working towards perfection (and failing)

Category: On the Job (Page 2 of 2)

not just a teacher

I began writing a long, labourious post about not having a job anymore, but I realised I didn’t give a f.uck, and if I don’t give a f.uck how can I expect others to? 

So, I don’t have a job anymore.  I’m a housewife.  I like that title; I can live with it.

I had my job for seven years.  I survived two restructures, with the second seeing me move from being a TA to becoming a teacher again, albeit in a non-specialised subject.  I chose to leave when the third wave of restructuring came along.  I’m relieved to be leaving because morale is at an all-time low and, to be honest, if the provision for non-mainstream is still available this time next year I’ll eat my non-existent hat.  With ketchup, please.

Although the last couple of years have been awful, the first few years were amazing.  My relief is therefore twinged with a little sadness and a lot of fabulous memories.  Whilst clearing out my cupboard I came upon things which reminded me of the Good Times, and of the fact that I WAS good at my job, in the early days at least. 

The bestest aspect of my job has been the students, without whom there wouldn’t be a job in the first place.  These are the kids the schools wash their hands of: the traveller children whose sense of right and wrong is completely out of touch with my own concept of morality; the young people who scream and shout and harm themselves because nobody understands them; the girls whose own mother’s chose to take their innocence for a few measly drugs; the children who turn up at school in the same clothes, day in, day out, hair crawling with big, fat, juicy lice.

In this school I have worked with prostitutes, sex offenders, bank robbers, the neglected, the molested, the dumped and the forgotten.  I have seen the affects of heavy and daily prolonged drug use on fifteen year old boys.  I have had to wrestle scissors from self-harming teenagers.  I’ve been a psychologist, mother, friend, supporter, bigger-upper and advisor to many.  I’ve even seen children disappear from the system.

Sometimes they pop in and see us after they’ve left and that is the bestest bestest of everything.  They may have turned their lives around, have a car and a job/apprenticeship.  Often they have babies (the boys too) usually within a year or so of leaving.  This isn’t because they get a house.  It’s because they need someone who will love them unconditionally, in the way their own parent/s never loved them. 

And thus the cycle continues …

I leave knowing that I touched the lives of at least a handful of students (mostly from the early years), having made a few amazing lifelong friendships along the way and having learnt that I don’t need to cross the road when I see a random bunch of dodgy looking teenagers. 

Life was once good, it became a little shitty, but it will be good again.  And in the meantime, it’s sufficient for me to be a housewife. 

I’m such a lazy fecker.

I’ve felt very unloved the last year or so, so it was a big surprise when I receieved my leaving gifts.  Sometimes you don’t know how appreciated you are until it’s too late.  Oh, and the only person who didn’t sign my leaving card?  The Monster Boss.  Not such a surprise (after all, she never did ‘get me’), but a Thank You! would have at least been nice. 

Now, to sleep.

another letter

Dear Work,

You suck.  You suck so much that you stink.  You make me not want to get up in the mornings.  Please accept my application for voluntary redundancy, even though it means missing out on some much-needed sick pay later in the year.

F.uckers.

Love,

the redundancy cake

I am a cake and you want to eat me up, yummy-yum-yum.

My recipe is:

One teaspoon of bewilderment
A mugful (preferably just on the verge of overspilling) of numbness
A jelly-mould of anxiety
Seventeen droplets of crazed laughter
A bucketful of anger
A dash of selfishness
Three miniature bottles of matyrdom
100g of sugar (because I’m not sweet enough)
And a liberal dosing of grumbles

Oh, and a teaspoon of vanilla essence (to taste)

My method:

Go to a meeting where your colleagues are grumbling. Sit there amused and (inside your mind) shake your head and make snarky remarks about their inability to realise they are not affected by changes. Fold their comments sagely, making sure to pick out those that are worthy of remembrance and keep them aside for tastiness later. As you sit there beat all the ingredients together veryveryvery stiffly with as much strength as you can muster.

Let it fester.

Whilst it festers, enjoy a good sob (on the bed is best, not to mention very comfy.)

