Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stupid School = No First Day Pictures

Okay, this is gonna be a long one and probably very frazzled and unorganized because I have so many raging thoughts going through my head right now I can barely stand it.

I guess I'll begin at...well, the beginning. So I took the kids to their schools about a week and a half ago to register them for this new year. First we did Kora. The ladies were so friendly. They gave us all the appropriate forms, newsletters, calendars, and even a welcome to the school packet especially for Kora. This was the day I found out about the physical junk because they also gave us this 4 page form that needed to be filled out by a doctor. They let me know without that form completed, Kora would not be able to start school. A little annoying because the doctor had already told me she couldn't see them before school, but oh well. I knew if I called them and told them about the kids not being able to start, they could squeeze them in. NEXT, we went to Jake's school. Same day mind you. We got all the forms, no issues they just informed us that we needed the physical like Kora's school. Fine. So I called the doctor and they were able to squeeze both Kora and Jake in for an appointment this last Friday.

The Thursday before the appointment I went BACK to both schools to turn in ALL the completed forms MINUS the physicals. I figured they could at least be registered and placed in a class without the physical so they could meet their teacher that night at the meet the teacher. It's already a new experience for the both of them. New school, new state and everything. I really felt they needed to at least KNOW where they were going on the first day and who their teacher would be.

First we went to Kora's school to drop off the forms. The ladies there gladly accepted them even though I didn't have the physical. They placed her in a class so she could attend the meet the teacher that evening and informed me that she HAD to have her physical with her on the first day of school or she could not attend. I told them we had an appointment scheduled the very next day and we would NO DOUBT have the physical on Tuesday (today). Great! They were happy, I was happy, Kora was ready to start!

NEXT, we go to Jake's school. I'm expecting the same friendly service I got from Hugh Mercer (Kora's school) since they ARE the same district. I assumed they worked hand in hand since they are upper and lower elementary schools. Wrong. Very wrong. The lady I spoke with was ruder than you could ever imagine. When we pulled up to Jake's school it was pouring rain and I mean POURING. Still, I lugged my 3 big heathens and a freakin heavy baby carrier into the school to turn in the papers. We were soaked from head to toe, dripping all over the place. The lady in the office didn't even get out of her seat, but yelled at me, "We aren't doing registrations right now. Come back at 1pm!" What? It was 15 till 12 at the time. I wasn't loading all my kids BACK into the rain to go home only to turn right back around and come back. NO. I told the lady I had all the information already filled out and asked her if I could just drop it off. She was annoyed, rolled her eyes and then got up to take the papers from me. She told me the guidance counselor in charge of registrations wasn't there but she would leave these papers for her. I had his birth certificate, SS card, shot record, GT paperwork and our utility bill with me, but I wanted her to make copies of them so I could keep the originals myself. She was pissed about having to walk her fat but to the copy machine and lift that HEAVY lid of the copier 5 times to make the copies. Oh no...heaven forbid you do office work when you work in a freakin OFFICE. When she noticed there was no physical she told me that he would not be placed in a class. What? Why not? I told her we had an appointment scheduled the very next day. Her comeback to that? "Well how do I know you really have an appointment?" Arrghh. I wanted to bite her head. I offered to call the doctor right then and there so she could confirm the appointment. She declined the offer and told me it didn't matter. She had to have the physical to place him. I said, "Sooo, he can't come to meet the teacher tonight and find out where he will go on the first day of school?" Nope, she says. He can can come, but he won't have a teacher. WHAT?! So why the heck would I bring him if he didn't have a classroom to visit? Freakin sarcastic B. I was holding in SO MUCH anger when all I really wanted to do was scream and start punching. FINE! I said. I mentioned to her that we JUST came from Hugh Mercer for Kora and they DID place her in a class without the physical knowing it would be brought in on the first day. Her reply? "Well, this isn't Hugh Mercer." I WANTED TO SCREAM!!!!!! I told her to leave the forms for Mrs. Jones (the guidance counselor) and we would bring the physical on the first day of school. She gave me Mrs. Jones' phone number so I could call her later that day to make sure she received the forms and then to ask her about placing him. Oh...so you COULD place him? I said. Well, you can ask Mrs. Jones about it. That right there tells me that there were no SET rules regarding the issue.

