I had to go to work yesterday. For the first time since June, I walked into the school at which I work. It was hard.
I went for two reasons:
1. I can't seem to check my work email from home (which I need to do in order to prep for a class I have to take in August).
2. In order to drop of a couple of items (tickets for a co-worker, a picture of my son for my principal's "Wall of Hope," and to pick up some books that have been added to next year's curriculum.
The first issue came with the drive. It's been a month since the school year finished, so I had already forgotten how long the drive is from my home to the school. By the time I exited 94 at Snelling, I was almost livid. Having spent so much time at home with my son the last three weeks, I haven't really been out driving with the Minnesota folk.
Here's a quick update: Most Minnesotans still can't drive.
I watched a guy in a Ford truck shoot across four lanes to cut off a 16 wheeler in order to get off the freeway. I watched another person (couldn't see if it was a man or a woman) drive on the shoulder because no one would let his or her car on the freeway.
With anger running through my veins, I entered the school. It was hot. Very hot. Not comfortable.
I started in the office. My principal was gone, so I left the photo with her secretary (who really runs the school, but no one talks about that).
Borrowing a key from the secretary, I headed up to my office (I left my keys with her) to check my work email. As I went, I ran into some of my colleagues who were just standing out in the hallway (there were classes going on, but whatever).
"Hey...did you have to kid?" I was asked.
"Well, seeing as how it's now OVER a month since the due date, it's pretty safe to say yes." I replied.
I showed them the two I had (both of which are in earlier posts).
"He's adorable," I'm told.
"Thanks," I reply.
"So are you miserable?" Another colleague asks.
"Excuse me?" I reply.
"Is he keeping you up all the time? I mean you look good, so either you're relaxed, which means all is well, or you're working extremely hard to make it look like all is well."
"Does it matter which?" I asked.
"Testy, are we?"
"No," I replied. "All is well. The Poozer sleeps through the night. WE have to wake HIM up."
"What?" comes the general consensus.
"That's right. He's great."
I watch my colleagues faces fall, which tells me that they were, in some ways, hoping I was going to be miserable. That tells you a great deal about the people I work with at this school.
Leaving the group, I headed over to my office, which was open as people were working in there. It was then I discovered the real reason I'm pissed.
You see I share a room with other people. My desk is in the corner (away from the door which is perfect, because I can hide then). Now I mentioned before that some people tried to take my desk and area for themselves, but were told they couldn't have it by me and the principal.
Well, when I walked in yesterday, I discovered they didn't listen. All of my boxes had been stacked in a different corner, and my desk had been taken over by someone else. One of the boxes had been opened, and my stapler was missing (I later found it on another desk. My name is even on it, folks). There was also note on one of the boxes that read:
Here's your stuff. It will need to move somewhere else by August 1.
We need the key to your desk so [name protected] can use it.
Needless to say, I am not happy. All of my stuff is now stacked in a corner of the principal's office, and I will not be able to figure out where I am going to be until August.
The problem here is not that I have had my desk usurped, but the fact that the people who did were told not to do it by myself AND the principal...and then did it anyway.
I left a note for the principal. Mine read:
"I don't really care that they moved me out. However, whatever room I end up in, I want that desk. It's my desk, and I will not clean it out.
I have the keys to it as well.
Hope you're having a good summer."
And with that, I left.
That's why reality really sucks. When I'm with my son, it's all clear. I feel at peace around him and my wife. The second I step back into my place of work, I feel that dreariness. Yes, if work were meant to be fun, they would call it Super Action Fun Time, but this is different.
My wife is going to be dropping in on her work next week. I have no doubt that she will get a much different reception. I also have no doubt that her desk and her will have been left untouched.
Am I high on the Totem Pole at work? Oh God no, but remember, the Totem Pole needs the lower people in order to stand up. I'm so damn sick of people thinking they can get away with whatever they want. And I can't believe they waited until I was gone for the Summer.
It doesn't make me want to rush back. Hell, my wife and I have been discussing the idea of me becoming a stay-at-home father. Incidents like this don't make me want to rush back to work.
Of course, what do I know? I'm the homeless teacher now. Can you spare a dime for a cart?