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caregiver9000 posted 8/19/2013 16:50 PM

I can't stand it. I don't like conflict. I just want peace.

I work in a very VERY small school. We have to be a team to be effective. There are so few of us that everybody has multiple roles, added responsibility.

First day back? Drama. ugh.

I am already back on the anxiety meds. Wonder if I can get a miniature pez dispenser for them?

I am glad to have a job. I am glad to have an income. This is my mantra.

But my fantasy is to work at home, write a book, and not have to see anyone ever again. ok. Maybe that is a little extreme. But not by much.

I think I could be agoraphobic with very little effort. Is it still a phobia if it is voluntary? Maybe I just want to be a hermit. With the internet, it seems very doable to me.

Oh, right. I am happy to have a job. I must have an income.

How long until Christmas break?

KVille posted 8/19/2013 17:00 PM

Gee you sound like me. I got to the point I hated to go to work. Some workers on the old job made it unbearable. Then they decided to shut down.

Now looking at 2 job interviews and wish I was back at the old job. I want a job with no coworkers.

click4it posted 8/19/2013 17:16 PM


Not fun when everyone can't get along or work as a team. Hoping the next week will be a turn-around in the right direction.

KV- a job without no co-workers would be self-employed at home. Or running your own business where you can control who your workers will be. Good luck on your upcoming interviews!!

As much as I get frustrated sometimes at my job, I'd be lost without it - the human contact, the feeling productive, all of it (espeically the income of course).

Skan posted 8/19/2013 21:20 PM

Believe you me, one of the reasons that I adore my job, is that I work in a two-person office. Me in the outer office, my boss in the inner office, with a copy room in-between us. Today, she didn't make it in (she is a Pastor and had calls all day long). Even when she makes it in, we quite often email each other vice going into each other's offices. The front door is locked unless we have a class or something like that scheduled, and people have to ring the office bell for me to look out of my 2nd story window right over the entrance. I LOVE the solitude of my job!

Chrysalis123 posted 8/20/2013 07:28 AM

What happened??

NaiveAgain posted 8/20/2013 07:35 AM

Ugh! Small schools (like small towns) are notorious for their drama.....I live in a small town and it can be difficult to avoid sometimes. One of the better parts of living in a larger city was that people will leave you alone for the most part and you can avoid the drama if you aren't interested in interacting (it is easier to get lost in the crowd)

Sorry you have to deal with it. Can you look for something else?

cmego posted 8/20/2013 07:35 AM

Yeah...spill, lady!

I hate drama too, I just remove myself from the situation. I'll probably have to have a better coping mechanism when I start working again.

caregiver9000 posted 8/20/2013 20:25 PM

Ok, spill.

DEEP sigh.

Our school has high turnover. As a result, it doesn't take long to become the "veteran." We hired a VERY young teacher a little more than a year ago. But now she is "senior" staff with less than two years experience. Following?

Our principal was new last year. He is (ahem... ) not too bright? I mean seriously, and this causes issues. Repeatedly. And apparently VERY absent minded. He is also one of those who likes to please the person he is talking to, despite the need to be "in charge" and "own" some of the decision making processes. Can I say that this is a frustrating combination for a supervisor and it is directly related to the current situation?

End of last school year, he anticipated moving a bunch of teachers to new classrooms. He instructed everyone to remove all personal belongings from our classrooms, clear the walls, and remove all classroom furniture to the hallway so floors could be waxed. Fine, great.

Our young first year teacher has decorated her room with 100's of photographs, created collages on the bulletin boards. Has posters, maps, decorations on every square inch. Of every wall. Has photo albums, and the regular texts and resources associated with her subject area. She is overwhelmed at removing all of it.

She goes to principal and asks him if everyone will be moved, or if it is possible she might remain in that classroom. He says he doesn't know yet. She asks for permission to be an exception and to not remove all of her things. She is going to Europe for the summer, and she is leaving the day kids get out of school and NOT working any of the final teacher workdays. He agrees.

