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22 June 2006 @ 11:49 pm
Well, one more day of work with my horrible supervisor. She actually made me cry today - not with sadness, but out of sheer frustration and utter outrage. To make a long story short, she refused to allow me to do something to accommodate a recent, painful injury. The accommodation wouldn't have any effect on my work whatsoever. Worse still, the accommodation is something that her "pets" (AKA, my coworkers that she likes) already do regularly. And she did it in such a snide way. "In four years of working here I've never had a staff member do that." Oh really?

Oh, what the hell. Here it is. I have a back injury. It's quite painful - and I got it at work, by the way. In spite of the pain, I have still come to work every single day since it happened. Today I decided that while watching the children ride their bikes in the parking lot, I'd sit down in a folding lounge chair that I'd bought. This was not "okay" with W. "I know you have back pain but I need you to not be in that chair because if there were an emergency you wouldn't be able to get up fast enough. In four years of working here I've never had a staff member do that." (Notice how she talks to me as if I were one of the children.) So instead, I had to stand. I can't sit on the ground; it's too painful.

Yeah. My sitting in a chair wasn't "okay," but it was perfectly "okay" for her "pets" to sit three in a row on beach towels, sunning themselves while watching these same children, earlier in the week. Give me a break.

So I stood, outside, in the blazing heat and in terrible pain. For three hours. At one point I was outside alone with 20 children (against the rules, it's supposed to be one staff to 13 kids) while W. sat inside at one of the tables with four other staff members and about ten kids (against the rules, staff are not supposed to "clump" together). When one of the kids wanted to ride bikes again, I told her we couldn't because there weren't enough staff. I said, "Why don't you go inside and ask W. why I'm out here alone and all the other teachers are in there with her?" She did but it was still quite some time before anyone else came out.

In mid-afternoon, W. packed up her laptop and crap and took off with one of her pets. Turns out this pet was scheduled to be working at that time, so we were left with three staff (another violation - we are supposed to have four at all times). But it was okay, as I later learned. The pet would be back in just a couple of hours. Where had they gone? To get manicures and pedicures. I am not kidding. My coworkers and I were incredulous.

While W. was gone, I had a conversation with her 10-year-old son. I jokingly said, "So your mom just left you here? You'll have to sleep here tonight!"

He said, "I wish she would. Being homeless would be more fun than being with her."

In spite of my feelings about her, I was a bit shocked. After all, her life seems dedicated to kids. "Why do you say that?" I asked.

"She never spends any time with me. She's always either working, going out, or on the phone."

"Have you talked to her about this?"

"All the time, but she always just says she'll work on it, and she never does."

I talked to coworker about this, one who knows the boy far better than I do. She says it has been an ongoing problem all year and that W. just doesn't "get it."

Understand that this person claims to care very much about "youth" and her child. I'll even quote her blog. I won't post a link to it - yet.

I have a son who is my world.

My son was sent home from his aftercare program (which I run) on Monday for being rude. He had to also take a day off yesterday. I sent him to his room when we got home (with a snack of course) and asked him to write. Write why you were rude, what you don’t like about aftercare and who if there is a “who”. His one question, “can I use swears when I am writing?” To which I thought well it is his expression, so I said yes. (Taking into consideration his swears were frigin and stupid.) Hee hee

When I received his one page (which is good for a 9 year old) response I noticed he was being bullied! Now this has been a problem all year and I have worked with my staff continuously on this but they just don’t get it! (another whole tangent in itself) And now my son is taking the brunt of it!

Note the jab at the staff of her own program. Incidentally, she doesn't "run" the program. She's assistant to the director, who is a person I like and respect quite a lot but who, unfortunately, consistently supports W. And also, her child is no angel. He's very rude, and I have seen him do plenty of bullying himself.

I don't think I can stand one more minute of being micromanaged by this person. I almost hope she pulls something on me tomorrow so I can quit in front of the entire staff and all of the children. My only regret is that I didn't tell her where to go today. The only reason I didn't was that I was so stunned by the stupidity of what she was asking me to do.

Only three people on the staff of about 20 are returning for the next school year. You would think they might start asking themselves why they have such a high turnover.
Feeling : Royally Pissed
23 May 2006 @ 11:36 pm
It's been a while since I posted, but not much has changed. Still looking for a job. The bankruptcy went through all right, although now the student loan people are after me. They don't seem to understand that no number of harassing phone calls from collection agencies is going to increase my income.

