It’s Never Too Late To Quit

, , , , , | Learning | January 22, 2020

I work as a substitute teacher before finding a full-time teaching job. One day, I get my first subbing job at a school I have never subbed at. The instructions in the confirmation email say to arrive at school at 8:00 am to sign in.

As it’s my first day at this school, I make sure to leave plenty of time to get to school, and I end up arriving at about 7:50 am. I sit in my car for ten minutes playing on my phone to kill time, and I walk into the building and up to the reception desk at 8:00.

When I tell the receptionist my name, she starts yelling at me for being late and tells me that the principal is supervising the class until I show up.

Apparently, the school starts class at 8:00 am, and actually expected subs to arrive at 7:45. I point out that the confirmation email I received when I accepted this subbing job clearly instructed me to arrive at school at 8:00, but the receptionist will hear none of my attempts to point out this false logic. I finally give up trying to reason with her, go up to the classroom, and take over the class from the principal.

During the teacher’s free period, I am sitting in the classroom on my phone as I have no other tasks. The principal comed up to the classroom and asks why I was late, so I tell him about the misleading instructions in the confirmation email. He tells me that even though that’s what the email said, I still should have gotten to school before 8:00 am because “that’s what smart people do.”

I never took another job from that school again.

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Not Going To Get Walkathon’d All Over This Year

, , , , , | Learning | December 20, 2019

(I attend an expensive private high school on a scholarship. My family could absolutely not afford the tuition without the scholarship, meaning I’m on a much lower socioeconomic level than my classmates. Every fall, the school holds a walkathon where students are supposed to get people from the community to pledge money to the school based on how many miles the student walks. No one in the community ever wants to donate to the rich, private school when the local public school is critically underfunded, so everyone just gets their parents to write a check. If a student fails to meet the $100 donation threshold, they’re not allowed to participate in the walkathon. However, they’re still required to come to school that day. So, instead of taking a hike through the woods with their classmates and then spending the rest of the day having fun in the park, they have to spend the whole day sitting quietly in a classroom alone. It’s basically day-long detention for being poor. Every year so far, my family has scraped together enough money for me to attend walkathon, but in my senior year — twelfth grade — money is too tight. I’ve resigned myself to a day of boredom. A few days before the walkathon, I’m turning in some paperwork to one of the school’s secretaries. She’s worked with me before concerning my scholarship, and she knows that I otherwise couldn’t afford to attend the school.)

Secretary: *adding the paperwork to my file* “Well, looks like that’s in order. Oh, wait! I don’t see your walkathon form in here.”

Me: “Oh. I’m not going this year.”

Secretary: *looks at me and then shuffles through some more papers* “I also see you haven’t used all your college visit days.”

(Every senior gets a certain number of excused absences to visit colleges, so long as they arrange it with the office first and bring proof of the visit afterward. I’ve already been accepted to my first-choice college.)

Me: “I already got into [College]. I didn’t need them all.”

Secretary: “It’s always good to know all your options. Why don’t you take another college tour? It can be on any school day. Any day at all that you’re required to be in school.”

Me: “Ooooh, I see. Can I have a copy of the college visit form? Actually, can I have two?”

(After leaving the office with the forms, I immediately went to find my friend, who also wasn’t looking forward to the walkathon since the hiking trail wasn’t suitable for her disability. Every year, she had to attend the walkathon anyway and just sit at a picnic table with a teacher all day. She also hadn’t used all her college visit days, so we both signed up for a tour of a local college on the day of the walkathon. That day, we slept in, went on the college tour just long enough to get proof that we went, and goofed off the rest of the day. We brought the secretary a fancy cupcake from a little bakery near the college as thanks.)

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As If You Were Thrown Under The Bus

, , , , , | Learning | November 29, 2019

(I’m in seventh grade. I ride the bus to and from school, which leaves at 3:20 sharp every day. One day, my homeroom teacher doesn’t let us out until 3:20 — which is a whole other frustrating story in and of itself, believe me — and, of course, this causes me to miss the bus. So, I go to the office and meet with one of the secretaries.) 

Me: “Excuse me. [Teacher] didn’t let us out until pretty late, so I kind of missed the bus.”

