Tuesday, November 4, 2014

When is a Door Not a Door? When It’s a Festering Thorn in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom’s Side!

Sorry if you were looking for a jokey riddle. That's the best I've got.

Let’s see what’s stuck in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom’s craw today. The thorn that has been festering in her side for quite some time now. Yes, it is OH SO UNCHARACTERISTIC of Mrs. HM to complain, but humor her just this one time, ‘kay?

I am concerned about safety. Safety in the workplace. Safety in MY workplace. Safety in the Newmentia workplace, specifically. Seems like you can’t turn around without bumping into a safety consultant or inspector these days. They maraud through the kitchen, making sure nobody is pouring bleach into rotten chicken before serving it to the pupils. (Don’t think that’s far-fetched. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom used to work at the unemployment office, you know, and could tell tales that would curl your duodenum. Not tales out school, but tales out of grocery stores.)

What we’re talking about here is safety in the educational workplace. Like the school district that took out swings on the playground, because too many kids got hurt on that equipment. Criminy! Before long they’ll be taking legs off the kids, because they fall down and get hurt while they’re running.

Years ago, we had an inspector tell me that my fragile, empty, lighter-than-balsa-wood bookcase should be attached to the wall, because it might fall over and hurt a child. I resisted the urge to tell him that a monkey might jump out my butt, too, which is a saying that Farmer H is fond of and uses every chance he gets, but I passed the info on to people who have drills and screws and ways to attach a lighter-than-balsa-wood empty bookcase to a concrete-block wall. The bookcase remains unrestrained, as does the TV on top of a metal library cart. But I’m not worried about the New Madrid Fault shaking us to our senses.

The festering thorn in my side for three or four years now is a closet door. It’s two doors down from me, if you count the door to the supply closet that houses the revered microfiche machine, and the doorless door to the boys’ bathroom that must house a rollicking party third lunch shift, from the noises that emanate from within. The offending door covers the entrance to the custodian’s closet. Or it should.

Therein lies the problem. That door is left open. Not open, ajar. Open, gaping. Oh, it doesn’t resist the latch. This door is propped open within an inch of its life, using an industrial grade doorstop four inches wide. This would not even be such a festering wound in Mrs. HM’s hide if the door opened inward, or flat against the hall wall. Which it does neither. The door has one of those metal thingies mounted at the top to pull that door closed automatically. Huh. You’d think there’s a reason for that, wouldn’t you?

I am not so worried about pupils sneaking in to liberate cleaning supplies or lift caustic chemicals for use in shenanigans. Surely that cannot be half as dangerous as a lighter-than-balsa-wood bookcase spontaneously toppling onto a frail high-schooler. No, I am worried about that door blocking my line of vision.

How can I supervise the hallway from my post past the office down the hall to the next set of double doors where the next sentry should be posted, when I cannot see more than two doors down? Not to mention the awkwardness this poses for pupils passing by in the hallway. They must go out and around this obstacle, which takes up a good one-third width of the hall.

There. That’s a relief for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom to get that festering thorn out of her side and off of her chest.

There are none so blind as those who pretend to be safety-conscious regulation-followers and don’t even want to see.


Sioux said...

Is that a little from Donnie Dark at the end? Did I get a whiff of "Butterflies Are Free"?

Aaah...Breathe in. That's one of my favorite movies. (There are hundreds on the list.)

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Maybe you should kick that door stop away every chance you get. Or perhaps you could just remove the stop permanently .......

Hillbilly Mom said...

That is just Mrs. Hillbilly Mom at the end. Don't know what you're whiffin', but there's no Goldie Hahn. That's one of the movies I have only seen in snippets by accident.

CAMERAS! They are everywhere. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not one to leave evidence.

I don't get it. They are, maybe, in and out of that door for ten seconds, three or four times a day. But it needs to be left wide open for their convenience? Not buying it.