Tuesday, October 28, 2008

State of the Union Address

To all of you who have been missing me - thanks for the emails and kind words. Sorry it took me so long to get something up, but I had to scrape myself off the bottom of the administration's shoe... you know, after being stepped on and overlooked repeatedly. Yea, it's been an awesome two weeks.

And to all of you who think I "complain too much" , stop reading immediately (although what I really want to say shouldn't ever really be repeated out loud), because it's going to start now. I figure better air out my frustrations anonymously here than in my classroom. It's either blog, or cry myself to sleep.

Some of you may remember that parking has been quite the issue as of late. And really, it's not the fault of anyone I work with that our number of parking spots is being cut back drastically. Truly, the people to blame are 1). the asshats who began giving out too many passes to their buddies rather than school employees, and 2). the d-bags at the top who decided to universally cut down on the number of parking spots AFTER the school year had begun and with no apparent system whatsoever. I get that. There's no one to blame at my school.

Or so I thought. Sadly, this situation has turned many of my former super colleagues (now officially d-bags themselves) who have turned into backstabbing liars. Yes, after banding together to battle against the administration, difficult parents and the lazy sacks of hair who populate our building, we have now turned against one another.

And I blame the union.

Today, we had a union "meeting" (you say "meeting", I say "waste of my time") to discuss the parking situation and voice our concerns. Silly me for thinking that someone (ANYone) would actually listen. You see, ultimately the decision of who gets the precious parking passes belongs to our principal. He might as well start wearing a creepy purple jacket and top hat and call himself Willy Wonka at this point...I wish I could find a parking pass in a chocolate bar.

However, our union rep is supposed to meet with him, share our concerns and our proposed strategy for determining who gets what. It all sounds fine, except that this might require that our union rep DO SOMETHING and/or LISTEN. Normally, she uses her extra free periods (given to her to complete union related business ) to go home early, so you can imagine her surprise when we called upon her to actually represent us. (Um, hi, it's called you JOB?!?)

So we go to this meeting and every single concern is either a) shot down by our union rep, or b) met with defensive comments from our union rep - although oddly enough, no one was attacking her or blaming her for anything. Oh, and did mention that she failed to write anything down??!?! Yet somehow, we are supposed to feel as if she is taking us seriously, and will represent all of our voices when she meets with The Visionary.


Oh, but wait! It gets even better!

There is a sheet for all of us to sign. We have to write our names, our addresses, and our approximate distance for school as well as indicate if we drive on a daily basis.

I write my name, my address, and my mileage (in big bold print) and I am about to fill in "yes, I drive everyday" when my conscience gets the better of me. Because I don't drive EVERY day. I mean, am I going to succumb to the pressure to become a d-jockey and blatantly lie to get a pass? No, the answer is no, I'm not. So I am honest and write that I drive about half the time.

As I walk out of the oh-so-NOT-productive meeting, I glance at the sheet. And it's then that I realized, I WORK WITH LYING SCUM!!

According to this sheet, some people have written that they live over 50 miles away when it is quite obvious to everyone with brain (and or access to a map) that that is physically impossible. All of a sudden, everyone lives HOURS from school, and NO ONE admits to living within the city limits, choosing to use a relatives much farther address instead. And my personal fave....there is on person who signed up for a pass, stating that yes, they drive EVERYDAY and live approximately 30 miles from school when they DON'T EVEN OWN A CAR!!! (I wish I was kidding.)

I fumed my way back to my classroom. And although I want to run screaming down the hall perhaps clotheslining my lying colleagues on the way, I don't. Because I blame our union rep for handling this situation so poorly, thereby creating an environment where everyone ceases to give a shit about one another. I blame HER for that. Oh, and for taking a pass when she herself lives approximately 528 FEET from school.

I hope a tree falls on her car.


koreen (aka: winn) said...

Wish I could give you a hug. :( Complain all you want. I'll be happy to read it. Hope your situation turns around, and people smarten up.

Jpm said...

I wish I had a magic wand. I would make a parking spot just for you . I don't know how you teach there everyday without crying when you get home. I would be one big CRANK POT. I am not calling you a crank pot though :o) Just telling you how I would be. Wish I could tell you things would get bettter, but I don't have that power.

LaughterHappens said...

Hang in there chickie, karma always comes around to bite ya in the ass- you're safe! WHY would someone who doesn't even own a car get a pass?!?!? That blows my mind....

