Saturday, May 22, 2010

Not a happy camper

I hate being patronized, I hate being manipulated, and I hate being used. It makes me angry.

I also hate it when people withhold information, letting me (or others, and you will soon see what I mean) just twist in the wind, wondering what is going on. I hate it in relationships, at work, with friends, anywhere. If I'm in romantic relationship and a Sam has something to say, he just needs to say it, quick, get it over with, like ripping off a Band-Aid. No silent treatment, no beating around the bush. I just hate it. I hate it at work as well. And, yes I do have a very current and REAL life example.

As you all know, I am currently an aide in a special ed. department at a junior high school. I'm finishing a contract and I was told when I was hired that it was for this year, and this year only. When school was done in June, I was done as well. Okay-- cool, sorta. I knew where I stood. I knew it and I was fine. I had a beginning, a middle and an end. I could plan accordingly. Got it. And while I didn't necessarily like it, I still had KNOWLEDGE; and knowledge is power.

I also know what sort of crisis education is facing in states all over the country. They don't have money, budgets are slashed, teachers are being riffed, programs are cut. I understand, maybe much better than many other teachers. I am not a stupid woman, and treating me as such pisses me off.

I've worked this job and haven't suffered from "short timers" syndrome. I treated this job like I did when I was an actual full-time, classroom teacher. I stayed after school, I volunteered for stuff, I helped. I did what I was asked and then some. Not a problem for me; it's just my personality. I've received some very nice compliments from kids, parents, and fellow teachers. That's always a plus. And it's nice to hear; we all like to be given 'atta boys'.

Now, about 3 weeks ago the 8th graders in our building were given their Frosh schedules for the fall. My name is on the freshmen schedules for a few classes. WTF? First, this is an entirely different building than the one I'm in now. Secondly, there is no way someone could have "accidentally" clicked on my name in a computer; I would've had to be be manually entered into the system. Third, this is for an entirely different school system. No, this couldn't be an ACCIDENT, is my point here.

No one has told me I have a job next year. No one has asked me if I want a job next year. No one has claimed responsibility for my name on schedules. No one has mentioned it to me EXCEPT my students. Who are psyched that they get me next year. That are thrilled I get to advance with them to make high school less scary. To have a familiar face helping them next year.

I'm half sick over it. I don't know what to say to the kids. I've resorted to telling them it was a typo but if it changes, I'd let them know. This is NOT fair to those kids. I have a special relationship with many of these at-risk kids. They are counting on me. And if I'm NOT there next year, they'll be given some stupid song and dance about why, rather than the truth, and I'll just be thought of as another adult who let them down. This fuels my ire.

I know I could go to the administration and ask what's going one. But, frankly, it's not my responsibility. I went to this administration about 5 weeks ago and begged-- yes, I begged-- for a job because three English teachers were leaving. Guess what happened? I was given a non-committal, political song and dance routine that was a non-answer answer. Meaning, I got nothing. Then other people were hired instead of me. I would think someone could bother to come to me to tell me I have a job as an aide since they stuck my name on a schedule. The 'administration' knows I'm interested in a job.

Furthermore, I am, technically, the uber last person on the seniority totem pole when it comes to all the aides who work for the system. I am smack so far at the bottom, I can see the Devil's ass from where I sit. There are about 10 other people with more seniority between the high school and junior high buildings alone; that doesn't even take into consideration ALL the aides, district wide. So MY name appears on about 50 student schedules so other aides, who haven't been told in in the wonderful world of budget cuts if THEY have jobs next year (that's right; none of the aides know if they have jobs next year), are pissed. At me. I keep saying no one has talked to me and it has to be a typo, but they're mad. At me. And it makes things rather... shall we say, uncomfortable, for me? It's not what you'd call a pleasant working environment as far as my peers go. AWK-ward!

I just feel like I'm being... manipulated. And I don't like it. I need a job and this isn't nice to do to someone in my situation.

Don't fuck with me,


Curley said...

I think you need to talk to administration. I know they should be the ones to talk to you but you and the kids need to know what is going on. Especially if your contract was just for the year. Wouldn't you have to sign another contract if they did want you again next year? Besides if you know the truth, then you can tell the kids the truth.

Lilith said...

I agree with Curley, go to admin and find out WTF is going on!! It's not fair to you or the kids to be left twisting in the wind!!

Maggie said...

Curley and Lilith- talking to the administration does NO good. All they/he do(es) is patronize me and never give anyone any straight answers.

Anonymous said...

wow... i would go the person in charge and rip them a new one. ... first for not discussing it with you and second for putting you on the spot with the kids (whom should have been put first)...

hugs deep breath... have a great Saturday

Evil Pixie said...

Is there a teacher's union? If there is, go to your representative. If not, you need to go to administration. I know they're patronizing but here is the thing... If you don't say something and be very assertive about it, it is going to eat you up and continue to bother you. Also, it isn't fair to the students. It is setting them up for an expectation that may not be met, and you'll have to continue to deal with that. If administration gives you the run around, I'd look into going around administration. Or, better yet, talk to the school secretary. Secretaries always seem to know what is going on.

Lilith said...

I forgot to mention, while you are low man on the totem pole, that also means you are the lowest paid, which is what they want!

Also, while you may feel it does no good, you need to go anyway. You need to tell them you need to know what's going on that way you can decide if you need to even bother looking for different work!

Lisa said...

Oh, I guess it is hard. You want and need the job but they are makingyou the bad guy if you don't have or even if you do! Just ask what is going on. Try to not be mad you do still need the job. The kids erally do matter even if the system is out to screw everyone.
Hope you can have a good weekend anyway!
Hugs, Lisa

Maggie said...

TaDa- while I WANT to rip, I strive to not burn bridges and to maintain professionalism because it's a small town and I really would like to work again, someday.

Evil P- i went the secretary route and she's out of the loop, which is REALLY odd because that woman has her finger on the pulse, usually, ya know?

Lilith- what's really weird, is that i'm paid out of a different pot of money and I make more than the other aides...weird.

Lisa- you are so right; it's the kids who matter and I try to keep that in mind every single day.

Wiley said...

What DOES the devil's arse look like, just out of interest?

And I know people who kill people for a living. Maybe you should drop that into conversation with the administration next time ;)