In case you got lost… this is a supplement to the blog “No Joke:How Not To Treat A Volunteer….Lessons from the trenches from a Class Mom on Probation“. You might want to read that one first. This is just an add-on of another story that has been lingering in the department of Things That Annoy Me. Or just read on. It’s a stand alone story so you’ll be fine….
I might not be as annoyed as I am if this were the first time offense with the group email response to a single situation. But it’s not. This email edict has happened before. The first time this happened was last spring. My father-in-law was in the ICU for two months. He sadly passed away in April, but as you can imagine, between February and March our family was in turmoil. I had told all my kids teachers and they were so thoughtful and caring. I had told the school guidance counselors who made themselves available and my daughter found such solace in talking with her school counselor that to this day she still keeps the little notes they made together. “I am safe”. “I am OK”. Her biggest worry was that something horrible was going to happen to someone else she loved at any second.
So after all of this communication with such wonderful and supportive people you can imagine how put off I was at the response I got when I needed to call the powers that be for help when I had messed up the pick up for my son. I had told him in the morning I’d pick him up afterschool at 3:15 in carline. That afternoon, I realized that wasn’t true. Alex was supposed to go to enrichment, his favorite – chess club. And I would be picking him up at 4:10 instead.
So I called the office on my way to the mall. With my extra minutes I was going shopping. For funeral clothes for my kids. I knew my father-in-law would pass any moment and I needed to buy something for my kids to wear to the funeral. I was going with my friend, who was shopping for funeral clothes for her kids, because she knew her father was going to pass away at any moment too. Not the kind of thing you like to have in common, but it was a solace to shop with someone nonetheless.
When I called the school, no one answered. Must be busy. Of course. I left a message something to the effect of this: “Hi, this is Colleen Markley, I’m so sorry to bother you but I think I told Alex the wrong thing this morning. He is in Mr D’s class and he thinks I’m picking him up at regular time, but he should go to enrichment instead. So sorry to be a pest, it’s been a little busy and hectic today and I goofed. Could you please call me back to let me know he got this message? Thanks so much”.
I never got a call back from the school. I tried texting Alex. I tried calling him. I gathered his cell phone was either off or dead battery or on planet 11 year old. I was getting panicked and then the powers that be sent out this message:
Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 3:03 PM
Please be cognizant of the phone calls you are making to the office. I have noticed a substantial increase in parents requesting change of dismissal due to play dates and other social activities. With a population of just over 680 students, we can not manage this information on a daily basis. Change of dismissal requests should be limited to emergencies only. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
So, I guess they got my voicemail? And that was their response? I showed it to my friend and we both agreed that while it was passive aggressive, it must mean they got my message and had gotten word to Alex. I could continue buying somber dress clothes and try to find something in black for my Katie in the palette of spring colors in the store.
I picked up Alex after enrichment and before I asked him how chess club was (he’d won four matches), I asked him if he had gotten the message. “Nope”. He said. “No one ever called my classroom. No one told me to go to chess. I stood outside until all the cars were gone and then I went inside to find someone to help me”. My blood boiled, my face got hot, and I tried to take deep breaths so I could show a good response for my son. Life isn’t about freaking out. It’s about handling what comes your way. Maybe the powers that be were having a worse day than me. Alex and I talked. Thankfully it was a balmy 45 degrees and dry. Thankfully he had used good judgment and eventually found his chess club (he claims he would have won five matches if he’d been on time instead of only four). I apologized to Alex. For getting the wrong pick up info in the first place. For not coming to the school to check that he had gotten the message. For there being mistakes in several places at several points in the day. “No worries mom. I’m fine. You have a lot going on”.
These blogs were too serious today, bring me to something Funny.