Before I left I asked her about the bus issue. I told her we were unsure about whether or not the kids would be bus riders or car riders and I wanted to know what bus they WOULD be on. She then told me that because Kora and Jake go to separate schools, they would ride totally separate buses in the morning AND in the afternoon. Ok, not liking that. There is no way in heck I was puttin my little girl Kindergartner on a bus by herself, NO WAY, especially after Jake's experience on the bus in Texas. I told her, in that case, they would definitely be car riders. This sparked up a whole different flame! She barked at me, "Well the schools get out at the same time, so you'd be late picking him up EVERY day." Is that my problem? Is it really MY issue that the two schools decide to let out at the same time? I don't think so. It's not MY problem that they divide the ONE elementary school up, or that they are 15 minutes apart from each other and then another 15 minutes from my home. No. Not my issue at all. I told her there was nothing I could do about that. She then told me that Jake would be sent to the office after pickup EVERY day because I'd be late and I'd have to park my car and physically WALK in to pick him up making the teachers wait around for me. Oh freakin well. She was basically trying to get me to change my mind about picking them up but after that little episode, there was NO WAY I was changing. I'll walk in and grab him in the office every single day. I'm not lazy like you complaining about having to walk to the copier. I'll walk in the school with my 3 kids and pick him up JUST to make you wait. Okay, so I didn't say any of that but I wanted to. I was so mad. I just left.

Later that day I called Mrs. Jones to try to get her to place Jake in a class. Unfortunately she had been tainted by the mean office lady who I'm SURE gossiped to her that I was the biggest rudest B in the world so Mrs. Jones had a predetermined idea of me and she wasn't backing down about NOT placing him. I told her I'd be writing a letter to the school district regarding this issue and how the two schools cannot seem to be uniform in their policies. All she had to say was she HAD to have the physical to place him. She just kept repeating it over and over since she was too dang stupid to think OUTSIDE the box and come up with a plan. Idiot. I even offered to bring the physical on Friday but she said she wouldn't be there to accept it. I clarified with her one more time before I got off the phone, "So Jakob has to come the first day of school with his physical, during all the first day commotion, and you guys will hustle and bustle around to quickly find a class to THROW him into because you can't go ahead and plan for it right now? Is that right?" Her only words, "I have to have the physical IN MY HAND to place him in a class." RETARD. I KNOW, you've said that 500 times. I get it, shutup. Mind you she has this freakin ridiculous accent I don't know WHERE it's from but it's so freakin stupid I wanna reach my hand through the freakin phone and grab her old wrinkly neck.

So Thursday comes and goes. The kids get their physicals, we had a great extra long weekend and it's now Tuesday, first day of school. We get ready, nice clothes, new shoes, hair fixed, teeth sparkly. We're all excited! I tried to get pictures before we left but couldn't find a good place outside so I just decided we'd do it at the school. We took Jake first since his school starts 10 minutes earlier than Kora's (even though they end at the same time). We all, yes ALL five of us walk into the office. Jake has his backpack loaded down with all his supplies and his physical in hand. I go into Mrs. Jones' office and hand her the form. She looks it over. She digs around in her desk for a bit and pulls out all his forms that I left for her last week. They obviously had been untouched since then, but whatever. The she looks me in the eye and says, "He can't start today." WHAT THE FREAK?? I said, excuse me? She said, "Well, we don't have a class for him yet and the teacher needs to be informed of the new student." Uhmm...YEAH. Exactly my point last week. Why not assign him a class? I reminded her of her OWN words, "I have to have the physical IN MY HAND before he can start school." She said, "Yeah, I know." Well? You have it "in your hand" so start him. Sorry, she says. We can't do that. He can start tomorrow once we get all of his information in the system. I was so freakin pissed I told her to look Jakob in the eye and tell HIM that. (Little did she know he didn't wanna start school anyway but it was the fact of the matter!) I then lost control of my anger and for the first time EVER I felt as though I wanted to punch this 65+ year old woman standing in front of me and her stupid accent. I had to seriously try HARD not to be physical. How crazy is that?! I didn't, however, refrain from verbally abusing her because I said, "this is a freakin shitty school". I probably looked ridiculous standing there with 4 kids, all white trash, mix-matched, cussin in a child environment but oh well. I couldn't help myself. We stormed out of the school and when we got in the car I continued to talk bad about those ladies. I may have said a few things that I wouldn't normally say, but we all get a little crazy now and then, right?!

