Sunday, March 06, 2011

ah, sunday and the weekend winds down

We had a nice dinner last night with Jim and Kay at the Cedar's Grille. I had the Mediterranean platter from the appetizer menu and it was delicious. We decided to stop at Patrick's for a drink after dinner but when we walked in, it was packed with revelers from the Bockfest in New Ulm. At least we surmised that's where they had been as they were mostly in their cups. There was a waiting list which upon which we did not want to be. While I went to the restroom, Regis invited Jim and Kay back to our house. When he told me this, I'm quite sure I looked like a deer in the headlights.

Some people keep their homes in a way that company could come any time and they would not suffer mortification. I am not one of them. Our house is clean, thanks to Jan, but we tend to leave a trail of stuff everywhere we go. We had disrupted the living room in the afternoon to take some pictures of me in my St. Patrick's Day garb so it looked like the place had been looted.

Ah, well. If your friends can't come into your mess, then what the hell. We had a fine time. I had the table set for St. Patrick's Day so that part looked lovely.

I'm gearing up for St. Patrick's Day partly because I am nuts for holidays. I like special food, table settings, party lights, and now costumes. So part of my enthusiasm is typical for me but part of it is my campaign to be employed by the Halloween costume company after my retirement and they're having a party on the 17th, a pub crawl in Mankato. I figure after they see my bodacious costume, they will be convinced of my hire-worthiness.

Mom suggested that I get a costume for every holiday and start picking Regis up from work in them. Not a bad idea.

Regis says they are sending costumes all over like mad for Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras parties. Wild. Check out their website.

Here is the St. Patty's tree.

We'll probably take it down after St. Patrick's Day. It gets a little dusty looking after three months. Back to the basement.

I don't have plans to do much today. I would love to take a walk in the sunshine but not the ten degree sunshine.

I woke up in the middle of the night writing this in my head:

I've worked for this district for more than 30 years. I started in 1979 as a teacher at the forensic hospital for people who were mentally ill and dangerous. I went to a program for adolescent sex offenders in 1981. Years go by and eventually I am a coordinator of this and that.

I go back to school to get an administrative license to be a principal. I apply for lots of jobs but don't get one. Even in my own district, I can't get a job as an assistant principal in the middle school. The interview process is scientific (involving grids and scoring systems) and grueling. I don't get this job. It's emotionally and professionally devastating.

I go back to school and get a license to be a director of special education. This has cost me $10,000 and several years of school while I am working full-time.

There is an opening for a special education director. Again, there is a grueling interview process. I go. I do a good job. They can't decide. They want me to do more and more and finally, I withdraw. I'm tired and I can't fight anymore.

Meanwhile, people get jobs without so much as a letter of interest. They are moved into jobs. They are identified as the intended one and suddenly their name appears on an agenda as the new whatever.

Last year, I am offered an administrative three-year contract. Nothing changes. Not my title, not my job, not my salary. I get more life insurance, I think. It seems like a solid thing, so I accept it.

For 31 years, I am on a teacher's contract. This year, I am on an administrative contract.

In January, when I consider retirement, I get an email from the union president saying that the board will negotiate with teacher's individually regarding their retirement incentive.

I ask my supervisor if this applies to me. I am told no, that I am on an administrative contract and when they hire someone to replace me, they will likely have to pay them more than they pay me.

Seriously. This is the bullshit I am told.

Of course, I know this won't happen. My job will be parceled out to four people. Nobody will be hired to replace me.

I am told that the retirement incentive is not a reward for service but I know that's how it is perceived. There aren't 20 people in my district in my same situation so there is no danger of precedent setting. I know that they could pay me a retirement incentive if they wanted to. I know this isn't morally right.

I think that my service has been valued and I think I am perceived by everyone to be competent. How I can be treated this way if those things are true? It's creating major cognitive dissonance.

I had considered working two days a week next year but after this most recent hosing, I won't consider doing that. I have a gutload of anger and resentment and bitterness. I am not leaving with happy feelings about my career.

I have to walk away completely to find peace.


Jill said...

Sad to say, Teresa, this is a club, and you and I both know most of the members. You're the newest one, so welcome. Once you walk away, you can drop your membership and find the peace you seek.

Anonymous said...

That's what this district does to people. Eats them up and spits them out without so much as a thank you. Well, there might be a thank you but it will not be heart-felt. It is the obligatory thank you a company feels it should do. I have never been in a district that has such a lack of humanity towards its employees.

mom said...

Let it go, my dear daughter, this is what education does to people who work their tails off for thirty some years. When your Dad retired, they hired two people to replace him and spent a lot more money. Be happy you are done and find a job you love and enjoy and people you work for will love and enjoy you, How can they not love you???