Our final last two weeks of purgatory has begun and the degradation mounts and mounts.
The 20 or so of us turn up at 8am on Monday for the “welcome meeting” and it turns out to be the FUD going "this is the kitchen", "this is the reception", "this is the toilet", we are shown into the two classrooms we are going to be occupying for the next two weeks. Right. Bets are immediately laid to see how long we get to keep the rooms because of the summer camps over the next two weeks. ( I lost, I thought we would have stayed longer in a room )
We all get sat down and the instructions given for the next two weeks. Well, umm, what you have to um do is ( look at floor ) write two um well um activities that um someone can use ( look at floor again ) next year and two that ( look at ceiling ) need materials right and er um next week you will be doing more of the same.
Believe me this is a shorter and far clearer version than he came out with.
Oh yes, not only that, we were told that we had two pcs that we could use to print out the material. But not yet, they had to tell someone to move out of that room. Good to see they had planned this.
Within a couple of hours two pcs had been changed to one pc. Supposedly this was because of sensitive data on the hard drive. Umm, new windows xp user profile anyone? Then it turns out that the pc isn’t connected to the printer, so we can’t print the materials. Good to see they had planned this part 2.
Yesterday they decided that we couldn’t access the internet through the company LAN because of sensitive data on the network. So what do they do? They buy a pay as you go internet access card from KSC!! Nice to see they trust us so much. Good to see they had planned this part 3.
Meanwhile during the “welcome meeting” it was announced that the two weeks would be full time i.e. no going home early or coming in late in other words the full day 8 til 4. this seems strange as normal practice at school was at the end of the day that people would just leave when teaching was finished and that if people had a big break during the day i.e. teaching periods 1 then 7 and 8 they could leave school and go home, do shopping or whatever they needed to do. Indeed it was OFFICIAL policy that we didn’t need to sign out at the end of the day, that we could sign out the following day when we came in. This soon evolved into not signing out – ever. Of course the previous two weeks we have been turning up 8ish, 9ish and leaving for home at 11ish or 12 ish.
So we have the situation that we are now on the premises longer than we were during a normal working week or the previous two weeks when we have not been working!!!
Now during the day what are we doing? Umm, not a lot actually. In fact absolutely sod all to be honest. The 10 minutes work to produce the worksheets have been done by some people others have been “strategically thinking about the big idea”. In other words sod all until the deadline of Friday when it has to be completed by. Most of us are just reading newspapers, playing computer games on laptops, doing crosswords, seeing how long a lunch we can get away with and so on.
So far, its been 4 room changes, I wonder how many more times we have to move things out the way.
I was talking to another teacher last week and he had a right old go at me for my negative attitude about the agency and the FUD and that I was moaning about having to sit around doing nothing for two weeks. His take on it was basically it was my fault I have a negative attitude to the agency, the FUD and that I carried that into the classroom and the agency had never done anything to him. I should be grateful for the chance to do nothing over the next two weeks and get paid for it. I pointed out that given the choice I would gladly do real and useful training but nope, he wouldn’t have that. He kept on hammering the point that as I was allowing myself to get depressed it was all my fault.
Now to a certain extent I can agree with that, putting the positive spin on things and making the best of what you have etc etc. But, when you have worked for an agency for 2 ½ years you get to see the heart and mind of an operation. This agency has no heart and certainly no mind. It is petty, money grabbing, cynical and you could argue mentally abusive. Now, some may see this as a negative, I tend to see my viewpoint as realistic. I can see the emperors’ new clothes!
This guy makes the claim that he never gets tired of anything, that his daily routine is never boring etc etc. He never lets anyone with a negative attitude change his attitude and no one should allow that to happen. He wouldn’t allow anyone to change his attitude. I asked him, if he had a great boss who was really enthusiastic, knowledgable etc would that raise his game. He said yes. Ah ha! I said so you do allow other people to influence your attitude. Yes, but only the positive ones. So would you allow the concept that a negative boss could influence people? No, it's your fault.
I asked him if he had his favourite meal all the time for breakfast, lunch and dinner, did exactly the same thing everyday would he get bored with it? He answered no. just to check the point I argued that human nature needs change, it needs new things to learn, to prevent boredom etc. He said no, that’s rubbish. If that’s the case why do we move countries to work, why do we go to university, why do we change jobs etc etc. He would just not be having any of that. In the end I almost felt like belting him one, not only for refusing to acknowledge my points but also he was always interrupting me, not allowing me to finish my point and talking over me. That’s what I call a negative approach.
Lets see what the next few days bring along.