Thursday, April 28, 2005

Guest bloggers wanted

Would anyone be interested in joining my guest blogging team while I'm on hols for part of May? If so, please leave a comment (including your email address) or email me. Anyone who has guest blogged for me in the past is welcome, as are those who haven't and also lurkers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

No meeting, but progress.

I walked in to work yesterday and Smileroid said, ‘How are you?’ I didn’t answer. He went on to say, ‘I got your reply to Pompous Ponce’s email, so I know how you are.’ I said, ‘Can you blame me?’ to which he replied, ‘I totally understand.’ The rest of the idiots my colleagues think I’m making a storm in a teacup out of this, but the Friday situation was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had had enough.

Bosswoman emailed me yesterday afternoon and told me that something had come up and she couldn’t be at our school tomorrow for a late afternoon meeting (the only time I have for meetings on Tuesdays). I then called her and explained a bit of what had gone on. She was quite shocked to learn about what she had missed, and I was quite surprised to learn that Bossman hadn’t relayed past problems to her. She asked me to email her some of the details, so I did. A bit later, she emailed me to say that she’d come up in the morning, talk to Pompous Ponce and then drive back to our other school (two hours south) in time for her meeting.

So far, I’m satisfied with the progress that’s being made, and am quite pleased that BW sees this as being as important as I do.

**** Update 21h35 ****

Something has happened because Pompous Ponce refused to talk to me this evening. I’m still waiting to hear from Bosswoman about it.

Monday, April 25, 2005

A meeting with the REAL boss

Friday’s email situation was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I have scheduled a meeting with Bosswoman for tomorrow afternoon. I had originally hoped to meet with both Bossman and Bosswoman, but BM will be on hols next week so it’ll have to be Bosswoman. I plan on making it perfectly clear that I consider talking to one of them like talking to both so that she understands that I don’t feel like I’m going over Bossman’s head (they’re equal partners). However, when one wants to get something done at our school, BW is the one to talk to. BM flounders and is very non-confrontational, but BW gets the job done.

Luckily, I have my blog to take notes from.

I’m planning on talking to her about:
  • Pompous Ponce’s arrogance and lack of respect for his colleagues;

  • Office stupidity.

Have I missed anything?

Friday, April 22, 2005

My tolerance is wearing thin.

Email from Pompous Ponce to all staff
Please find enclosed a provisional copy of the proposed Peer Observation Form, as discussed at Wednesday´s meeting. Please note that the form has been cunningly devised to avoid any possibility of gleefully destroying a fellow teacher´s lesson, no matter how much you want to (MrTeacher).
My reply to all:
I respectfully disagree with your slander of my name (hence tainting the attitudes of others) and demand an apology to the group you've emailed this to, including Bossman and Bosswoman (whom you've (oddly) omitted from your email distribution list). I would never purposely degrade a fellow teacher and am quite insulted that you think I would.
**** Update ****

The sad thing is that now I'm getting slagged by colleagues for sending my reply to everybody, which I only did because he had sent his to everybody.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I've just about had enough!

Nice Spanish Teacher was ill (yet again) yesterday, and Young Secretary caught me as I came out of my 7h30 – 9h class and asked me to substitute for him for his 10h05 – 10h50 class. She had an odd way of doing it, though. She appeared at the door of the classroom and had a big smile on her face. Here’s how the conversation went:

YS: ‘Hi, best friend’
MrT: ‘Oh no, what do you want?’
YS: ‘Well….’
MrT: ‘Whatever it is, the answer is no.’
YS: ‘NST is ill and I need you to fill in.’
MrT: ‘I have fifteen exams that need to be corrected by tomorrow morning and we now have a teachers’ meeting to attend, cutting into my time. The answer is NO.’
YS: ‘Great, thanks for doing it. ’
*YS leaves*

I think somehow she missed the point, but I taught the class since she was in a difficult situation. Perhaps I can use it as a bit of leverage in the future (it’s almost time to ask for a raise).

After teaching the class, I went down to the office and asked Bossman if NST would be back on Wednesday. I was told that they didn’t know, but was asked to teach the same class today if he wasn’t. The said they’d know around 16h. Fair enough, as that would have been enough advance notice for me to plan properly.

