Tuesday, March 22, 2011
My Little Miss Sunshine
I work at a middle school. A week or so ago, it snowed on a Monday. The Sunday night prior, the transportation department said that since we were only expecting a dusting, they were going to watch before salting the streets. It started snowing Sunday night. The next morning, snow was a very messy, slushy snow...four inches of messy slushy snow. The bus drivers couldn't get to work, so there were no buses to pick up the kids. Still, parents sent their little cherubims out to the bus stops. Some of those parents went on to work; others acted surprised when their children returned home one-half hour later as Popsicles. I made it into work, but only one other out of six office staff made it in. I took the front desk. From 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., we received around 300 telephone calls (many of which went to voicemail). By the fifth call, I had the spiel down.
I said in my most pleasant voice, "I'm very sorry that your bus did not show up. Unfortunately, the drivers couldn't make it out of their neighborhoods to go to work. If you have an alternate method of transportation for your child, we would very much appreciate your use of it. No, I am very sorry, there are no buses running this morning. Please don't worry about the tardy. Everyone who is tardy will be excused today because of the transportation problem. I understand...if you have no other means to get your child here, then I guess you should keep them home."
During the first 15 minutes of telephone calls, our intruder alarm went off. All of the students who had made it in to school were directed to the cafeteria and gymnasium for lockdown. The local police were called and all halls and classrooms were swept. It was determined that a malfunction set off the alarm. The next 30 calls were from parents who just received a text from their child that there was an intruder at the school.
My response was "I do appreciate your concern, sir/madam, but the alarm went off as a result of an electrical malfunction. The school has been swept by our administrators and the local police, and no intruder was found. Please be assured that everyone here at the school is safe." I became an expert at this spiel, as well, and could recite it within 25 seconds. This gave me time to answer more telephone calls. The phone lines finally ceased ringing all at once, and we all heaved a sigh of relief!
About an hour later, I received a call from Ed. She was very excited and began speaking as soon as she knew I was on the other end of the line. She said,
"So, this is the stuff that went down today! Katya and Tabitha started driving to school, but since the Ghia is so low to the ground, it got stuck in the snow. So they turned around and came back home. They were crying because they were going to be late. I told them you would let them stay home since there was no bus and Katya's car couldn't get through the snow. That's okay, isn't it? Then, Katya made a doctor's appointment and needed a ride to the office. So, the three of us got into the VW Bus and I started it up. When Katya went to close the side door, it fell off! It was hanging by a single bolt! Man, Dad is going to be so p..... mad! Anyway, we closed it as much as we could and both Tabitha and Katya rolled down the windows and put their arms through so they could hold the door shut. They kept crying and complained that it was cold. Then when I turned left to go into the doctor's parking lot, the door started to fall again and they both screamed! After the longest time at the doctor's, we finally came home and are going to stay in the house for the rest of the day. Can I stay home from school, too?"
Welcome to my world! Thanks so much for stopping by!