Today was teacher payday. C'mon, teachers! You know what I'm talkin' about! It's a long time from the first week of June until the first week of September.
I was late getting to the teacher lunch table, what with having one foot out the door when my classroom phone rang, which meant I had to rush to the opposite corner where my control center hums, only to find that the line had gone dead. Yes. I had been asked to provide a textbook for a student who learns not in the building, and I had promised to bring one to the office on my plan time. Which is after lunch. Huh. Apparently that book couldn't wait, unlike the assignments that trickle in three months late. I certainly hope that book made a difference in the extra 20 minutes it would have taken to place it in the office. That little worker was so polite when she came to retrieve it during my lunch 1/3 hour.
Lucky for me, only one regular was at the teacher lunch table. My seat was safe and secure.
"Oh. I'm going to sit over here."
"I wasn't sure which chair you wanted. They're off a little."
"Yeah. This one here is where my buddy used to sit. So I had a good view of his beard to tell him when to get the food out of it."
"You're much nicer than I am. I couldn't stand to sit there. I got enough of him working the games all the time."
Let the record show that we were the only two at the lunch table. One of the big round tables that seats eight. We had that one chair between us, and five others around the table. Guess where Jewels chose to sit when she showed up. You got it, you crafty psychics! Right in the chair between us.
A fourth showed up with his Oberle sausage in a gallon ZipLoc bag. He picked his seat (heh, heh, I said picked his seat) in a normal manner. And then it happened. They commenced talking about their paychecks. Not so much their paychecks as their fake pay stubs. We have direct deposit, you know. So we really aren't getting that paper cash in our hands. So the scuttlebutt was about our little raise, which some of us will notice, but others of us won't, depending on whether we have dependents on the school insurance, because the rates went up. But that's neither here nor there to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, because her dependents are on Farmer H's insurance. I could not contribute to the conversation anyway, because...
I DID NOT GET MY FAKE PAY STUB!
Just then the fake pay stub purveyor walked into the cafeteria. "Hey! Am I working for nothing this year? Because everyone else got a their fake pay stub, but I did not!"
"Oh, I didn't get all the way down the hall this morning. A parent came in."
"Um. Let me point out that my room is the FIRST ONE DOWN THE HALL!"
"I was on the other end. Didn't get down your way yet. And I hope you go in my office and get your fake pay stub, Oberle Guy, because I really don't want to walk down to your room today because it's so HOT outside."
After lunch, I went into the office, where my textbook sat on the counter mocking me, and waited until Oberle Guy came in. "Would you get my fake pay stub, too? Because I don't want to get caught in there rifling through fake pay stubs, and you were told directly to go in and get yours."
"Sure." He's a man of few words. Most of them being, "My parents are younger than you."
Later in the afternoon, Fake Check Stub Purveyor stopped by my room. "Did you...get your pay stub? Because I don't see one for you here."
I admitted that I had it, because were were discussing it across a room full of students. But it would have been fun to pretend I did not, and have him call around to see if I was working for free.