After that we went to Kora's school with no problems AT ALL. We walk in. I take her to her class. She smiles. She gives the teacher an apple and waves goodbye! On my way out I stopped by the nurse's office to turn in the physical and she gladly accepted it with a smile! She was SO friendly in fact, that I decided to ask her opinion on the matter. I told her the story and she was almost more mad than me. She told me that all the school needs is the physical to start. There is no other reason for them not allowing him to start other than pure laziness because they have to enter his information in the system. She said, "I'm tellin you this as a mother to a mother. I'm not an employee right now (and she covered her name tag with her hand). Go BACK to his school, tell Mr. Russ (the principal) the situation, and DEMAND they place him in a class. Do NOT leave, until they do." WoW. I had almost calmed my boiling adrenaline until those words came out of her mouth. I was back, and ready to attack. I thanked her and left, destined for drama!

When I walked in the school I realized that my previous presence had left QUITE a story for the ladies in the office. They were all giving me looks and whispering to each other. Can I just take a minute away from the story to say something about school employees? I have to get this out even though I know some of you ARE teachers or have spouses that are teachers or are SOME way related to school employees. I'll apologize for offending you a head of time because this is mostly directed toward the employees who are NOT teachers. Why the CRAP do school workers think they are above any and everyone else? WHY? They work in a FREAKIN office, filing papers, making copies and tapping on a keyboard. They walk around in their fancy little outfits with matching earrings and bracelets and heels whispering to other employees as they cover their face with a freakin piece of paper or file folder. I HATE THAT. I HATE how they make you feel like you're not old enough to hear what they're saying behind that paper or like I even CARE what they're saying. I honestly think there is more gossiping going around at these stupid schools than any other work environment. They treat the kids like they are breaking the freakin law if they do something wrong. They're always breathing down your back with "letters in writing", "parent signed permission", and "I can't give that information out" comments. I understand that schools need tight security for the safety of the kids, but once we get through the security, they need to treat the parents like the ADULTS that we are. It seems like the minute you walk in you're already on their bad side and they can't WAIT to find something to get on to you for or fight with you about. Am I right?!

Sorry for the tangent, back to the story. So I'm sitting in the waiting room for the Principal, Mr. Russ and all the while I KNOW and can plainly see all the ladies talking about my previous visit. Even though they act like they aren't talking about it, they are. Mr. Russ was extremely nice. He came out, shook my hand and immediately started asking me about Isaak because he's expecting his first baby boy in 3 weeks. He acted like he didn't know the story, but I knew they had already told him everything about me. Oh well. When we went to his office I asked him about the policy regarding physicals. He said no child is allowed to start without a physical "IN HAND". (they must teach all the school employees that phrase because it seemed so rehearsed). He told me they have a lot of problems with illegal immigrants so they are very strict with their rules. I agreed, I understand completely. I'm from Texas for cryin out loud, you don't have to tell me about illegal immigrants. I told him I wasn't questioning HAVING a physical. I wanted to know what the policy is as to when they can start. I told him all about Kora's situation and how Hugh Mercer accommodated her SO well, making sure she had a class for meet the teacher, making sure she could start the first day, etc. etc. I told him I was disappointed in the lack of uniformity between the two schools knowing good and well that MANY MANY parents have children in both schools. He apologized over and over for my experience and kept saying that he hoped it had not left a bad taste in my mouth. I asked him about Jake starting today instead of waiting until tomorrow. He looked in the system to see if his information had been recorded but of course, it had not. They had absolutely NOTHING in the computer for Jake even though I gave Mrs. Jones the paperwork a week ago. I was right about it sitting in her desk drawer, collecting dust. He said it may take a few hours to get it in the system (because typing takes so long, right?) but he could probably get Jake in a class by noon. FINE. I didn't care if it took 1 hour or 5 hours. I wanted them to make an effort and get him in a class before the end of the day JUST to prove my point that it CAN be done. So Jake is here at home with me and I should be getting a call from the principal any minute telling me to bring him up, they have a class for him.

