Back on the Chain Gang – (MYoM – Part 13)

Today was my first day back at work.

We had all taken off from the school on the last day of our “Post-readying Week” with all sorts of projects in progress: books and materials were strewn all over the classrooms in semi-sorted piles. Catalogs for the half-done schoolbook order were scattered around the computer on the desk and floor. Dishes were rinsed and piled in the sink waiting for the ever slower dishwasher to get done. Stuff left behind by various kids was all over the coatroom and halls and classrooms . . . We all said it was just too hot and we would come back sometime in the next week to put things in order. None of us did.

I arrived this morning for my first day of work fairly fuzzy headed from having tossed and turned for most of the night. I think I got about 2 hours of sleep total. As it turned out, the rest of my colleagues were in a similar condition.

There were quite a few surprises awaiting us. Over the summer the dishwasher had broken down and flooded the kitchen. There was enough mold in the compost pail and the fridge for several new cures for diseases. The door of the school was left unlocked for most of the summer because no one could find the key. The ivy had grown over several of the first floor windows. The answering machine was dead and the WiFi didn’t work.

We got the kitchen in good enough shape to have our first meeting – which only four of us attended because one team member had slipped a disc last week and can hardly move. We aren’t sure when he will be ready to come back. A second colleague informed us that he has a schedule conflict with his other job, so the school week plan we spent four hours on in July has to be redone. We also heard the news that one, or maybe two, kids won’t be attending this year – and that means no budget for shelves for all those piles of materials in the classrooms and no new chairs for the kids. Also no new dishwasher. Or answering machine. It also seems that the only solution for our scheduling problem is for me to come in four mornings a week instead of three, and there is really no budget for that either.

We spent six hours there and the only thing we really accomplished in that time was to compile a list of things we have to do (in the next six days!)

I can hardly believe I am saying this – but it is nice to be back.


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