Secretary: “Well, I’ll call and have them send in someone to pick you up, but I’m not gonna be able to bug them every time. It’s your responsibility to get down to the bus on time.”

Me: “But I just told you, my teacher let us out really late. I didn’t really have a choice.”

Secretary: *deadpan* “Okay.”

(She goes into her office and talks with the bus company on the phone for a few moments before coming back out.) 

Secretary: “They’ll send someone to pick you up as soon as they can.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Secretary: “No problem, but next time, it really is important that you get to the front door on time.”

Me: “I tried to, but once again, my teacher let the class out ten minutes late.”

Secretary: “Well, okay, but still.”

(The bus comes a few minutes later, so I gather my things and go down to the front door.) 

Secretary: “Have a good rest of your day, [My Name]. But remember, you need to manage your time better. It’s your responsibility to be down here on time for the bus.”

Me: *giving up at this point* “Yes, ma’am. I’ll keep that in mind.”

(Luckily, both my dad and the bus driver understood the concept of “teacher error” a lot better than the secretary.)

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Orphaned AND Blind!

, , , , , , | Learning | September 7, 2019

(We live two blocks away from my son’s high school. When he was in middle school, his IEP stated he had to have a bus because he is legally blind, but he can walk to his current school without ever having to cross a major street. I get a letter from the school system saying that because they can’t get a bus scheduled for him, they are going to give him a cab. I immediately call the cab company and tell them that he won’t need one. They say they’ll take him off the roster, but they suggest I call the Office of Pupil Transportation to ensure that he won’t have a cab sent. I call the office and tell them I want to remove him from the list for getting a bus or cab. They look up his name, ask for my name… and then tell me that I’m not on my son’s record, so they can’t do that.)

Me: “Who is listed on his record, then? Is he marked down as an orphan?”

Person: “I’m sorry, ma’am. You’re not on the record, so we can’t tell you that.”

(My son has been attending school in the same school system his entire life, he’s a sophomore in high school this year — for non-Americans, that’s ten years of school so far counting kindergarten, going into his eleventh — and as his mother, I’ve filled out all of his paperwork since the day I signed him up for kindergarten. How am I not on his record?)

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Literally Sick Of Your Apathy

, , , | Healthy | January 17, 2019

(I get very severely sick: throwing up anything I try to keep down and having constant diarrhea. I can barely keep juice down. This is exacerbated by the fact I have costochondritis — the cartilage in my ribcage gets inflamed and swells when I get sick, causing mind-numbing amounts of pain. After three days of this, my family forces me to at least go the local triage center if I won’t go to the doctor. I manage to check in with no problem; there are only a few people there so I figure I’ll get seen pretty quickly. An hour passes with people who were there before me and who came AFTER I came in getting in to see the doctors before me. I’m annoyed but hey, they might have seriously bad injuries I can’t see. Then my stomach lurches and I realise I’m all of a minute away from throwing up again.)

Me: *painfully walking up to the desk holding my ribs and stomach trying not to vomit* “I need the bathroom key.”

Receptionist: *doesn’t even look up from her computer* “No, you don’t. Sit down.”

Me: “I am literally about to projectile vomit. I need the bathroom key now.”

Receptionist: “Sit down. It’ll pass.”

(I barely manage to take another step before I’m forced to bend over and vomit stomach acid and bile on the floor in front of two kids and their mother.)

Woman: “Oh, my god!” *rushes over rubbing my back* “Oh, my god. Are you okay, sweetie?”

Me: *crying and gagging* “Sorry! Sorry, oh, god. I didn’t mean it!” *throws up again*

Woman: “[Son]! Get her some tissues and wipes out of my bag!” *to me* “Oh, it’s okay sweetie; you couldn’t help it.”

(The woman and her son managed to help me clean myself up while the two receptionists did nothing. The nice woman helped me sit down again; after ten minutes someone put a slip hazard over the puddle of my vomit but didn’t bother even trying to clean up. Despite that, it still took another hour for me to finally get seen to and just got some painkillers tossed at me, while told I was imagining my costochondritis and to drink fluids.)

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