I know it's almost pointless for him to go after half the day is gone, but I'm not letting those rude ladies in the office win this one. We'll show up (amid all the whispering) and Jake will start school TODAY. I did my part with the physical even though it was last minute, why can't they do theirs? The Principal DID ask me if I had called Mrs. Jones a name while I was here the first time. He said the office ladies were saying I had. (remember those gossipy hoochies?) I told him that I said this was a shitty school, but I refrained from calling her any names until I got in the car. He nodded his head in a way that makes me think he KNOWS how they ladies there gossip and how my first visit probably turned into an entirely different story after them telling it 20 times. He actually picked out a teacher for Jake while we were there telling me that he wanted Jake to have one of the best so he could have a good year and I would see that this school isn't what my first impression left me to believe.

So now, I have this reputation at this school of the "hard parent" who yells and curses and is going to cause a huge fuss this entire year when really I've NEVER been a hard parent and I usually don't say a single WORD to the teachers and office staff unless I'm helping with a party or function. Whatever. We won't be here for long anyway.

SO, that brings me to the title of this post. Because of the drama, I completely forgot to take a picture of my Koko on her first day before school started. I know I can take one afterwards, but her hair will be frazzled, she'll probably have paint on her shirt and mayo on her cheek and her shoes will be untied and dirty. BUT, at least we'll have a good story to go along with the picture, right?!


Laura said...

AUGHH! What a crappy frustrating first day. I think those ladies just liked being on their power trip. I'm glad you were fiesty and confrontational and all that--I would've been like, oh, ok. he can start tomorrow. thank you very much. BUt i would've felt the same way you did. Kudos for going back and taking to the principal. And who cares if they think you're difficult--jake's teacher will love him of course. Now I"ll be riled up for the next couple of hours in sympathy rage.

Lindsay said...

Oh my GOSH.... i don't know what to say except that you handled it WAYYY better than i would have. I would have said, "Who the HELL do you think you are? You didn't mention ONE THING about not being able to start on the first day! And for all you OTHER office workers... I don't know what this lady told you and i don't care but you better stop WASTING MY TIME WITH GOSSIP and freaking get my son enrolled in a class... by TODAY or SO HELP ME... i'll find a way to get you all written up with the school board." And then i'd go talk to the principal... and then i'd feel stupid because i know i couldn't do anything really and then i'd probably cry to enos. Way too handle it, sister.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I am so sad that you had such a terrible first day of school! I know Jake didn't really care much about the whole school thing, but I hope he squeezed out a sad tear for that wench when she had to tell him he had no teacher. I hope he milked it and she felt like crud. Which is unlikely, but still.
And don't worry about the 'bad reputation' that you seem to have earned. I freaked out on a teacher once and the bad juju stuck around for a couple of days, but then all was well. By next week, they either won't remember or they will be tired of old gossip... either way, you'll be in the clear.

Anonymous said...

how awful....i hate hearing that you had to deal with all that crapola...i'm so sorry....poor jake :(

David and Teresa said...

