17thOctober

Uniboob

The uniboob is back.  You know, the one that extends from your left breast, under your arm and around the back to the right breast.  That obvious roll of fat that can only be hidden by some kind of tortureous bra full of wires and spandex tight enough to contain the Colorado River.  Even then, it doesn’t do anything but push the fat up into the underarm area.  Not for me.  I’ll just wear jackets for the time being.  No sheer blouses or fitted tops for you, Sistah Pat!  You better plan on covering up with a different jacket every day! 

DH and I were going to take the RV and go to Edinburgh this weekend.  I wanted to spend the weekend in that nice little RV park across the road from the outlet mall.  Edinburgh is a strange place.  There’s nothing there but a huge outlet mall, a lot of restaurants, and a couple of nice hotels.  I suppose people go up there and shop all day, go out to dinner and then crash at the Hilton Garden Inn.  It’s strange that they have this huge outlet mall and directly across the street is an RV Park hidden in the woods.  Right next to the RV park is a fence separating it from a pasture with horses and, on the other side, a corn field.  Weird.  At any rate, we just couldn’t work it out.

Went to the funeral home yesterday evening and visited with Rick and Pam.  Rick is taking his father’s death hard.  Of course.  We feel bad for him and the cold and rain didn’t do much to lighten the mood.  We had planned to go to Edinburgh as soon as I got home from work but yesterday was incredibly stressful and then we had the visit to the funeral home and it just kind of killed the mood.  This morning isn’t much better.  Still cold and gray.  DH got up early and had some coffee, read the paper and then went back to bed.  I don’t think he wants to drive up to Edinburgh and I’m not enthusiastic enough to change his mind so I guess we’ll just hang around here.

I showed my temper to the boss lady yesterday.  First time she’s seen it but I didn’t feel like being diplomatic and she deserved what she got.  I do a four page newsletter for the school.  It’s designed to showcase the school to the community.  Copies go to the kids and their parents and they get distributed to local businesses.  I work hard on it.  I beg people for articles about events that show our school in a positive light.  I want to have articles about honor’s kids who are chosen to go to leadership conferences and meet with the mayor.  I want articles about athletic trophies and honor roll kids and teachers receiving awards for outstanding events in the community.  Don’t know how it works everywhere else but, in Kentucky, kids pick their schools and we want to attract exceptional students and lots of them.  Our school budget is based on the number of students we serve.

The problem is, teachers are busy.  They don’t have time to write articles about the good things going on in our school and I don’t have time to be a reporter.  I do this newsletter voluntarily.  It’s not my job but I work hard on it and I’m pretty good at laying out an attractive spread that’s printed on parchment and looks good.  The principal loves it.  She really wants to keep it going and counts on me to get it out.  And I do.  But I don’t have time to do it at school and almost all of it is done on my own time.  Still…the principal is getting the nickname of “last minute Louise” because she always seems to be getting things done at the very last minute. 

Case in point…the newsletter.  She wants to approve it before it goes out and I understand that.  I do.  The problem is that she’s constantly making changes at the very last minute.  The Showcase of Schools is this weekend.  It began at 3:00 p.m. yesterday and runs through this evening.  The Showcase is an event where all the high schools and middle schools converge at the convention center and have booths where they try to recruit students for next year.  She wanted a big stack of newsletters at the booth to be distributed to families.  She’s clueless, however, about the amount of work that goes into getting it done.  I worked on it last weekend.  I finished it over the weekend and took it her for approval first thing Monday morning.  The only things missing were her “Message from the Principal” which takes up the first column on the first page and her “Calendar of Upcoming Events” which takes up the last column on the back page.  She looked it over and said, “This is great, Pat, but I’d like to include an article about the Freshman Academy and our Environmental Program.  I talked to those teachers a few days ago and asked them to write something.  Haven’t they given the articles to you?”

“No, I haven’t heard from them.  When did you ask them to do this?”

“I think it was last Monday.  Can you contact them and get those articles in this issue?”

“I can ask them but, in all honesty, if I include those articles I’ll have to delete some of the others and redo the layout to make the new articles fit in the space that’s available.  I know you want these to be ready on Friday and I still don’t have your “Message from the Principal” and “Calendar of Events and we’re looking at a lot of work in a short window of time.”

“I know.  I know you asked me for them a couple of weeks ago and I apologize for not getting them to you.  I’ll try to get them today but I’d really like for you to get the other two articles from Teacher A and Teacher B.  I think those things really need to be in the issue that goes to the Showcase and I really want these for Showcase.”

Okay…so I go to Teacher A and she’s fuming because she swears this is the first she’s heard about this and she doesn’t have time to write up an article and Teacher B is apologetic and says she’ll write up something and email it to me.  So I’m forced to “interview” teacher A and write the article myself and, in the time it took for me to interview her, she could have written it herself.  Teacher B sends me an article and I swear one of my students could have done a better job.  She also sends a photo that would really look good and I think we need to put the photo in but that’s going to create even more chaos with the layout.

