I am still incensed as I type this. And a whole twenty-four hours has passed. A cooling off period. During which I became even more heated. My blood is boiling. I am hot to trot. In the way my teaching buddy, Mabel uses that expression. Not in a good way.
I have been falsely accused of having the worst room at my end of the hall!
That is poppycock! I take exception. The retired room-cleaner, Ret, used to tell me I had the BEST room on that end of the hall. "You can tell," he philosophized, "which teachers let their kids run wild, and which ones make them mind. You never have paper wads and broken pencils all over the floor. I hardly have to sweep." Ahh...that dear man. I am almost sorry I complained about him sucking ten minutes per day out of my plan time to chat. He could, you see. Because he didn't have to sweep. That once-around-the-room swipe with the short mop that he did every day, whether it needed it or not. Forget going between the rows. That was totally uncalled for. And if, on some fluke, there was a used Band-Aid or an earring-back under a desk, he fished it out during his revolution.
But now, oh, NOW I have become Public School Enemy Number One! It all started as I was leaving on Friday. I knew it was time, because Cus, the new cleaner, was pacing in the hall. We are in the way if we remain past 3:10. There are floors to mop and rooms to sweep and personal items to go through. Oops! Did I say that? I'm not implying that anything has disappeared, other than my laptop keyboard mousy roller dealybobber. Only that boundaries are crossed. But we won't go there today, what with me feeling so sullied already.
"I was going to have you put up your chairs so I could mop," said Cus. "But I don't think I'll have time. Those black marks are driving me crazy. Your room is the WORST!"
By this time, I was already halfway down the hall. I could barely turn my head to respond, what with the hair on the back of my neck all raised up to defend myself. "I take full responsibility!" I called over my shoulder. Some well-versed in the passive-aggressive style of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom might have detected a note of sarcasm in her tone.
"Oh. It's not your fault." A statement that sounded a bit too half-hearted to me. "You need feet on your chairs."
"Yeah. For however long they would last." I was not implying that I would allow my charges to rip them off and fling them willy-nilly in a rousing classroom game of noggin'-knockin', until the time when all chairs were footless, waiting to be pitied by chairs who had no shoes. I was merely referring to the runner-legged chairs in the cafeteria, who'd had four floor-protectors each, all rubber and yellow styrofoam, which lasted less than a semester. Our chairs don't slide right because somebody bought a buttload of wax that was either the wrong kind, or was stored at the wrong temperature. I heard all about it from Ret, the fall before he retired.
Sweet Gummi Mary! You would think that I was letting those kids gather in groups of three and slide the chairs back-and-forth like Olympic lugers trying to maximize their takeoff. Or that we hosted clandestine clogging tournaments for traveling West-Virginians without the common decency to put down plywood. When in fact, the truth is that my classroom has desks with separate chairs, and hosts over a hundred students per day who pull out, scoot up, push back, and shove in those desks every hour. While the other rooms on that hall include a special class with few students, a foreign language with one-piece desks, an art room with stools and a FACS room with one-piecers that are both occupied only half the day, a science lab, a science room with one-piecers, and a science room for the upper echelon, with limited studentage. So it only stands to reason that my floor shows wear.
I can't wait till Cus notices that square of speckled asphalt tile that is peeling up. I might have to take one of my personal days so I can blame a sub.