Saturday, September 12, 2009


Ms. Sheep had a somewhat trying afternoon on Thursday. As a result, she was a bit behind schedule come day's end. She blearily made her way downstairs to the copier where she hoped to get some worksheets ready for the students to refuse to do the next day and she cut through the main office to shorten the trip.

There, she met the secretary who was putting on her coat and saying her good-byes to all and sundry. Ms. Sheep jokingly said, " should go now. I'm going to copy. There will be collating involved."

The secretary, having had many dealings with the copier malfunctions that inevitably follow Ms. Sheep's attempts at collating, quickly suggested that she use the office copier. That one seems more resistant to whatever it is that Ms. Sheep does to make the other one break down. Ms. Sheep always gets to use the office copier. It is a privilege because that one doesn't require a staff code and doesn't keep track of how much paper is being used at taxpayer expense. The secretaries have an odd affection for Ms. Sheep and find her helplessness in certain areas to be kind of charming. Most motherly types do...

She turned the copier back on and instructed Ms. Sheep in how to turn it off again when she was done. "It is simple," she said. "You just hit the User button which brings you to the User Screen. You select the shut-down function and hit "yes" to confirm. That's it! And if you run into trouble, Mr. Principal is right across the hall in Mr. Assistant Principal's office and he can do it for you. Otherwise, just close the door and it will lock up right behind you."

Ms. Sheep repeated the mantra, "User-User-Yes." She confidently assured the secretary that she could handle it from there. And she did. The worksheets were copied, collated and stapled. The User-User-Yes sequence was followed and the deed was done. All Ms. Sheep needed to do was close the door and she was home-free!

Except that she wasn't. As she was exiting the room, Mr. Assistant Principal hailed her heartily from his office.

Mr. Assistant Principal: Bye Ms. Sheep!

(Ms. Sheep prepares to return the farewell, but before she can do so, she is interrupted.)

Mr. Principal: MS. SHEEP!!! DO. NOT. CLOSE. THAT. DOOR!!!!!!!!!!

(Ms. Sheep is startled and can only make noises that do not translate well into print. They are similar to the gobble of a dying turkey. Mr. Principal is a man of many talents, though, and speaks gibberish fluently. He correctly translates her gobbling as, "Of course, Fearless Leader. Your wish is my command. But may I ask why you wish this door to remain open?")

MP: Ms. Sheep. You have NOT shut off the lights. You have NOT shut down the copier.

MAP: (giving the principal a look of infinite patience usually reserved for small children and dogs taking obedience class for the third time) Mr. P, you do realize that the light switch is on the outside of the room, not the inside, right?

MP: Oh. Well, the copier is still on.

MS: (buoyed by MAP's confidence level and now able to find her voice) User-User Yes!!! User-User-Yes!!!!

(Ms. Sheep quickly realizes that regaining the power of speech doesn't mean she has mastered coherence at this time. She extends her index finger and begins helpfully miming button pushing gestures to lend more meaning to her words.)

MP: I take that to mean you shut off the copier.

MS: User-User...I mean Yes! Yes! I shut off the copier just like Ms. Secretary taught me. I think. Let me look...yes! It is off.

MP: I'm so sorry! I thought I heard Ms. Secretary say she wanted me to shut it off. I didn't mean to startle you like that.

MS: No...wait. Let me look again. Yes. It is off. I did it!

MP: Have I not demonstrated adequate contrition here?

MS: No...I mean yes! I'm just doubting myself now...

MAP: Don't worry. I'm keeping track here. (gets paper and pencil from his desk) That would be Ms. Sheep -1 Mr. Principal- 0.

Yesterday was Friday and picture day. As I waited in line for my turn to be immortalized for posterity and my i.d. badge, I made a point of telling Mr. Principal that I'd told Ms. Secretary how he'd yelled at me. I wished him good luck with that and noted that I'm actually more scared of her than I am of him.

"As well you should be, " he said, "As well you should be..."

I was very much ready to be done with this week and to have a little fun-time. Preferably time that didn't require me to remember shut-down sequences or demonstrate extreme bladder control when very loud principals think I am wasting electricity. Fortunately, I had plans to meet up with my sister-in-law so that we could go with Mommy Sheep to The United Maine Craftsman Show this morning. That is much more relaxing than copying stuff as far as I'm concerned and Mommy Sheep also buys me lunch. She doesn't yell at all.

I was much more conservative in my spending this year. It is, after all, a recession. One must balance the need to support local artisans with the ability to keep the lights on. However, I did manage to snag a couple of Christmas gifts and might even remember where I've hidden them come December. I also gifted myself a bit because I deserve it after all my strife and stuff.

I visited with a favorite potter and picked up a very cool garlic bowl just perfect for bread dipping. I also made a point of dropping by Hilltop Handspun so I could squeeze a skein or two. I love the yarns and the vendor is just about the sweetest thing in the world. She would never yell at me for remembering to turn off the copier.

It's kind of a weird day when you spend more for a skein of yarn than for a hand-made bowl, but I don't begrudge the monies. The heart wants what the heart wants and the artist should be paid accordingly.

It was a lovely day. Even better, SIL Sheep bought me fudge. You can go on and on about that time your SIL gave you a kidney, but I got fudge!!! Fudge!!!! I am not hating on the kidneys or anything...but fudge!!!!!!!

Frankly, it's almost like Thursday never happened. Except for the part where Mr. Assistant Principal gave me that extra point and now I'm saving it to cash in later. I remember that quite clearly. Or how the secretary will probably enforce my payback because she thinks I am rather adorable and whatnot. I also remember how to shut off the copier in the office and know that I will be able to recall that piece of information until the day I die.

Otherwise, I'm completely over it. And I have new stuff. And fudge.



Annie said...

I'm right there with you on the fudge issue, it's my favourite kind of sweet

Mia said...

Sounds like a most excellent day. And yes, indeed.. fudge IS good.


Anonymous said...

I think I like your AP. He (he?) sounds like he has a sense of humor, always a good quality in a superior.

Fudge. Hmmm. (That's "hmmm" as in "yummm")

Karen said...

Fudge is always good. It's one of the most delicious things ever.
Your yarn and bowl are lovely.

trek said...

I'm not so much with the fudge but I am absolutely down with the need to be nice to the secretaries - they run the schools. Ask any dean or principal.

Donna Lee said...

"always be good to the support staff", they can make your life hell on earth. One of my colleagues told me that years and years ago and it's one of the most important lessons I've learned.

Beautiful yarn. I was busy supporting local craftsmen (and animals) this weekend too. Very satisfying.

Kath said...

Pretty bowl. Pretty yarn. But you know what? You had me at fudge.

Knitting Linguist said...

Don't you hate it when administrators accidentally almost make you wet your pants? But the mantra worked out there. I love love love that yarn you bought -- I can see why you needed to come home with it. But I notice that there is no photographic evidence of the fudge?

Anonymous said...

Fudge sounds good, but way to score on the yarn and bowl, which just happen to be in my favorite colors if you ever get bored with them. It sounds like a lovely day to make up for the trials of being back at work.

Elaine said...

You absolutely make my day!!