I was about to go to the lds bookstore but now I have to wait because my face is covered with tears and i am crying. I wanted to be there to help you Jess with those mean ladies but I am in TX. I feel so sad for my Jakob who has to have this experience his first 1/2 day of school when he did not want to go anyway. I hope it does not mess up his thinking about school. I hope the school, teachers, office do not treat him badly because of that. Sometimes I hear that they do when they have confrontations with "hard parents" which you are NOT AT ALL. Must have been quite terrible for you to succumb to the "s" word in a child environment. You are normally composed from what I remember as your mother and handle things very diplomatically. Baby, I am sorry for all that and that you had to endure it in another state. But like you said, you will have a great story to go along with the picture of Kora's first day of school and the mayo on her face and the paint on her shoe. I love you and you are such a good mommy and I am proud of you for waiting till you got in the car to call the lady a name. Sorry she pushed you to that point though. Love you Mutha

redheadsmom said...

being the "hard parent" has its rewards. The office staff and faculty now know that they can't get away with any B.S. with you. They just didn't want to do the work. I hope you told that principal that she had been sitting on the paperwork for a week.

redheadsmom said...

and by the way, I wrote a letter to the superintendant once and that did work!

Valinda said...

You have all day Kinder? I SOOO wish they had that here! I had to find the happiest part of that whole deal and focus on that.I like the office ladies at my kids school but it's taken 2 years and me being the PTSO President to get them to act like people. The whole thing is just awful, I'm glad to hear you're forcing them to place Jake today, you did everything on your part for him to be there TODAY and they should to! Write the Superintendent and let them know how inconsistent and rude their staff is, they deal with kids and frazzled parents maybe they need a refresher in customer service.

raschel said...

I am so freaking pissed after reading this. I think you handled yourself VERY well AND I think you should've told the principal MORE about those stupid bia office workers and that it WAS a horrible way to treat a brand new student/parent to the district. I think you should take this a step further and let their administration office know about it. I'm not kidding. I've been working at the admin office in Rockwall this summer, and you'd be suprised the things people will complain about...but this is serious and obviously the principal has not trained his staff well - though it seemed like he was trying to smooth things over w/ you. I know in Rockwall the Asst Superintendent would be getting involved b/c she is "over" principals - she would encourage parents to try and handle it at the campus level first and then if things still were not handled appropriately, she ALWAYS wants to know. I'm serious. I would let someone know b/c there is NO reason they couldn't have had the info ENTERED (obviously b/c it worked w/ Kora) w/ a "hold" or something on his name until they had the freaking physical "in hand". GO HIGHER. Let someone else know about the rude staff. I think you deserve a HUGE apology. AND - I'd let them know how rude she was about the transportation issues. I HIGHLY doubt that they are going to send him to the office after 15 minutes of waiting to be picked up. UGH. I"M ABOUT TO SCREAM!!!!

creeks wife said...

I am redheads sister and I used to live in Virginia as well. While my school experiences were not as bad as yours I feel your pain. That state makes everything difficult. Don't get me wrong I LOVE Virginia but they make things way more difficult than they need to be.

Amanda said...

That is INSANE!!!! I got kids all the time put in my class at a moments notice all through the year and not just on the first day! they just walked them into my room from the office! And the office staff needs to be nice.....geezzz.....It's a school people!

Camilla said...

stupid ladies. what a horrible example they set for children. i'm sorry it went so horribly.

Anonymous said...

You've seen my mama bear....so, I second your emotions.

They obviously missed their inservice on customer service. Or, you know how women get in sync......maybe they were all ridin' the crimson tide....... Whatever their deal I can't believe that they still gave you a hard time with 4 kids in tow. Craziness.

My personal favorite though is when you told the principal that you'd waited until you got into the car to rename dearly beloved Ms. J.

Hang in there! Hawaii may be on the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Burns Family said...

WOW, I can say that little mishap makes me not excited for Austin's first day of school next year. I would have been completely frustrated and gave up, good for you pushing it all the way.

Jess said...

Oh my goodness! What a crazy and frustrating experience.

I can totally relate to your feelings about nasty school office ladies. Last year at Shannon I always felt like the front desk woman was condescending to me. I couldn't figure out why...now I know that it just comes with the territory!

Laura is right. Jake's teacher will LOVE him because he's adorable. So don't worry!