Come back to it a short while later (or whenever you can be arsed) and give it another good beating. In order to make the mixture as effective as possible be sure to think of things you really don’t like as you do this; your Boss or … your Boss.

At this point you may imagine scenes where you are rude to your Boss. You may do this safe in the knowledge that you will never publicly say these things. This will help the cake to rise.

Leave the mixture for a few days whilst you amuse yourself with the cake-making abilities of other people. Refrain from telling them the truth and instead keep your comments internalised, except for a few close friends. Realise at this point who your friends are. Make a mental note to do as little as possible for those who don’t matter over the next few months. This won’t affect the loveliness of your cake.

After a few days you may start baking your cake. You can bake it for as long as you want at whatever temperature you feel is best. Nobody really gives a toss about that.

You will know when your cake is ready for nom-nom because it will appear relaxed and peaceful. However, do be aware of a bitter after-taste that may linger on your tongue for a while because appearances can be deceptive, don’t you know.

Now, get thee baking!

but that’s my fault

Ack.

After a disappointing first lesson with two fifteen year old shit-stirrers who obviously spent the summer receiving lessons in evilness in the bowels of hell, I walked into the staff kitchen and whined, I really hate my new job! to anyone who would listen. In this instance it was the nice little Iron Lady. Oh KatieF! she smiled.

Then the bus from ChavTown just missed the bus in Quaint Historic Market Town, so I had to travel all the way to maC and get a bus back out to FlatHickTown. Fourteen miles became about forty. But that’s my fault for not being able to drive.

*sigh*

Still, I just caught it today (although in my haste to get off the bus in Quaint Historic Market Town I bumbled into a rack of bus timetables and they all tumbled onto the floor) and the lovely bus driver promised he’d have a word with the other bus drivers, who all work the direct route that I get in the morning and used to get regularly in the evening.

Oh, I’m a teacher now. I feel that I was rather bullied into it (but that’s my fault for not being able to drive) and I feel completely out of my depth because a) it’s been six years since I last officially donned a Teacher’s Hat, and b) it’s not my specialist subject (although I have been ‘teaching’ it for the last six years.)

The one perky advantage I have is that it’s part-time (0.5ft), so I officially only have to be in work for three hours twice a week, three and three quarter hours another day, and one whole day. I still get my middle of the week day off. Huzzah!

Not so Huzzah! about the shite bus service in this area though.

But that’s my fault for not being able to drive. I can’t stress that enough.

*rolls eyes*

A little bit of this and a lot of that.

There are quibbles at work which are going to get quibblier as the weeks go on. Due to all the governments ‘inclusion’ silliness, we are changing. From September we’re changing our name, and the staffing structure, plus we’re getting slightly different kids.

Morale?

It was already low, but this just makes it lower.

There may (or may not; we are still in the consultation period and so things might change) have to be redundancies, but I get the impression they’re hoping enough staff leave naturally and the jobs can be shared amongst those who remain. I have to make a decision; do I want to stay if it means more hours at a decreased level (and therefore a decreased wage, although my current wage may be frozen, perhaps)? There us no guarantee I would get the position anyways, although by all reckoning, the competition won’t be too taxing.

Or do I feel that the time is right to move on …

Maybe, if the right position is advertised.

Everybody is huddling in corners, whispering within their little cliques. There will no doubt be battles when the teachers all decide to go for the same position. And the cleaners! Bless them! I love our cleaners to bits. They’re both about one hundred years old (perfect for not quite wanting to clean around the computers in case they break them) with failing eyesight (great for spotting those elusive cobwebs) and minds that are best left in the gutter.

They’re cutting our hours, grumbled Naughty Nan.
We won’t have time to hoover every room, moaned Irish Eyes. And you know what the boss is like, she continued shaking her head in despair.

To top it all off, the kids are (all) on Mephedrone, cOs iTz LeGaL, innit. Idiots.

At night my bedroom makes strange sounds. It whirs and buzzes, gloops and schniffles, and bomps and sloshes. Occasionally it beeps too.

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Poor Tabatha-Cat must be wondering why we prefer having a machine in our room to having her in there. I miss sleeping with her curled around my head, but she’d only clambour over the Peritoneal Dialysis machine, spreading her fur and germs around.

