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June 28, 2005

Ok, this time I think I'm REALLY done...

I made a trip to school today to drop off my last receipts for Summer Academy (have to wait until next week for reimbursement, dammit!) and also ask about my paycheck for the past 3 weeks. See, since we are getting paid by Title 1, not payroll, I thought we would have a check cut as soon as we finished. Well, that's what I get for thinking. Looks like I'll have to wait until my next payday (July 15th) to get that, too. I seriously need it earlier than that and was originally led to believe that would be the case. I've gone without child support for 2 months now and things are getting tight ... but enough complaining. It's just 3 weeks. I've been poor all my life, I can do it a little longer. This may effect my trip up north, though. We'll have to wait and see.

While I was at school, I had to spend my yearly allotment of $300 ... smart me used the Bender-Burkot catalogue which gave me a 25% discount AND free shipping. After fenagling it all until I had spent $299.97, I realized that I didn't add tax. Damn state tax. I had to go back and delete 7% of what I wanted to buy so that my taxed amount didn't go over $300, which meant putting back a nifty three hole punch and some bulletin board borders. I'm disappointed but hey ... at least I got my PO in before the July 1st cut-off and didn't lose my money. I don't even want to think about how much money I lost this year because I didn't spend it in time ... which brings me to another crisis.

The reason I stay so late at work and don't have time to do all the little pencil-pushing jobs, including making out purchase orders in time, is because I DON'T HAVE ANY HELP! Well, technically, I do. On paper it looks like I do. But the help I do have is intermittent and unreliable. Let me illustrate.

One assistant is also the school secretary/payroll person. She comes down to the media center from 8am-8:45 and again from 10am-11:30. Both of these times are times when I have classes so we have very little time to communicate her to do list and, to tell the truth,. lately when I tell her about a to do list, she's less than happy. I just heard today she was looking for another job so she may not be with me next year, which is a bummer because, although we don't always get much accomplished when she is there, she is fun to have around. I had no help from her for the last few days of school and for the entire week of workdays that followed. But she makes me laugh. Hmm ...

Another assistant is our school SIMS operator and is the biggest help to me technically. She comes down to the media center from noonish until 2, while I am at lunch and when I have my afternoon classes. Again, not much of a chance to communicate what I need to get done. She is the most consistent of the two, always making sure she makes up time when she can't make it down but she is also called away from her job with me several times a day, either on the phone or to the office. This year, she has been taking classes and has been overworked and it's showing. She came up to me the other day and told me that she interviewed for a position at Central Office but she doesn't really want it right now. I'm praying she doesn't get it (with her permission), mostly because I'm not quite ready to stand on my own here yet. Next year, though, if she wants to go, I will be so happy for her. She deserves a better job, more money, even though she probably makes quite a bit more than I do ... she's too smart for this position. Her peers don't have half the skills she does. I'm not sure how much she likes working for me, though ... she knows she can't put anything past me. Pretty hard when you're used to being the smartest person on campus.

There is one other person that is 'supposed' to be my assistant. I say 'supposed' because she is really the ISS teacher and she only works in the media center when she has no kids assigned to ISS and on workdays. Unfortunately, for her, working means sitting at a computer and printing out recipes, only getting up to go 'wash her hands', which takes a good 20-30 minutes each time. I swear, an ER nurse doesn't wash her hands as often as this lady. When she is not washing her hands or surfing the Interwebnet, she is talking, loudly, about her daughter or getting married or something that is way to personal to be talking about so loudly. Notice how I didn't mention that she does any work in the media center. Not an oversight. *sigh*

Now, with the first one already hoping to work somewhere else, the other just biding time until she can work somewhere else and the third not doing here or anywhere else and totally content to just show up and collect a paycheck, I'm pretty much on my own. It's a small school but our per student circulation is the highest in the county. I'm tired at the end of the day and really have been looking forward to this summer vacation. When I turned in my PO today, that signified the end of my work for the year, or at least until mid-August. If I go back before then, it's only to pick up my check. Maybe catalog a few books. Oh, and rearranging the media center would be nice. And ... and ...

I know, I know ... it's my vacation and it's about time I started it. Friday night really marked the beginning of it. Yes, the Post-Summer Academy cookout. You thought I would just let that go, didn't you? Hang my head in shame for drinking 5 Cosmos? Well, no, not really. I'm not exactly sure why I did that but I can tell you that it had a little to do with feeling VERY alien there. Ok, the hosts are both teachers at my school (he teaches 3rd, she teaches 5th), they are probably about 30 or so, they have 2 little girls, one who goes to our school and will be in 2nd grade next year. They go on trips. They do stuff. They have 2 cars. She gets her nails done every month. They are doing ok. I was interested in seeing their house but not really looking forward to seeing everything they have that I don't.

I can't help it. I know. One of the 7 deadlies. You don't have to tell me.

