Wednesday, 1 October 2008

New leaf

Maybe it's the autumnal motif, but as the wind whipped the tree tops this morning I decided to turn over a new leaf. I've just been feeling so fed up already, and yet my mind was turning back to how I felt leaving my old school back in July. The staff, my friends; the pupils whose lives interweaved with mine for 5 or more years; the camaraderie against the common enemies of whoever was annoying us that week... I don't have that right now, which is why I guess new schools are hard to cope with at first. And I miss it. My life and experience is starting to diverge from theirs: I can't share their anxieties about the forthcoming inspection, and they know nothing of the issues I find myself involved with now.

So I decided that today I would start to plough my own furrow, feather my own nest, or some such idiomatic doings. I would get more involved. I would sign up to run clubs, help with productions, organise rotas; whatever needed doing. And I did at least one of these things today. Consequently I felt quite beatific all afternoon, bestowing even the most restless of children with calm smiles as I issued detentions like I was dishing out fine candies.

As a result, I finished the day with a calm serenity I haven't felt in a while. I did wonder if somebody had laced my water with opium, but I know I would never let my bottle (of water, not antiquated drugs) out of sight, so it must just have been my leaf-turning.

All was well until I made a crucial mistake. I tried to organise my out-of-school life. Being at school all day, there's no time to make the important phone calls that involve waiting in automated queues or tracking down the one person you need to talk to who always takes their lunch break at the same time as you. So I have about half an hour once school is over in which to phone the weary office workers who control things like council tax and credit cards. And of course, it's always the wrong time of day for them. I imagine they are just reaching over to switch off their computers and fetching their coats from their department kitchenettes, leaning over their open office divides for a quick gossip to pass the long minutes until going home time. And then the phone rings and they tut loudly, irritated at the prospect of having to deal with somebody in the last ten minutes. And that person is me.

So this is why I ended up spending ten infuriating minutes talking to Mrs Jobsworth at the council, unable to satisfactorily resolve what I'd imagined to be a small and easily remedied query, but obviously I was a fool to imagine that anybody like Mrs Jobsworth would share my view. To say she made mountains out of molehills is an understatement. And unhappily for me, I finished the day just as wound up and angry as I normally do, albeit for different reasons.

Stiff letters - and stiff drinks - all round!
...

1 comment:

Northern Teacher said...

I know what you mean about feeling calm after positive action following a rant! My email to my head of school following much grumbling yesterday hasn't yet elicited a reply, but I'm still calm and hopeful. And to help this wondrous aura, I'll be having a nice glass of red later ...

What's more, I actually used to work in a customer service call centre and wouldn't wish that job on anyone - but I suppose someone's got to do it :-(