Irreverent Mama

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Gah! Is it possible to express how much I loathe my youngest daughter's school?

In the classrooms, it's a school like any other: some truly great teachers, some truly awful ones, and most of them decent folk doing a decent job. Thus I am content to leave Bekah there until she graduates from it in another year.

But the bureaucracy of the school - aka (to me) the Policy Police? The office staff - aka, officially, the "support" staff, a term so ridiculously out of touch with reality I can't even type it with a straight face? (Gee, it's hard to type when your fingers are involuntarily clenching into fists.) I loathe it. Loathe, loathe, loathe it all.

Today I had to drop off the girl's flute. She'd called me from the office at recess, telling me she'd forgotten it, and needed it for band practice after school. Okay. I can do that.

I swing round to the school with said flute. The large office is silent and entirely empty of students or teachers; two secretary-types sit at desks. I approach the counter with a cheerful smile. The secretary-types look at each other; the closest one rises with some reluctance, doleful expression on her long, horse-like face. Evidently it's her turn to deal with the riff-raff; just as evidently, she's not thrilled by the prospect.

I explain why I'm here. She looks at the flute dubiously. I wait, expectantly.

"She knows you're coming? She doesn't have to be told to come get it?" Because, God knows that actually paging a child is far, far, above and beyond the call for an office-type person. I assure her that, yes, Bekah knows to come get it.

Pause. She's trying to think of a reason to refuse, I just know it. With an air of resignation, she hands me a yellow post-it note.

"Well, just put her name on this, and you can leave it here." She has a pen in her hand. I reach for it. She jerks her hand and pen below the counter. Her eyes glance down and left. I follow the glance. There is a bank-style pen there, secured to its holder with a beaded silver chain. All righty then. I'll just use that pen then, shall I? Thanks for the tip. I jot the girl's name and homeroom number on post-it note.

When I look up, for instructions as to the next step in the process, Lugubrious Secretary Woman has vanished. I go a little cross-eyed, trying to change my focus from the spot a metre in front of me, where she was 45 seconds before - where I was expecting to see her - to her new position back behind her desk, three metres away. Swift, silent, and deadly, this woman. Seems she's done with me.

I lift the flute case, place it on the far side of the counter, closest to her. "I'll just leave it here then, shall I?" I'm still smiling cheerfully. She looks concerned. Evidently I am the first parent, ever, in the history of this school, to leave an item at the office, because she sure as hell doesn't seem to know or want to know how to deal with my constant demands. She pauses, then speak.

"I suppose so."

I raise my eyebrows, smile - though by now the bared teeth probably look a little more feral than friendly - wait for clarification. She returns her eyes to her keyboard.

"Well, that's what I'll do then. It's RIGHT HERE NOW. So you'll make sure Bekah gets it, correct?"

She continues typing. I throw the flute case at her head and she sinks, unconscious, beneath her desk. I'm sure no one will notice the difference, though the atmosphere of the office may be improved.

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2 Comments:

  • What a bitch! I would have told her that you wanted to be sure,so you were taking it to her class.

    By Blogger Chantal, at 9:04 AM  

  • Too funny! Wonder what is going on in that woman's life? She'd make a great jump off for a fictional character!

    By Blogger Michelle O'Neil, at 9:23 AM  

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