I put the kids, a big plate of chocolate chip cookies, and a nice bottle of Shiraz in the car and took off to meet Mike, our PE teacher. We were going to follow him and his wife and baby to their house. Their house is modest but it's theirs ... they both work hard and with a new baby, they have a good little footprint laid out for themselves.

I followed Mike's SUV to their subdivision and had to gulp when we turned into their street. All of these houses were nice ... 2 story, big yards, newer construction. I began getting the willies. We pulled up in front of their house, the neatest, prettiest one on the street, and I began to regret my decision to not drink anything. By the time we had walked around to the back yard where everyone was, I pretty much realized that I would be drinking that night ... or I would be leaving very early ... and since their oldest daughter had invited my daughter and specifically asked her to bring her bathing suit, I figured leaving would not be an option.

So I drank. I drank a Harp Lager as I stood next to the barbecue, talking to him about his students and watching the guys get into a rousing game of boccee ball. Oh, I wanted to join them. I would have wiped the lawn with them. But I wasn't asked.

A little while later, Nancy, one of our 3rd grade teachers, made a pitcher of Cosmopolitans and I figured "What the hell. One won't hurt." and boy, was I right. It didn't hurt at all.

What did hurt was everyone else getting drunk. After dinner, when we were standing around watching yet another round of boccee, I asked Missy what she and Carmen and another girl were talking about. She said something to the effect that it was just for people their age, not my age. When I began saying something about not being that old, she said, and I quote "You could be my mother." in front of everyone. Not exactly true, since she is 29 and I'm 41 and, well, ok, technically, I could be her mother since I got my period when I was 12 but THAT IS BESIDES THE POINT.

It hurt. It hurt that one of the people that I consider to be my closest ally at school would talk to me like that, drunk or not, kidding or not. It hurt that she did it in front of everyone else. It hurt that, a few minutes later, the three girls asked Debbie (a 4th grade teacher with a son graduating from COLLEGE) to play boccee with them and not me. I should have left then. I should have just thanked my hosts, complimented them on their lovely house and crawled out of there with my tail between my legs.

If I had done that, though, I wouldn't have been able to get drunk, which was what I wanted more than anything at that very moment. I went into the house and poured myself a second, then a third Cosmo and went exploring their house. Very nice, I have to say. Lots of nice details. Very much like my taste but a little more frou-frou. Yes, I was fully coveting at this point.

I retired to the porch where most of the crowd seemed to be gathering with my 4th Cosmo in my hand and sipped away as I listened to everyone chatting and laughing. I plastered a smile on my face as I watched Missy and everyone else get themselves drunk. I poured myself a 5th one about the time Missy had so embarrassed herself in front of everyone that she felt like she had to leave. Yup, that's what being 29 will get you, girlie, I thought.

Things had mellowed pretty much when I gathered the kids together to leave about an hour later. Oddly enough, I wasn't drunk. I wasn't nearly as self-conscious as I had been earlier but I'm not sure if that was because Missy was gone or I just didn't care anymore. We found our way home (YEAH, I KNOW!! TOTALLY WRONG OF ME TO DRIVE AFTER HAVING DRINKS) and once I stepped into the house, it all hit me, like a wave. I didn't get weepy but I was morose and sleepy, actually drunk. It was probably a good thing that I couldn't do anything but blog and send a few drunken emails that night. I probably would have gotten myself in trouble.

Underneath the gloominess that settled over me was a solid layer of anger. I don't get out much. When I finally do get out, I was embarrassed by my supposed friend. Good thing I won't see her until August.

Beneath the anger is shame. I'm ashamed I fell back on old habits when I was in that situation. I hardly drink anymore. Drinking, in my family, is a hobby. I don't want that hobby. Drinking will not solve anything, not even temporarily. It didn't make it easier for me to hear my friend tell me I'm too old to be her friend. It didn't make it easier to visit their 'perfect' life ... if anything, it made it worse when I came home.

Beneath that shame is regret. I regret I couldn't just be 'one of the gang' and not see everything so clearly when everyone else is obviously oblivious. I regret wishing I had what they have. What I have is ok. I'm working on it ... and it's a million times better than what I had one year ago ... two years ago ... good lord, 5 years ago. I don't regret going ... I had to do that, if only to make sure that I could.


Projects/obsessions I'll be working on this summer.

Audioscrobbler: just signed up and I think it will be interesting to see just how screwed up my profile can get when I use random shuffle through my entire library.

Summer Classes: No, not through ECU but some online classes I signed up for through the tech department. I have 10 weeks to do at least 3. I'm going to try to do as many as possible. Nothing like getting a free education on some applications that I haven't had a chance to use before.

CSS: Dammit! I WILL learn this before the summer is over. I would love to have this site converted to a new design by August, like Prosemonkey.

Karate: I'll be testing for my yellow belt soon. Shoot me now!

more to be added, I just can't think of any more tonight ...

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Prosemonkey published on June 28, 2005 8:17 PM.

Don't we all want happy endings? was the previous entry in this blog.

Silence and how we hear it... is the next entry in this blog.

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