Thank you for being an honest person. K'vetch all you want, we'll read it!


Ms. Peace said...

Someone who works at my school and lives on the SAME block as the school got a parking pass. Others were denied. Go figure.

ChiTown Girl said...

Don't EVER apologize for blowing off steam here. It's YOUR blog, and that's what it's for! It's a hell of a lot cheaper than therapy, too ;-)

I'll be adding asshat to my vocabulary, BTW. Love it! It's the perfect word for these idiots you work with.

Em said...

First off, you TOTALLY have a right to complain and anyone stating otherwise can go you-know-where. Second, I'm not a member of a Union, but this makes me definitely NOT want to join a Union. Third, I cannot believe that your previously awesome coworkers are no total d-bags. Lovely...sometimes decent coworkers and our darling little friends are the only reasons for going to work.

At least you still have your darling little friends...right?

jerel said...

I've decided unions are useless. My ex-principal was preventing me from getting a new job--even in other counties--so I called my union for help. They said unless I had physical proof, there was nothing they could do. They had no power to look into it. It's like "what good are you then?"

I realize that this is a big deal to your colleagues, but *lying* about living 50 miles? Or even having a car?!? My G-d, could these people be any more immature about it? I admire your restraint, because I would have started administering the beatdowns.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Living on the block is one thing but, I live about 5 miles from my school and if my school had passes I would object to them being given out on the basis of how far you live. I never moved away because I wanted to be close to work. I gave up a lot to be a city resient forever. Why should others have an advantage over me? We all do the same job for the same pay.

Mimi said...

We do all do the same thing, pissedoff, but...some of us live far away and still do it. I know it was our choice to move, but when one person has options in terms of public transportation and the other doesn't...not fair in my mind. Also, the school year ALREADY started - some of us wouldn't have moved if it we thought we weren't going to be able to drive at all. Personally, I would have a hard time looking some of my colleagues in the eye if I got a pass and they didn't, when they truly needed it to make their commute to work possible at all. But that's just me.

17 (really 15) more years said...

Mimi- Are you sure you don't work in my school? Or are all union reps lying sacks of shit?

(Oh, and btw- you should be in my school these days- everybody is sticking it everybody else- and it's gotten fugly).

A Special Kind Of Teacher..... said...

No matter where you go, you still find some things are same...like bad drivers, long lines at the grocery store and ofcourse lazy teachers who give everyone else a bad name!!!!!

I also hate reminding people to um...I don't know DO THEIR JOBS. I feel like, i'm bother them for even asking a question sometimes.

Hang in there. I wish you lived around here...we could carpool together and give all those other d-bags a certain finger as we pass them on the road.

Hugh O'Donnell said...

That's the kind of peer behavior that really messes up the "profession." And some union reps are gutless. (I was a union rep and I sure as heck wasn't gutless. in fact, I was frightened for myself the few times I had to go to the mat for a peer.)

I can tell you were super-pissed about this cuz you didn't put your usual funny-but-hopeless touch on it.

Like laughterhappens said, "...karma comes around..." But you have to have faith. You may never see it actually happen, but happen it will.

My Dad used to tell me, "don't worry about getting even. If the person causing you (and others) pain continues their [anti-social] behavior, someone else will take care of them for you."

Pissedoffteacher said...

I used to teach in Manhattan. parking was rotated on a monthly basis, no matter where you lived.

I don't want to be forced to take 2 buses because of someone else lives on LI or further.

I agree that rules should not be changed after the game starts.

ed notes online said...

Union reps are up for election at the end of this school year. Find someone to run or better yet run yourself.

There are a surprising number of the disgruntled out there considering taking on this crazy job based on being fed up. (It took me over 20 years before I reached that point.) We may have to run workshops - call 'em "Tiptoeing through the mine field of school and union politics."

Cathy said...

oh my goodness! what is going on? can't believe all that! thankfully, we don't have those sorts of issues at our school...

FidgetyTeach said...

Cathy, I believe that you are in denial unless you teach on another planet. May I ask where you teach?

jonathan said...

Ask, in writing, for a list of how the passes were distributed, and what the basis was for that distribution.

And then, assuming no startling new information turns up to explain... just vote the CL out in the Spring.

It's surprisingly easy to do, and just takes some care in order to make certain that the replacement is responsive to the rights and needs of the membership as a whole.


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