the as-yet-unpurged things somewhere to make room for Christmas things. Oh well, many things have gone and I can keep going in January, provided the Purging Center in my brain has not gone dark, which we all know is a very real possibility. 

I'm going to Hamilton to see Eve this week-end! I leave on Thursday! I'm so happy! Prepare for my blog posts this week-end to be nothing but pictures of Eve and sappy platitudes about daughters. 


Swistle said…
My eldest is also staying at school for Thanksgiving. I feel a little morose. I have wondered if HE will feel a little morose when it is Thanksgiving and hardly anyone is on campus and he is receiving slightly-pointed photos of our Thanksgiving without him.

I have had to wait in the school office many times over the years, and I cannot express how sympathetic I am to office staff after hearing them have to deal with so many of the parents. It's like sitting near a cash register for awhile: it's one thing to know people in those jobs deal with asshats all day, and another thing to actually hear it happening. And parents ARGUING SCHOOL POLICY with office staff who have NOTHING TO DO WITH MAKING POLICY!! And acting as if policies shouldn't apply to them! And/or just being generally dismissive in tone, and rude! I went from thinking "I would like this job!" (thinking, of course, of what a treasure I am when I interact with school office staff, and what delightful interactions we have) to thinking "IN HELL MAYBE!!!"
BeachMama :) said…
I could never understand all the same people late every single day!! We used to go early so the kiddos could be outside and see friends before class. Once you get bussed, you really can’t be late or you could lose your bus privileges.

Have a great time in Hamilton!! Looking forward to hearing how Angus’ cooking adventures go.
Ernie said…
Eve is such a cutie. Have a great visit. Looking forward to the pics and sappy daughter posts.

The blade story is hilarious. It is so inconvenient to have students show up late, says the mother who undoubtedly had offspring who earned the most tardies in Catholic School YEARS ago. We moved to a new house and no longer got bus service. Getting all 6 of them in the car every morning when Curly was a baby was pure hell. Mary Ann wouldn't carpool or just grab my few school age kids for me EVER. Coach worked early like almost every day.

I finally just say down and told the kids one day to let me know when they were going to be ready to go. I refused to yell and get worked up. Then I made them all write letters of apology for being late every single time they were late from that day forward. The teachers took me aside and said it was a total hoot to read the letters explaining what they'd done to contribute to the morning nonsense/lateness. I can't say it fixed the problem forever because hello, chaos, but it made things interesting.

I also started racing Mary Ann to school and that motivated the shit out of my kids. They were all about beating the neighbors to school. I may or may not have cut off a few cars in traffic and taken a few turns on 2 wheels but it wasn't often that my kids and I were had something to celebrate early in the morning.
Your coworkers sound like a lot of fun. I don't think my nerves could take my kids being late every day. I don't think my KIDS could have taken it either.
StephLove said…
I never went home for Thanksgiving in college because we didn't get the day after off and I didn't want to miss class. I now appreciate how hard that must have been for my mother. I guess it's different when it's some other country's holiday, though.

Have fun visiting Eve!
Ally Bean said…
Congrats on your writing streak here. NaBloPoMo is a challenge [obviously] and you're doing great.

You ask a question for which I have no answer but am right there with you wondering about it: "Who are these people that are so confident that the school day starts promptly for other people but not for them?" I don't get it IF it's a pattern of behavior. Once in a while we all are late for something, but consistently? What gives?

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