It’s now 6h on Wednesday morning, and I still don’t know if I’m teaching the bloody class or not. No one in the office ever got back to me about it. I called Bossman’s mobile yesterday evening, but only got his voice mail. I left a message telling him that I needed to know as soon as possible and still haven’t heard back (he's probably doing his 'ignore it and it'll go away' routine again).

Fine. Sod them and their bleedin’ class! If NST is ill again today, I'm not teaching it! Perhaps this’ll be a lesson to them that they can’t treat teachers like this!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What's one more?

We are extremely busy at work this week. Pompous Ponce, Smileroid, New Girl and I are all working much longer hours than normal. So what does Bossman do?

He throws in a bloody teachers’ meeting first thing Wednesday morning!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Out to get me?

Secretary from Hell might have it in for me.

Last week I had to arrange new times for a couple of lessons with two students for this week. So, I brought them into the office, requested Secretary from Hell to come over to timetable board and arranged new times (during my afternoon breaks) with the students. SfH then returned to her computer terminal so that she could input what we had manually done into the timetable in the computer.

Instead of remembering what we had done, she asked them the exact times and dates again. Fair enough, she might have wanted to make sure that she had the correct information. The students then left.

Ten minutes later Bossman returned to the office, and SfH ran over to him. She told him that I had been reorganising lessons with students and not telling the secretaries, and for him to inform me that I was required to do that from now on. She made no mention of the fact that we had made the new arrangements with her standing there and her approval.

Does this warrant a declaration of war?

**** Update 19 April 05 ****
I saw the two above-mentioned students yesterday, and they both told me how rude SfH had been to them as well as me. I casually mentioned to them that they might want to share that information with BM.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Cheers, Rob.

Rob from Honestly, I'm sober! has hung up his blogging pen. I was a frequent reader of his blog and will miss stories of the young man's adventures and trying to find his way in life. He'll still be maintaining a web presence at GoonerUK, albeit a blogless one.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Mind your own business

Last Friday I called Young Secretary on her mobile phone from a phone in the office (despite what happens at work, YS and I have been good friends ever since I've been working for our school). She was on holiday (but still in town) and had told me to call her on Friday to make plans to meet up for a beer at the weekend. After I got off the phone with her, Secretary from Hell asked why I had called her (even though she had heard the conversation and knew why I had), to which I replied, ‘Why not?’ SfH said, ‘She’s on holiday and you shouldn’t bother her,’ to which I added (in a slightly irritated tone), ‘Right. YS and I are good friends [something she's well aware of] and I’ll call her whenever I bloody well want to, not just when you think I should.’

Is there any wonder why she’s being quite unpleasant to me this week?

Friday, April 08, 2005

The three ring circus continues

Clown claims that one of his classes lacks motivation, so he had an idea. He tracked Bossman down in the kitchen and asked him if he could teach his students to spin plates during the lessons to ‘break up the monotony of language learning’. Bossman looked at him and said, ‘I don’t think a company that has as many classes with us as theirs does would be very happy if they found out we were teaching their employees plate spinning instead of English’, and walked out of the room.

Smileroid and I just happened to be sitting in the kitchen when this conversation took place and could barely contain our laugher at the absurdity of the idea.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Poetic Justice

Bossman asked me if I wanted to take over class H today. He said that it wasn't working out with that class and Pompous Ponce. I smiled on the inside and politely told him that I didn't have time for another four hours a week, and also that I didn't want to give up any of my classes to make room for class H. He then said, 'I don't have anyone else I could give it to', so I asked him about giving it to Smileroid. He said that that might work.

Coincidentally enough, this is the same class that PP claimed gave him a standing ovation in December.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Someone else gets to experience the idiocy

Smileroid was more than a bit upset yesterday evening when we finished work, so I asked him what was wrong. He then told me that last Friday he had been told (by the office) he'd be teaching a new evening class on Mondays. It was supposed to be a class of two students, both of which were zero (complete) beginners. He tried to get more info (their names, if they wanted business or general English, etc), but couldn't. He asked Young Secretary for more information yesterday and she replied, 'Go away. Don't bother me now', while she was typing a letter. What finally happened? SEVEN students showed up, some of which weren't zero beginners.

There he was....a class of seven students of varying lower levels, enough photocopies for two and the names of none.

I told him that his initiation to our school was now complete.

Friday, April 01, 2005

April Fools

Big n Juicy has got to have the best April Fool's joke of any blogger ever.

(found via d4d)