*sad face*

We have no name for the machine. It worked for two nights, then stopped working. Blokey went back on haemodialysis for two sessions. Now he’s back on PD (since Sunday night) and [*fingers crossed*] it appears to be working swimmingly.

*touches wood, quickly*

It might stop working again because his catheter may be in the wrong position.

Still, at least he’s alive. When people ask me how he is I quite often say, ‘Well, he’s still alive!’. It throws them, and I find that amusing. I am a queen b(ee) with an itch. There are so many people who really don’t understand that if he wasn’t having dialysis he would probably have about ten days to live. And that’s a good estimate.

*sigh*

You wouldn’t believe it but I am looking on the bright side. Really. Even though I loathe Monty and all things Python …

don’t flatter yourself, love

I participated in a very angry conversation on the bus this evening.  It was with my boss and took place entirely in my head.

My boss is an odd one.  She doesn’t like people whom she perceives to be ‘weak’, partly because I don’t think she understands them.  She’s the type of person who has far too much energy; she survives on about four hours sleep a night, which may be fine for her, but it’s a bit much that she doesn’t understand that most ordinary people can’t.

I have no idea what happened.  I was absolutely fine.  I had some issues with a couple of things, but it was nothing that a good whinge wouldn’t fix.  But then Dotty came in and said we could go home early, and I just burst into tears. 

*shrugs*

And then my boss got wind of it, and she came crashing into the room babbling on about stuff (pressure mainly) that didn’t actually have anything to do with why I was upset

(I don’t really know why I was upset, and the thing she thinks is upsetting me, isn’t)

and I couldn’t find the words to tell her nicely to ‘piss off’, so I just turned my back on her and grunted once or twice.  Now she thinks I’m weak and rude (probably).

I need her to know that I wasn’t feeling pressured, I just want to be prepared.  Why does she assume everything is about pressure and not having the ability to cope? Tsk.

Sometimes I just need a damn good uncontrollable sob and the weight lifts, the mist clears and everything is hunky-dory again …

In happier news, I’m partaking of a trip in a big scary metal bird in February (to Prague with Mumsy, to see my Big Brother and finally meet my littlest niece) … Will I cry with fear this time, or won’t I?  Oh, of course I will … *grin*

in a funk

I’m becoming increasingly disillusioned. This isn’t with life itself, or my marriage.

It’s just my job.

I’ve been in my current position since the September of 2004, which is the longest I’ve ever worked anywhere.

Go me!

For the most part I love like it.  I don’t have to think too hard, I get a day off during the week – which I need, both emotionally and psychologically (and because I’m lazy), and I don’t have to bring work home with me. 

But just recently there have been things happening which really irk me.  I’m expected to be an all-singing, all-dancing, super employee, an expectation which is both demoralising and ridiculous.

I’m covering for one of our Science teachers who is on long-term sick.  I can’t do Science.  I’m the idiot who only got a DD in her Combined Science GCSE.  This has been since May, with no information as to when the teacher will return.  I’m also having to deliver some Maths (which I hate), some English (which I love) and some ICT (which I quite like) on my regular timetable (which changes three times a week, quite literally).  On top of that I have to cover for absent colleagues, usually unexpectedly so work isn’t always set.

I don’t mind the variety in my timetable; I just wish it was based more on my strengths.  The issue is more to do with the fact that there are so many changes and the students see me in so many different roles that it’s confusing for everybody (me included).  I have put my foot down with regards covering reception when our receptionist is off; I’m not an admin worker and I don’t do phones.

Why are you teaching me English when you’re a Science teacher?

Tsk.

Oh, and then there’s Little Miss Perfect, Arselicker.  I’m unsure as to why her lack of qualifications, courses and experience made her a better option than me for a particular role (one day a week) to cover for a colleague who left.  I suspect that the fact she a) can drive and b) doesn’t mind talking on the phone were her only strengths over mine.  And if I find out she’s getting paid for that day at a higher rate I shall be mightily pissed …

Maybe it’s time to start looking for a new (better) position, but I earn quite good money and like my day off.  On the other hand I could just stop whinging like a sour puss.

