Saturday, October 20, 2007

Help Not Wanted

Do Not Inquire Within. Proprietor Will Bite You. Seriously.

Friday culminated in my stating and following up with an email to several individuals (some of whom are my immediate supervisors) that I would be in my classroom for the remainder of the day. I further stated that I was not to be disturbed as it was my full intention to eat chocolate from that moment until the final bell. The principal was given fair warning with regard to his responsibilities around informing the staff. I was of the opinion at that point that approaching me might be dangerous. It was highly probable that I would interpret even the most friendly advance as an attempt to get between me and the chocolate. There was every reason to believe that I would bite someone before the day was out.

The fact that no one thought this weird or even funny at that point should serve as supporting evidence of the fact that it was not a good morning. Not good at all.

I have been suffering mightily of late under the not-so-welcome ministrations of the Resident Helper Elves in my school. All are incredibly well-intentioned and genuinely thought they were doing me a solid. However, the project on which I was working required that I have all information available and their tendency to make decisions on my behalf then not tell me was less than helpful. Much less. Most less. Most less-est.

But, if nothing else, my part of the equation was done right and the powers-that-be acknowledged this. All I asked was that, when the day of reckoning arrived, I not be left standing all by my lonesome holding the proverbial bag. I received many heartfelt and vigorous assurances on this matter. I would receive all the support a teacher could get and then some.

The average North American Sheep is a docile and trusting creature by nature. Look it up. We are quiet, generally pretty content and given to going where we are told to go. We may be a little stinky at times, but that isn't really our fault. Mostly we are pleasant. And we believe in our fellow man. Or Sheep...whatever.

For those of you not of the Sheepish persuasion, it probably comes as little surprise that when the Reckoning began yesterday (in the form of a parent meeting) there was a marked lack of "others" in the vicinity. The administrators were nowhere to be found. As they were the ones I specifically requested be there to make it all better, this made for some tension.

Fortunately, I have one or two People Skills. At the risk of sounding like I'm tooting my own horn, I can be rather charming when the need arises. Downright disarming, if things look like they are going to get ugly. In short and without going into details (which I can't because this is kid stuff and we are pretty respectful of kids' rights to live and learn without the whole world knowing the ups and downs of it all) I made it better. I had to make some decisions normally left to people with bigger salaries than I...but I fixed it.

When the whole mess was over, I proceeded to trap one of my superiors in a conference room by literally blocking the door and laughing at any feeble attempts he made at getting away. I then shattered every known stereotype of The Docile Sheep. The good thing about being in the right is that you can do this sort of thing and not get fired. You will even get an apology in both verbal and written form.

This did not stop one of the aforementioned Helper Elves from making one last-ditch attempt at independence and undoing one of the decisions I had to make while left alone to drown. But, since this particular Elf is one of the bosses of me, there isn't much I can do about it.

Except eat chocolate. Which I did. For two straight hours. By noon, my Cheerful Teaching Assistant noted that I was looking a little green around the gills and wondered aloud if I should, perhaps, consider eating an apple or a piece of nice, whole wheat bread. I did not bite her. She meant well. She was also all the way across the room and I wasn't really able to propel myself quite that far at that point in the festivities.

We are glad that it is the weekend. Very, very glad. We are locked in The Manse and doing whatever it takes to avoid human contact for a couple of days. We are doing those things that make us feel happy and somewhat in control of our existence.

For example, I purchased a nice, shiny, new binder for all my loose knitting patterns and even organized them into categories. There was labeling involved and the use of tabbed dividers. I even made a fancy title page in Lovely Olde Script:

I realize that it looks like, "Knitting Batterns." You do not need to point this out. That's just how they did it back in the days of Lovely Olde Script. I'm kicking it Olde School here...
I have also resigned myself to the fact that knitting The Invisibility Shawl requires the application of certain rules. It only works when I don't get all relaxed on the plain knit and purl rows. Instead, I must use those rows as a Self-Check. Thus, I will catch any mistakes before things progress to the point of no return. I'll miss those halcyon days where a plain knit row was like a vacation. But, if we are taking matters into our own hands and hooves, then we must bite the bullet. This strategy has resulted in a grand total of zero errors. You gotta walk the walk, talk the talk, and knit, knit. (that sounds funny, but it fits the pattern so I'm going with it.)
It is helping. Sort of. If nothing else, I can now find my favorite sock patterns within mere seconds of being bitten by the sock bug and I will always know which binder holds my Batterns. This gives the illusion of control to some degree.
I'm not going to stop eating chocolate, though. Some things just go better with chocolate. Peanut butter goes nicely with it. As does caramel.
And following through with society's rules around not killing the Helper Elves. That definitely goes better with chocolate.


trek said...

Since it would be a very long drive to visit you in the slammer and I sort of doubt that the slammer allows unlimited internet access, I, for one, am quite glad that you resisted the urge to commit homicide upon the Helper Elves.

Teri S. said...

Poor was a very bad day for you. You deserve some chocolate. But, at the risk of you propelling yourself down to Virginia to bite me, I must ask: Isn't eating all this chocolate going to require wearing more dreaded thongs? Or, heaven forbid, ironing?

Jeanne said...

I agree with Trek. Committing Elvicide is a terrible crime.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad everyone survived and there was enough chocolate.

Donna Lee said...

How lovely of them to have so much faith in your good judgement to allow you to have such conferences all by yourself! You'd get more support from a Playtex 18 hr bra. Thank God for chocolate. I am currently out of chocolate. I know, I know. I should have been better prepared. All I can say is three pre-menstrual women in one house. Chocolate is a hot commodity.

kmkat said...

One of the Helper Elves is a Boss of you? What's up with that? I thought it was written in the Book of Elvish that elves don't get to be bosses, just helpers. You perhaps need to check the rules somewhere. And help yourself to more chocolate. No chocolate for the Helper Elves, though, inasmuch as they didn't help.

Kate said...

You know what goes great with chocolate AND caramel? Apple. Plus it gives you the illusion that you are eating healthy... yeah.

Works for me!

Beth said...

I'm impressed that you can fit all of your Batterns into one notebook. I tend to print too many and they're not so easy to look through. I should reorganize.

It sounds liks Friday was an extremely frustrating day. To me, it always seems that there is a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things. I get really upset when people (or elves) choose to do things the wrong way. Here's hoping that next week is much better!

Jacqui said...

i am not close enough to drop one by but may i recommend one of these?

... it is too bad one cannot have the place sprayed for Helper Elves...

Julie said...

And nuts, don't forget the nuts. Also, coconut; even better is the nuts and coconut and chocolate all together!

Kris said...

Thankfully you were strong enough to not inflict bodily harm on the Helper Elves. I personally would be devestated to not find out how the Nascar crock pot works.

Gotta love it when the adminsitration has their heads up their @sses.

Knitting Linguist said...

Oy. Protect us from well-meaning Helper Elves. Especially Boss-type Helper Elves. Who leave innocent Sheep holding the bag when push comes to shove (or parent comes to school, however that works). Chocolate is most definitely an excellent remedy. As is bug spray. Either that or you could start making evil eye gestures when they walk by and muttering things like "get thee behind me", hehe. The binder is lovely, and office supplies can always make things better. That, and a fall-down in a book or yarn store. Enjoy the rest of your peaceful weekend!

helen said...

Every once in a while, I try to write to folks like you to say "I do LOVE reading your blog" even when I've not made any substantive comments. This is one of those times.
I'm proud of you for not biting the administrator. That's usually toxic.

I sure hope they wake up and start behaving better though.