Thursday, January 19, 2012

What I Need At Work . . .

What I need at work but currently don't have is a room full of hats. I already have many hats in the metaphorical sense, but if it were up to me, I'd definitely have real ones. I would have one for each job I do. "What do you do?" you may ask. Sometimes, I wonder if there are things I have yet to do. I'm positive there are, but for fun I'll provide the following list for those who are curious:

  • School Secretary:  This is the actual job title on my contract.  I work at a school, that for the sake of privacy (and fun, of course) shall be lovingly referred to as The Prep. I basically answer phone calls from people who think we're a Catholic school or have "heard a rumor" that we allow our older students to teach the younger ones (in my best singing voice, "Haven't you heard the ru-u-u-mors..." I'll quit while I'm ahead).
  • Attendance Chick: I keep track of around 1,000 kids a day, 5 days a week (and I honestly love it! It's challenging and sometimes I feel like a modern day Nancy Drew when I try to figure out who was where at what time! - nerdy, I know)
  • Boo boo fixer: We have a School Nurse now, but when she leaves, I put on the School Nurse hat and fix boo boos (or try to remove splinters from 1st Graders who left their subsitute teacher during pick up time to go flip in a tree. . .when I'm on my way to the restroom. . .and I REALLY have to go)
  • Award Printer: I've probably printed between 500 and 800 awards (this quarter. . .that the principal hands out in front of the entire school. . .no pressure)
  • Animal Control: Dead or alive (and in some cases invisible. . .such as when an irate lady calls in to report a "huge" dog on campus that is creating a "safety" issue and letting me know that I need to follow the rules, then hangs up on me when I reply - even though there was no huge dog and school was no longer in session)
  • D.J. : Two words: Big. Money. I know you're thinking I should quit my day job, but listening to gripes from a parent about Lady Gaga playing at an event she and her child won't even be attending barely counts as experience. But being willing to listen when she says, "Oh I'm not actually going - can you have them change the song?"... - because we all know little kids are totally listening to the lyrics from music playing at the same decibel as a plane taking off when they get to have cotton candy and play in "real" snow, has to count for something, right?
  • Hug giver and/or receiver: The children are obviously the best part about working at a school (there's clearly never a dull moment) and when they give hugs (and sometimes kisses-from the little ones, naturally) well, it simply makes the job rewarding because you know that you have earned their trust and you get the opportunity to love and care for them every single day. I honestly don't know if there's anything better.
  • Responsible Adult: Some kids do not have this in their lives and so it is up to myself and to my co-workers to provide what they don't get at home. Sad but true.
  • Parking Lot Attendant: Because when we run out of parking spaces it is my fault and I need to do something about it. I figure I'll just work at a large theme park or arena over Summer and apply my expertise to an area that I'm (not) familiar with. . .Happiest Place on Earth here I come!!!
  • Mail Distributor: Yes, we do have a postman. No, I did not remember to get yesterday's mail (yesterday or today as the postman kindly reminded me, "Yesterday's mail is still in there.") So...I don't know how much longer he'll be around. I usually have my T.A.s (teacher's assistants) distribute the mail and put the outgoing mail in the box, but right now there are piles of mail (and packages) on my desk and I don't think my current T.A.s have learned how to distinguish outgoing mail from incoming (or that we put the red flag up when there is outgoing mail in the box, but hey - we all have things to learn).
  • Disciplinarian: This used to be one of my favorite hats, but I don't wear it as often since I mostly deal with the elementary students and not junior high and high school as much. Part of my job requires for me to hand out detentions and dress code slips to students who are not in compliance with the dress code. When I discipline, I don't ever try to embarrass the student because that would teach the wrong lesson (and let's face it, it's just plain wrong and if they are disciplined without embarrassment they will  probably respect you for caring about them enough to take action). My students respect me for this...I think (I have a group of high school boys that salutes me and calls me "Officer" when I walk by. That's a good thing...right??).
I absolutely love my job and am grateful for it each day. I am grateful for the work the Lord has done in my life in bringing me to my current position and am grateful for how He has worked in me personally through my job and taught me to trust Him in all circumstances. Many of these descriptions are sarcastic, but this my attempt at humorously relaying some of my more interesting experiences. I think they are funny (mostly because clients get upset with me for things that I have absolutely no control over). My hope is that through my stories you find a small glimpse of joy and a little laughter.