Well, I have never been so pleased to hear a typhoon was coming. I don’t remember how many twelve-hour days had preceded this one but I was exhausted. Genuinely reaching the end of my tether. A mixture of insane scheduling, a lack of realisation by management that sleep and food is a requirement for the human body and a particular type of colleague who just the other day was tempting fate and his own potential demise.
I’m not the only one to consider it, there is a consensus in the office that one of us will pop him off, help him to meet his maker or guide him to the bucket that needs to be kicked. It’s the method that will give the murderer away. Choose your weapon and await the perfect moment .
You know the types, an excuse for everything, an inability to turn up on time or complete anything. Which in turn means that on top of your already solid teaching schedule you have to pick up one of his at short notice because;
a) his alarm clock didn’t work,
b) he set lots of alarms but he just didn’t hear any of them,
c) medical problems, a new one for every day,
and my personal favourite…
d) an emotional crisis that means he couldn’t possibly come to work that day!!!
And on top of all this, he shouts at local teachers and TA’s, is a self-appointed know it all, and believes everyone is entitled to his opinion. I suppose I am quite fortunate that at the moment he has realised he is not my favourite person and is keeping a suitable distance. This may be attributed to the fact that I am not one of the subtlest people ever to walk the earth.
The most recent occurrence, of which there has been many, far too many, was on my busiest day. With only the first hour to spare and having come into work an extra hour and a half early, as soon as business opened in fact, I was setting up for what was about to be an insane day. Not only did I have a six-hour teaching day but in the gaps we had squeezed not just one but eight parents meetings. It was going to be crazy and with a pot noodle sat in preparation, for what I guessed would be a twenty-minute lunch at best, I was getting ready.
And then there he was, a lurking boss with a look of chaotic frustration… never a good sign, and on noticing a moment to jump in he informed me he was sorry and that he knew it was very short notice but…
These words are never going to give me joy. Said colleague had just called in, already two minutes of first class had passed, the boss would cover the first five minutes while I prepped a lesson and the co-teacher would inform me of the topic I was teaching. Great! So I did. Wasn’t happy, but I cobbled together a lesson for a class I in fact don’t even teach, no familiarity with the material or the students. So I’m teaching to the best of my ability, about twenty minutes in, and who decides to turn up but the wayward teacher!
“Oh hello, you’re here. Would you like to cover this class?”
I was stunned. NO actually sunshine, YOU can teach YOUR class!!!
And with that I had to leave the class, after giving clear instructions and of course with all the style and grace I could muster. The rest of my day was pure chaos and I near passed out at the end, a leaving meal and a drink and then face planting my bed.
Two days later, a typhoon warning, classes cancelled so paperwork ensued and then being sent home because of weather conditions. It’s actually quite nice, we are still waiting on the typhoon we think, but at least we got a two-day weekend and some sleep and time to enjoy a cup of tea or two, ready to start all again!