Saturday, October 24, 2009

Let the Pen Speaketh

I have been known to put pen to paper in order to have my voice heard. This year, school's been bad in many ways. The kids? Hell, I can deal with them. You make nice-nice, you get to know them, you engage their attention, you make them see how much you care.

Whammo. They love you back and will do whatever you ask.

It's the adults with whom I have reached my limit.

Take a look-see at the letter I sent, on Friday,to the school board chair in my city.

Dear Mr. School Board Chair Guy,

I am alarmed about several issues teachers within Name of My City Schools are currently facing. Among my greatest concerns is my current situation involving a report I made for workman’s compensation after I was injured while working earlier this month.

I arrived for an appointment to see a Name of My City Schools workman’s compensation-approved doctor, Dr. Quack, yesterday afternoon in order to be assessed for an injury which occurred while I was breaking up a fight at Name of my Middle School.

I took a half day of sick time in order to attend the appointment. I had been told that I was the first appointment of the day, would be seen promptly, and would be able to make my next appointment within plenty of time. I was not seen until almost 30 minutes after my arrival. My consult with the doctor lasted all of 10 minutes and consisted of him looking at x-rays I brought with me from my primary care physician by holding them up to the light in the ceiling and of me being asked to take my arm out of a sling, raise and lower my arm, and push my hand against the doctor’s hand. Dr. Quack told me I shouldn’t be in a sling, had a contusion to my shoulder, and should be moving my shoulder in order to “gain mobility.” These comments were made while he took note that I am only able to raise my arm in one direction 20% of what a healthy arm and shoulder is capable. He told me to complete pendulum and wall-walking exercises and to come see him again on Monday, October 26. In order to do so, I will have to take another half day of sick time as well as prepare plans for a substitute.

I had an appointment, previously scheduled through a referral by my primary care physician, with Dr. Who Knows What He's Doing at Name of my City Orthopedic directly following my appointment with Dr. Quack. Again, I brought along my x-rays which were looked at by Dr. Who Knows What He's Doing prior to his arrival to my examination room. I was chastised for not wearing the sling provided to me by my primary care physician and was told I had to wear it because I couldn’t move my arm and was using my neck and shoulder blades to support my arm. Dr. Who Knows What He's Doing said I should neither bear weight nor complete any exercises on my right side at this time. He also ordered an MRI in order to get a better picture of the possibility of a deep bone bruise, possible break not showing on the x-rays, and other injuries associated with my ligaments.

I am dismayed that two doctors would have such conflicting diagnoses and treatment plans. When this injury first occurred I didn’t report it because I’ve dealt with many situations like this during my tenure at Name of my Middle School and always bounced back after a short time. I did the best I could in a volatile situation by diffusing the fight between two students and redirecting them to their classes. I reported my injury after realizing that my shoulder was continuing to worsen and was met with what I took as doubt from Nurse Ratchet, the employee nurse who handled my report.

Through my contacts with Nurse Ratchet and Dr. Quack I can only conclude that there is doubt and mistrust in the teachers and their reporting of injuries with the city schools. Additionally, the care provided to those of us who have incurred injuries as a result of our employment in the city schools is substandard and arbitrary. I will continue to use my own insurance and sick days as a result of this experience so that I don’t lose use of my right shoulder. According to Name of my City Schools, teachers are Priority Three. My recent experience leads me to believe it is even lower than that.

My Damn Name
Teacher of the Year 2009
Name of my Middle School
Name of my City Schools

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fuck Surprises

My Mother in Law decided to blow into town.

How did I find out about this? Thursday afternoon as I was rushing out of work to make it to Butter's Back to School Night, the Pack Mule called to let me know. How did he find out? She fucking sent him a text. Who sends a text to let someone know they're coming into town FROM STATES AWAY?

This woman lives in fucking Florida (thank you, God) for cripe's sake. FLORIDA. I'm in VIRGINIA. This isn't some couple of hour drive to "stay overnight."

He told me she'd be here Tuesday. Fine. A few day's to prepare myself to see the Drunk Grandmother (AS IF she really fits that moniker) of the Year.


Got the call from the Pack Mule on FRIDAY evening when he was leaving work. "She's here. She's in town."

Are you fucking kidding me? No prep time? Nothing?

I had to have lunch with her at the Pack Mule's place of work yesterday. Why? I wouldn't have it at MY HOUSE. Nope. If I can reduce the amount of time this fucktard spends at my home, I WILL DO IT.

Misery. She is misery.
She complained the ENTIRE TIME.
About everything.
Her daughter.
Her "friend."
Her life in general.

The "friend?" Yeah. Another drunk. The Pack Mule's mother sanctimoniously attempted to talk shit about her friend being a bad mom, she drinks too much, blah blah blah. Dude? Hello?Pot. Kettle. Black. And we're not talking about the fucking hue of your skin either, sister.

I finally said, "You know what? I have found that confronting someone about alcohol and drug abuse when that someone isn't willing to even look at her behavior is just a lost cause." I stared at her coldly with a gleam in my eye. She shut her drunk-ass mouth about THAT.

Today will be yet another day of me attempting to be civil when I really want to punch her in the head.

I may have to take some of my anti-nausea meds. The Rx kind. Why?

I'm not pregnant. I'm just literally SICKENED when I have to watch how she stares at my son as if she had some magical connection, some universal link with how he's turned out.

Lady? You have seen him all of seven times since he's been born. All of those times you've either been buzzed or dead-ass drunk. Do you honestly believe you've had a hand in anything positive? For real?

Go back to Florida. Drink yourself to death. And be done with it.

The best news? (This is cold-hearted. But I'm not about to lie here. C'mon. You know me better than that.)

She told me that her kidney functions are fucked up. I asked her about the numbers and meds she's on to get an idea of HOW fucked up. They're fucked up. She kept going round and round about how the doctors "just can figure out why I'm having these issues."

Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that you drink a GALLON of wine each day and chase that wine with BEER? Do you THINK????????????

Renal failure without treatment of any kind is quick. I told her that to her face. I reminded her that my Dad lasted all of 10 days once his kidneys failed. That's it. I said it with a straight face and followed up with, "So if you're telling me that even though they've mentioned dialysis and you're refusing that option - you should know that it won't take long to die from this. At least you won't be suffering from a long death as a result of lung cancer from all those cigarettes you smoke. There's a positive, right?"

You could have heard crickets. Love that.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Target Snack Bar - Meeting of the Minds

An evening at Target has become one of those predictable moments for Butter and me since school started. My Pack Mule's schedule's been changed during the past six weeks to reflect an even LATER end time.

By Friday, I'm usually sapped of any energy but know that I must pick up necessities before heading home. What's a mom to do?

Drag her ass to Target.

This past Friday Butter and I went there with two things on our list: milk and a Halloween movie.

After snagging both of them, we headed to the almighty snack bar. We shared popcorn and a pretzel. (That fucking popcorn machine? Money in the bank. For real. For Target.) I have seen more popcorn fly out of that place than at a movie theater.

There was one guy on duty who was having a tough time keeping up with everything because the smoothie machine was on the fritz. When things finally calmed down he was cleaning and straightening things up in an effort to catch up. Butter kept asking me what he was doing, why, etc.

Finally, I said, "Do you want to go help him?"

He looked at me as though I was a loon who'd recently retched up my anti psychotic meds and replied, "Mommmmmmmmmm. I don't have a JOBBBBBB."

Thanks for clearing that up, kid. Setting me on the straight and narrow. Yeah.

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