Saturday, August 20, 2005

Paper pushing and pomposity

So I had an intensive class with a private student yesterday, seven hours of English instruction crammed into one day. Thank God the student is affable and somewhat interesting or I'd be drinking at lunchtime. Anyway, the class is in one of the schools that I take contracts from. It's unusual to give classes at the school, as usually we are dispatched to the workplace of the students to give the lessons. So I'm there yesterday and the head honcho at the school approaches me and says, "Torn, where are the evaluations for these three students from your group last spring?" (I had taken over the class from another teacher and taught the last five weeks of the course. Out of 12 students, I never met three of them as they didn't attend the last five weeks of class.) "Oh, when I turned in the evals, I left a note describing the reason why an evaluation for these students was missing. Namely, because I never met them, so how can I evaluate them." I said, trying not to be annoyed by bullshit beaurocracy. "Well, what you do is fill out the evaluation sheet and write N/A and mark 0 for classes attended, we need that for our records." he says, thrusting the evaluation sheets in my hand.

So I took the three sheets, wrote the three students names, wrote N/A and 0 and signed and dated the form. Took me about a minute, shorter than the time it took to have that little exchange about the missing evaluations. I think it was probably revenge for the nasty email I sent to the head honcho a couple of months ago. Here let me go look for that. Ah yes, here it is, they lock the door during the secretary's breaks and lunch hour, but the closing times vary.

I stopped by today, once again though, the time I could stop by to pick up some forms, the office was closed. You know I'm trying to figure out when the office is closed, but it seems to change. Last week, lunch was 1245-1345, but today, it's 1230-1330. What gives? Can we please have some consistency, and how is it good business practice to close the office during business hours anyway? Part of running a good business is satisfying customers and employees. Am I the only one frustrated that I can't swing by in my tight schedule, because I can never know when Secretary's morning break is and now the vague lunch hours. How hard would it be to have someone cover the desk when Secretary is out? (Additionally, students have found this strange when attending classes at the center.)
You'll have to forgive me, but really, there should be some consistency there.

Incidentally, I never received a response to this email. (I agree it was a bit bitter and whiny,) But now it seems the response was just a long time coming and in the veiled form of asking me to fill out three pieces of paper that I'm fairly sure will be filed and never looked at again.

This is also the problem with me and bosses. (I spent many years being a boss, and I excelled at it, though I loathed it in the end.) If they can comment on my performance, I have no problem commenting on theirs. (Last summer, in a hostile exchange between me and the restaurant manager, I followed her into the kitchen waving my finger at her and saying "It's bad management plain and simple, you have a successful business despite your poor management skills." I'll blog it one day.)

But bosses don't like that, now do they? (And maybe this is why I've been called a pompous asshole more than once. Hmm.)


ScaryCheri said...

"If they can comment on my performance, I have no problem commenting on theirs."


I've been in employment situations where I apparently intimidated my supervisors to the point that I would end up showing them how their job SHOULD be done and in the end I would be the one DOING their job, but for much lower happy ending to that sort of situation (Other than the last time it happened and I ended up cracking and telling the owner and the rest of the crew to fuck off, that felt good...stupid, but felt good).

I must say though...anyone who ever waggles their finger in my face in a shame shame kinda way had better be prepared to have said finger broken.

r said...

How funny you used "plain and simple" in two very different posts this week.

I love when you show your whiny side... you aren't so zen after all.

Our wonderful vice principal (who keeps our high strung principal on an even keel) just got hired at another junior high. I hope things aren't going to go horribly with my head honcho this year.