So the first workday he has three new hiring permits, two transfers and half the staff gets told to move classrooms. The teacher who is in Europe? She is moving to a new classroom and one of the teachers already there is moving into her classroom and a new person will be in her old classroom.

So the teacher who is going to occupy the still over decorated classroom wants to move in. The principal says fine. To remove the Euro girl's stuff or he will or he will have a janitor do it. She and I do this. It takes us more than two days to move her things out. We are careful but some of the photos are stapled, some taped some double sided taped, to windows, bulletin boards, walls. There is no bulletin board paper behind them. Some are stapled to each other. Some are paper pictures cut from books?? of artwork? It is a nightmare to remove all of it. And as careful as we were some of the pictures were damaged.

We boxed her things and put them onto carts.

And that upset her. That we touched her things. It was disrespectful.

She is upset with the teacher who "took" her space.

She is upset with me, for not being inconvenienced at all, (not fair) and because I didn't tell her. I did not text or message her that it had been done. Even though I explained that I was directly told that I was not to tell, the principal would tell her when and how he saw fit. She thought as friends I should have told her anyway.

I have explained that room assignments are not my decision or place to tell. That I would not disobey a direct order from my boss, and that I moved her things so that I knew it would be done as carefully and sensitively as possible.

No acceptance of this.

I have apologized. She is being passive aggressive with the "now she knows better than to expect friendships from people she works with" and that "everyone looks out for themselves."

What makes it worse is that the new hires did not take place. The budget constraints mean that the room change was not really necessary, but it had already happened!

So, she came in on Thursday last week, and moved herself back into her old room. Moved the other teacher back out....

And at this point the principal put his foot down and said, "uh uh. No." But he doesn't have all the "new hire" reasons anymore. Just his authority and the fact that while she was on vacation, during workdays we did work (move) that he decided needed to be done and she undid it and pissed off the teacher who was not in Europe but at home just up the road by as carelessly as she felt her things were treated, got "even!" Stripped bulletin boards, moved the printer, and the textbooks. The desk drawers.

And so yesterday ... first day back. Not in classrooms. At central office county wide "kickoff" go get'em do more with less, "for the children" inspiration in the face of my state is the bottom of teacher pay, highest in the country for unemployment, and morale all around SUCKS... and now there is a day of moving two classrooms again. Because a pouty entitled whiny baby wanted to get her way. And she is "not talking" to half of the staff and talking about us to the other half.

And because I get along with everyone, do what I am told, and am an all around team player all of the time, I am FAKE!!!

And I guess I will continue to be fake because I will continue to treat her like a colleague and be kind and supportive, even if she shuts her door, or won't make eye contact.


Thanks for asking. Sorry it is long.

We have a staff breakfast tomorrow. And then meetings all day. And I understand we are going to have a "mediation" on Friday, because we can't have this kind of tension on staff. Which I think is a fine idea, except that last time we had one, (same type of issues, a common denominator, I wasn't involved though) Euro girl walked out. WALKED out.

So yay! I have a job. and an income.

Amazonia posted 8/20/2013 20:38 PM

god almighty, she needs an intervention, not mediation.

nowiknow23 posted 8/20/2013 20:45 PM

Yay - job and income.

caregiver9000 posted 8/20/2013 20:51 PM

She is young. I swear, that is a lot of it. No first year teacher should have been hired. But she was.. See? that was not my call either. The last principal decided that was a good risk.

But I also think she might be bipolar. Or just moody as hell. She was "best buds" with one teacher for about three months. Then they wouldn't speak because Euro girl told her she was stupid for dating a man who didn't treat her right.

I think she dated one of the Teacher Assistants, but it was a big secret. She called out a 30 year veteran who was placed at the school (probably to encourage her to retire... see? more drama.) called her out for not making her students stop talking in the hall. No respect for authority or even just respect for a veteran teacher!