I worked on the newsletter Tuesday evening and then finished it up when I was home with Revenge of the White Castle’s on Wednesday and took it to the principal first thing Thursday morning.  She liked the two articles and loved the picture of some of our kids posing with the Mayor but wasn’t happy that I’d taken out the article on one of our students winning a bunch or ribbons at the fair.  I told her I’d had to cut some things in order to get the new articles in and I figured that the kiddo winning ribbons at the fair was a good one to cut because her ability to bake a tasty pie and sew a nifty dress really didn’t have anything to do with the school.  Principal lady says she sees my point but the kiddo is such a wonderful kid and she’d really like to keep the article.  Again, she apologizes for not having her own articles ready and I remind her AGAIN that I still don’t have any parchment paper to print the newsletters on and her secretary hasn’t gotten back to me after she asked her to purchase it.  She says she’ll take care of it and sends me on my way.

Thursday afternoon, around 1:00, I get an email from Last Minute Louise with the Calendar of Events and the Message from the Principal which is -  get this -  two entire pages!  I run to her office and find that she’s left for the day. Thursday evening, at home,  I reworked the entire article, slashing and cutting like crazy to get it down to something manageable and still had to reduce the font in the entire newsletter to 8 points to get things to fit.  If you’ve never done any desktop publishing on Adobe Pagemaker, you wouldn’t understand what that entails but, take my word for it, it’s a monumental pain in the ass.

Friday morning, I’m back in her office and find that she won’t be in until late morning.  I go to the secretary and ask her if she has the parchment paper and she doesn’t know what I’m talking about.  In the meantime, I have classes to teach and I finally run back down to the office during my 20 minute lunch break to find Principal Lady sitting in the conference room with a couple of other teachers eating lunch.  I show her the newsletter and she says, “I’m eating lunch right now.  You can leave it here and I’ll try to take a look at it when I can.”  She gives me a nasty look as if I was somehow out of line to interrupt her lunch and the nasty look DID NOT sit well with me.

I said, “I didn’t get lunch today.  I’m on my lunchbreak right now.  I don’t have time to eat lunch and I didn’t have time to eat dinner last night.  In fact, I was up until 1:00 trying to get this newsletter done in time for the Showcase.”

Principal Lady said, “I really want it for the Showcase but if you can’t get it done in time.  We just won’t be able to have it.”

I said, “If I’d known you didn’t care if we had it for Showcase, I wouldn’t have given up every free minute I’ve had for the last week to work on it.  My part is done.  My part has BEEN done for more than a week.  In fact, I’ve had to do my part over and over again because no one else ever has their part done in a timely manner.  I’ve been run ragged trying to pull this thing together.  I don’t have the time or the energy to devote to something if it’s not important.  I’m done.  I’m finished.  I’M DONE!”  With that, I just turned around and walked away and left her sitting there with the newsletter on her desk and her jaw hanging on the floor.

It wasn’t five minutes later that she appeared at my desk apologizing and telling me how rough it’s been pulling this Showcase together and how no one wants to help with it and she’s been stressed to the limit. 

I said, “I know exactly what you mean.” 

She apologized again and said the last thing she ever meant to do was come across as unappreciative to me because she knows how much I do for the school and appreciates it more than she can say.  Said I just happened to come at a time when she decided she was actually going to take 15 minutes for herself and was not going to let anything or anyone intrude on her lunch so she could kind of relax and regroup to prepare for the Showcase.  She said the newsletter looked absolutely fantastic and she wanted to know how soon I could get three or four hundred copies to her.

I told her I didn’t even have paper.  I had, at most, less than a hundred sheets left from the last newsletter and her secretary said she didn’t know anything about it.

I swear.  She looked like she was going to cry.  I told her I’d make as many copies as I could using what paper I had and would have them on her desk before I left school.  She smiled and said, “I don’t guess I can talk you into coming down and helping out with the Showcase tomorrow, could I?”

I smiled and looked her square in the eyes and said, “Not a chance in Hell.”

We both started laughing.  I made 80 copies of the newsletter and left them on her desk.

 

4 Comments

Susan says 17th October @ 16:00

GOOD FOR YOU, Patty.

I’ve put out newsletters for my son’s class and had to chase down teachers then edit their last minute missives they submitted with the “sorry I’m late! :) ” tag.

“Yeah, I got your :) right here…” I’d mutter as I rearranged and reformatted text.

Tell me your “secretary-running-off-newsletter” story again ~ my All-Time Favorite blog entry from the entire internet…

brseay says 17th October @ 21:53

Oooh, situations like this chap my behind. And you’re in a Catch 22 situation b/c if you let the newsletter be anything less than stellar to let them know how much they screwed up, people will look to you and wonder why you’re not putting out good work. Yet, if you pick up the slack and do it all yourself then people will continue to let you do all of the work. You’re a fabulous asset to that school and it sounds like Last Minute Louise knows it but she definitely needs to be reminded of it :)

beerab says 19th October @ 12:20

Sounds like a lot of work- maybe someone can help you out? Perhaps even a student?

Vacation says 16th November @ 14:55

Sound great.
I am planning on taking a trip this december, but im not sure where yet.
Anny suggestions?

Vacation All Inclusive Resorts


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