Monday, March 13, 2006

Ramblings for the Morning (3/13/06)

I'm not a happy camper right now.
Yes, it's Monday, and there should be mail, but the mail sent to me was mostly...pathetic (I won't talk about certain former morning anchors anymore, and hatemail is BORING).
So, you get Ramblings instead. How is it that I can ramble at almost ten in the morning...on a school day? Well, this is my prep. Instead of grading, which I need to do, I'm writing. I'm too angry to grade right now. I might write something I regret.
Snow Daze:
I get it. It snows up here in Minnesota. Yes, it's true that I am from the East Coast, and we get snow as well, but not like this.
Let me cover a few things here, folks, that are just really angering me today.
1. The plows. I should have taken a picture the other day, because it is covered now, but ONCE AGAIN, the plows hit my lawn and DESTROYED the front. They even took out a sprinkler head.
2. Driving. You would think Minnesotans would be used to this kind of weather. I've been here only five years, and I have no problem, but it took me an hour and ten minutes to go from my home to school. Normally, even on the worst days, it's only 30-40 minutes. People spun out in front of me, people slammed on their brakes when a car merged two lanes over. It was ridiculous, and quite dangerous. Why isn't there more done in driving schools to prepare Minnesotans for this?
3. My school district. Sigh. We're open today. So is Minneapolis. That's it. EVERYONE else is closed. We had many buses just not show up today. In my first hour class, which usually has 30 kids, I had 12. 12!!! Those kids went through the lesson with me, but inevitably I am going to have to re-teach it tomorrow, because 18 kids were missing. Nevermind the fact that teachers are missing (mysteriously the guy who lives across the street is unable to get out of his house...sigh), and nevermind that I was almost run over walking across my parking lot. Oh, and it was by a bus. I saw the headline flash through my mind as the yellow came closer. "High school teacher run over by bus. 'Ironic death,' proclaimed the AP."
With more snow on the way and more buses telling us they don't feel safe enough to drive, why are we still here?
It's not fair to the kids or the teachers.
Ok, rant over.
Panera Follies:
When you go to a restaurant, you get to see the things about life that both fascinate and frustrate. My wife and I went for brunch at Panera yesterday (and finally went grocery shopping for the first time in three weeks following) and saw a plethora of social faux pas (I can't spell. Michele, is this right?). Let's start with our entrance. Upon entering the lovely restaurant, we got in line to order. As we were about to step to the counter, a woman, who had been looking over the pastries like a hawk seeing a chick, stepped in front of me and started ordering. Now, the clerk behind the counter said, "Ma'am, they were here first." The response?
"Oh, well, they don't mind. Now, I want...."
"Actually, I do mind," I replied.
"Yeah, get in line, lady," my wife said.
At this point the four people behind my wife and I start chirping as well. "What are you doing, come on, etc." The woman just stares at us.
"Why do you hate me?" she asks. At this point, my wife and I turn and lock eyes knowing full well that this lady is crazy. If you cut people off, and then ask why people are angry, you're either totally oblivious, or damn crazy. I picked crazy. She turned around and started ordering again. Luckily, the other clerk beckoned us over. All five couple/people were done ordering before this lady. She then sat on the floor and waited for her food. Not a table, the floor.
My next favorite part came with the lady behind me. As I waited for my wife's hot chocolate, I listened as this woman tried to talk on her cell phone and order food.
"So Darren then said it was wasteful. Yeah, I'll have a Fandango salad. Wait...Oh not you (indicating the clerk) I was talking to her (indicating the phone)." This went on for a while. I could see the veins in the clerk's neck starting to swell with anger. Have we truly become a society where manners are totally forgotten in place of convenience? How hard is it to just say, "Hey, I'll call you back in a minute after I order," or something like that? This woman never got off her phone. She talked to the other person on the line for over a half an hour at least (the amount of time my wife and I were there). It's rude. I understand that people get lonely, but it's so rude. I get pissed when my students text in my class. Why? They aren't paying attention. They are disrespectful then and that's how I felt about this woman on the phone.
The final fun part of this societal observation came when I took our trays to the trash. As I walked across the place, a man in a nice suit was turning circles. I was unsure what he was looking for at the time. It turned he couldn't find the trash can, but more on that later. So, I'm walking by, and he puts his fork and plate on my tray and says, "Here, you can take this for me."
Let me reiterate something. The last time I checked, I'm a teacher. Maybe not the best teacher, but a teacher. I don't work at Panera Bread (or St. Louis Bread Co, which is how I know it). Now, when I learned that this guy was unable to find the trash, I still was pissed. Rather than say, "Excuse me, I cannot find the trash can, can you help me?" This guy says, "Here, you can take this for me." I REALLY wanted to smack him. He had this smug smile that was close to a shit-eating grin and just pissed me off. Instead, I took his fork and plate and went over to the trash can. Then I said, "The plate goes here, and the fork goes here," quite loudly. I noticed he was ignoring me and was back with his dining party (or it what you will). So, I walked over to him, coughed, and held out my hand. "What do you want?" he asked.

"My tip," I responded. "I mean, I did just take your plate and fork over for you. I deserve compensation now."
He just stared at me. My wife, who saw this happening, called me over in order to avoid trouble.
"I guess," she said, "I can't take you anywhere." That's about right.
UPDATE! (8:05 PM)
When I got home from work today, I could not get into my driveway. The plow had come around again and was either not paying attention or reads my blog. My driveway was completely blocked by (and I measured it) a four foot tall snow bank. Starting at 4:30, I shoveled my driveway until my neighbor could get the snow blower working, then I did the rest of the driveway, cut off about half of the snow bank so we could get in and out, cleaned my other neighbor's driveway, cleared a path for my mailman, and then cleaned the machine. The best part? I feel down the edge of my driveway TWICE. The second time I hit the back of my head. I still hear a ringing, and my vision is slightly blurry.
Oh, and I found out that Minneapolis canceled school as well leaving St. Paul as the ONLY district in school today. Sigh.
I need to get off the computer now. My eyes are starting to hurt.


cat said...

I am sorry that things are going so shitty for you. Even when you go out to eat they gang up on you. Yes, I am afraid that people with manners are a rare breed indeed. I hope your day gets better!

Voix said...

No no no! I was in school all day too! They cancelled after school and we had a two hour late start, but I was at work all day.

Here's my student count:
1st hour: 9
2nd hour: 8
3rd hour: 2
4th hour: 4
5th hour: 8

Yeah. Got a lot of work done, but the kiddies were all doing "filler" stuff because I couldn't do my regular lessons with that.

I will now cast a terrible curse on the plowmen for wiping out your front lawn.

(and you did spell faux pas correctly, btw.)

Laura said...

I don't know what school district Michele works for, but I found out that St. Louis Park had school today as well, but they still had a two-hour delay, unlike St. Paul.

Dennis said...

You need to move down South, I will gladly help you find a place. No Snow, very few rude people (those are usually Northerners < sorry, but its true>) And we need top notch teachers.