One time she was "mad" at me because I got to go to all the meetings! IEP's, emergency placements, crisis interventions. Maybe because my students had to be covered by a TA or other teachers if I was at a meeting. So I asked my principal to share the "meeting love." Guess what happened next? She hates meetings. IEP's are stupid. Why can't these kids read????

cmego posted 8/20/2013 21:12 PM

Yes, it sounds like a boat load of immaturity on Euro's part. uggg.


Chrysalis123 posted 8/21/2013 08:15 AM

Wow...that is a mess with a weak principal.

I am sorry you are dealing with this.

Helen of Troy posted 8/21/2013 08:25 AM

It sounds like she's got untreated emotional problems. Maybe slip her the business card of the Employee Assistance Counselor if you have one.
I hated those workplace snakes after coming back from over a decade of sahm life.
There is one or two at my job now but they seem to target me less. Sometimes I think the reason is me getting emotionally stronger, carrying myself a little higher, thinking more clearly as time goes by almost as if more leftover marital toxins go away. Do you ever feel like that? It was one NB thing I wasn't really expecting.

Dawnie posted 8/21/2013 14:19 PM

With my job, I work 3 days a week at home and 2 in the office... by the end of my 2 days in the office my head is pounding and I am "Peopled out".... I love my quiet days working from home just me and my cat.

tesla posted 8/21/2013 17:50 PM

Ugh, CG, I feel your pain. Except at my school it's not a young's a secretary that thinks she has more power than what she does. I walked in on my first day and she made a point of calling me over and telling me that I had to do something about this new student who didn't belong here and I need to make sure that he gets moved to a better placement, that I should read his file. And I'm like, wait, you read his file??? So now I have to run this up the confidentiality ladder and find out if we've just breached a student's privacy.
Great. Just what I want to start the year off with.

Sorry to t/j. But yeah, school and drama...I feel your pain.

caregiver9000 posted 8/21/2013 20:32 PM

lol, I think my cat would be the perfect co-worker! She does however think she knows everything... But on her it is adorable and cute. And when she "nips" me, she has the smarts to look at me like "I know I shouldn't have done that. It is why I only gently bit you." And then she does get up and go away! Maybe I can bring my cat to work for some co-worker training? Hmmm, maybe there is a book in there and I can stay home and she can co-author.

No thread jack, tesla. I guess misery loves company so I appreciate the share!

wgb, the "marital toxins" is a great explanation. And it may be playing out in reverse since there is an elevated (at the moment) threat level and it is impacting me. Not to say Euro girl isn't crazy, but I haven't ever needed to vent it here before.

I don't feel enmeshed in the drama, just resentful a tiny bit that work can't be a peaceful place... since students are not even there yet!! And once we add adolescents to the mix, well, there goes all peace and harmony!

Too_Trusting posted 8/22/2013 20:54 PM

god almighty, she needs an intervention, not mediation.

I'm with Ama on this one. My goodness, you said she was young, but she's acting like she's twelve. That's enough to drive anyone crazy.

Kudos to you for handling it with professionalism and maturity. I'm not sure I could have, long-term. Having to spend 2 days packing her sh!t because she was in Europe would be enough to frost my chaps but good. Then, she has the nerve to pull this childish crap, whine and complain, start ridiculous drama?

The saying is true: No good deed goes unpunished.


caregiver9000 posted 8/22/2013 23:29 PM

I can share a positive. The veteran teacher? She spent several hours yesterday trying to connect an active board, a document projector, and a laptop docking station. Lots of cords. Not intuitive or labeled. Everyone seems to have a different model or set up. She came and looked at mine even took photos with her phone. Couldn't get it to work.

This morning two of us went in early and tried to help. She came in and told us she had fixed it yesterday afternoon before she left!

I had to tell her we had helped unfix it ...

She was so gracious, even thanked us for trying to help. She got it back pretty quick after we left it, thankfully.

So yes, no good deed goes unpunished.

Is it Friday yet?

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