It used to be fun in my place of work … now it’s just a bitchfest.  (Although that can be quite enjoyable too …)

Workplace Trivialities

There’s a barely used room at ChavSchool. It’s barely used because it ‘belongs’ to ChavBoy, who ‘teaches’ (in the loosest sense of the word) the students about cars and engines and whatnot. He does this in a little garage where the uniform consists of rather fetching overalls.

There was a chair in this room. It was a nice one because it was slightly cushioned and it swivelled. There was also a printer in this room, the only colour one within the building (I have a printer in my room, but it’s a B&W laser printer; I work in a little building with four other members of staff) and so I regularly used the printer. This meant that I regularly used the room because it was only connected to the one computer. Whilst using the computer in the room with the only colour printer in the building, I tended to sit on the slightly cushioned and swivelly chair. It was fun. The chairs in my room are just blue and plastic and nasty.

Myself and Dotty noted that the room was barely used. We decided that we wanted the chair. We took the chair. It was lush. I spend most of my week in the little room in the little building. Whilst in there I teach (NOT in the loosest sense of the word) and I do lots and lots and lots of other stuff which involves bottom perching on chairs.

Fast forward twelve days. ChavBoy realises that said chair has gone from ‘his’ room. Yes, that’s TWELVE days later. I’m in another room in the main building so I miss his little tantrum and the taking of the chair back to ‘his’ room. I later hear that he’s going to get a key for ‘his’ room to stop me taking ‘his’ chair and using ‘his’ printer.

Haha.

Excuse me whilst I try to stop laughing.

I took the chair back at lunchtime and, upon concluding my course in the main building, I returned to find the chair back in ‘his’ room.

‘Tis ok. I can play this game for ever. I can also feel an argument coming on. I don’t tend to argue with people, particularly at work. I’m the lass who keeps her head down and bites her bottom lip when something irks her. I know my place, and although I may not like that place, I realise that it creates limitations on what, how and why I can say things.

But this is just petty and juvenile. Some twat gets his knickers in a twist because of his own self-importance and throws a paddy? Tsk. It’s a chair that he doesn’t use, from a room that he rarely goes into, with a printer which he struggles to find the on/off button for.

Really, who is going to win this one?

Not that’s it’s a competition, and not that I even care about the chair really. I just find the whole situation so ridiculously trivial that I want it to escalate so that I can show everybody I shan’t be walked over. I want to bite back for a change. And I want ChavBoy to shake off this self-righteousness and realise that nothing in the education sector is fixed and that all chairs, all printers and all printer ink belongs to the school, not to the individual.

*sigh* (that’s a happy sigh, btw.)

Where is my snow?

I was promised snow today.  The weatherman looked me directly in the eyes and said there would be snow.  Later he said that the snow had come and it was causing major disruption.  I looked out of my window; there was a slight dusting of snow.  I sighed at the weatherman and waggled my finger a bit, sternly.

At work a student decided that making a miniature snowman was more fun than learning Maths.  It melted on the radiator.  We laughed (easily amused, me) when we should have been concentrating on real-life fractions.  I opened the blinds so that I could oggle the snow flurries, but the snow flurries were non-existent.  Instead there were occasional flakes, dancing in the breeze and refusing to actually reach the ground. 

But still, we were sent home.  I shan’t grumble

(much)

because it’s an afternoon off in the cosiness of my own home.  With Bailey’s.  And The Blokey got sent home too, so that was fandangly. 

Oh, some may chuckle.  But we’re not used to snow, we get it so rarely.  In other countries they put their snow tyres on in October and leave them on till March, but we don’t even know what snow tyres are. 

Now there is a steady drizzle of something.  The grass is white but the roads are soggy and full of puddles.  The snow we had in the 70s and 80s was proper snow.  This is just a pathetic attempt of something trying to be something it’s not.

*sigh*

(Not that I like snow – I tend to fracture my elbows when snow is even suggested – but if it’s going to snow I want it to put the effort in.)

I have a terrible feeling that tomorrow will see me slip-sliding to work, with the strong possibility of falling on my bottom. 

*ouch*

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