Jennifer Teacher aka The Ball Buster

So, I went to work today in a good mood. Last night, Joe and I had Amanda on the podcast and it was fun. I actually got to talk a little knitting. Not much, because we had already run about 90 minutes longer than intended, as we do every week, but whatever. We’ve pretty well established that neither of us is capable of thinking a thought that we don’t utter. So, Amanda and I kept the knit-talk (is that knittish?) brief.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow are “event days” at school, so I was in a good mood about that as well. Just one little meeting to get through. I’m sure you can see the fly in the ointment already.

About a week (maybe two) ago, all teachers were given a form to fill in showing what lessons they had remaining in each textbook for the next ten weeks. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the results of our labors and any adjustments that needed to be made. To give you an idea of the amount of work involved, one teacher started doing hers about an hour before the meeting and finished on time.

However, another teacher came in 90 seconds before the meeting and we had the following conversation:

Him: “Um… I haven’t finished the paperwork for the meeting.”

Me (not surprised, since he generally starts any paperwork on the due date): “Well, just bring what you have so we can discuss that.”

Him: … (Deer in the headlights with crickets chirping in the background.)

Me: “Did you not finish or not begin?”

He hemmed and hawed and apologized, but this was pretty much the end of the conversation. I’m about as non-confrontational as they come, but his stuff is always late and this particular paperwork required little actual work to do. However, that’s all I said. Really.

So, the meeting starts a few minutes later and when we took out our paperwork to get started, he started crying. I felt like complete shit until I rewound the conversation in my head. I don’t think I was overly harsh, insomuch as I didn’t actually scold him.

Later my boss pulled me aside and asked if I was the reason he cried. She then thanked me for putting the fear of God in him about getting it done. Yeah, nothing like tears to let me know I’ve done a good job.

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