Otherwise, things are pretty normal. The parents went on their trip; that was a pleasant break for me. I was not happy when they came back. I've got to get out of here. But I have a plan. Nothing I feel like writing about at the moment, but a plan is in the works.
16 February 2006 @ 01:34 am
Urban Legends Reference Pages: College (Pitched Battle):
According to the university rules, if a professor hadn't arrived to a class by 15 minutes past the hour, the class was considered canceled for the day and the students were free to leave — with no penalties for missing a class.

Mounted over the chalkboard of each classroom was a type of wall clock that jumped ahead each minute, in a very noticeable fashion. These clocks were also not constructed in the most sophisticated manner. An enterprising student learned (it's always good to learn things at college) that if you hit the clock with a chalkboard eraser, the clock would jump ahead 1 minute.

So, in a class where the professor wasn't precisely punctual and his students considered him absent-minded, almost daily these students took target practice at the room's clock. A few well aimed erasers, and 15 minutes quickly passed on the clock, and the class dismissed itself.

When the day for the next exam rolled around, the professor strolled into the room on time, passed out the exams, and told class, "You have one hour to complete this test."

The professor collected the erasers from around the room, and gleefully began taking aim at the clock. Within 10 minutes he had successfully jumped the clock forward one hour. "Time's up!

07 February 2006 @ 01:21 am
This is a test of a new FireFox extension that will hopefully let me post directly from any page.
06 February 2006 @ 03:40 am
So I'm on the Crosswalk.com forums, just sort of lurking, and I come across this 6-page thread about a mother panicking because her daughter is into Wicca. I HAD to respond. This is what I wrote:

Okay. I was just going to lurk here for a while, but after reading this thread I feel I must make some remarks.

My heart ACHES for the OP's daughter. Here is a young woman who has been courageous enough to break away and seek her own personal spiritual journey, and the response is a group of adults who are doing everything in their power to stop her. Cases like this make me physically ill. The very idea that anyone, inlcuding the girl's parents, have the right to control or manipulate another person's spiritual life is abhorrent. I know you all mean well, but that is exactly what you are trying to do here: manipulate.

The fact that this person is legally a minor is irrelevant. A 16-year-old is, for all intents and purposes, an adult.

This girl needs to be left alone. Just. Stop. Give her some space and time to work out her own beliefs. The teen years are difficult enough without having people breathe down your neck about the "right" path. I am NOT saying she should be permitted to get half a dozen more piercings or have her boyfriend sleep over. There have to be rules, of course. But you CAN NOT have rulership over another person's spiritual life. You can baptise your baby and force them to go to church until they're 18, but none of that is going to do one bit of good for them on a spiritual level.

I feel compelled to comment on the pentacle necklace. It is NOT evil. It is not even a SYMBOL of evil. It is unimaginable to me that anyone could think it appropriate - without the owner's permission - to "pray over" such an object in an effort to change something in the life of the wearer. (In Wicca, by the way, that kind of action is prohibited. Wiccans have a word for it - "black magick.")

OP: It is normal and natural for someone this age to pull away from her parents, especially when said parents are heavily religious. In fact, though it may not seem like it, it is desirable. Your daughter is becoming a woman, with her own thoughts and ideas and opinions. It is time for you to let go. The responsibility for her spirituality is now hers and hers alone, and there is nothing you can do to change that. Perhaps her beliefs will align with yours; perhaps they won't. If you have raised her in a positive and loving environment - and you don't condemn her if she chooses a different path - I promise you will have a loving relationship with her for the rest of your life.

The fact is, when she DOES become a legal adult, you're not going to be able to control her at all. That's only two years away. So you have a couple of options. If you try to rein her in and pull her away from her own choices - regardless of whether YOU think they're "right" - you WILL create a rift that might be permanent. Believe me, I know. So then you will be alienated from your daughter AND she will have joined a religion you don't believe in.

Or, you can provide neutral support for your daughter's exploration of other religions and hope/pray she does what you want her to do. Consider it part of her education, if it makes you more comfortable. After all, learning ABOUT a religion is not the same as joining it! Knowledge is sacred, not dangerous. And that way, at least if she makes what you consider to be the "wrong" choice, you will at least still have a reasonably good relationship with her.

I'm sorry to have to say this, but this is just the kind of thing that turns people away from Christianity. No - not "Satan" or "modern society" or "peer pressure," but manipulation and underhanded tactics (like praying over their jewelry - good grief, I can't get over how awful that is!) You cannot force someone into true spirituality. It is, perhaps, the one thing you simply cannot coerce someone into doing. The more you push this girl, the more she will turn away from you.

I hope I haven't offended anyone with this post, but the very idea that anyone would attempt to change or control the spiritual life of another against their will is against everything I believe in. The arrogance of such an idea! Like I said - I know you all mean well, but really - just who do you think you are?