Custodians from hell
Okay, so I just went back into my classroom, and the first thing that comes to mind that is not incredibly profane is:
"Rowrbazzle! TANSTAAFL! Mule Fritters! Dingo Kidneys! Rackin'-frackin' son of a mule-skinner!"
Yes, apparently the custodial staff had been hard at work in my room-- listening to music on my radio, watching music videos on the classroom tv, and dumping my things in a big pile in the middle of the room and OUT IN THE HALL.
When I left school in June, I had put away almost everything. A summer school class spent part of the term in my room, and I assured my friend who was teaching in there that she could use whatever she wanted, but I KNOW she didn't leave things out to just be thrown around. Strangely, there is a diagram of my room drawn on the chalkboard, which states where everything WAS when they took out the furniture to do the once-a-year floor cleaning (oooohh, gross!), but apparently it was just put there for artistic purposes, since they didn't actually USE the diagram to put anything BACK. It looks like a tornado hit that room-- and I KNOW whereof I speak. And my fan is missing.
Oh. And they broke my chair. Irretrievably. The leather one I paid for myself, that replaced the cracked pumpkin-colored plastic one that I inherited.
This is not the first instance of this type of fun. I had a window that would not latch when I moved in. It had been like that for over five years and two previous occupants. Countless work orders had been placed on this bad boy, which resulted after four visits from three different custodians, in some nice shiny duct tape (or, as the maintenance supervisor calls it "duck" tape) being slathered across the two panes like braces on a twelve-year-old. But I guess I shouldn't complain too much about that one-- another colleague swung her window open... and watched it slowly pirouette away from the frame like Frank Poole's corpse in 2001: A Space Odyssey and plummet three stories to the ground.
When the custodian finally came to the room, he looked through what was now a insect portal in her wall and said, and I quote, "Hey. The window's broken." I actually heard my friend's knuckles crack like microwave popcorn as she clenched her fists.
Combine that with the wires hanging from my ceiling, the broken clock with the cracked plastic cover and the 3'x2' obsolete intercom system with yet another clock that hasn't worked since 1967 but yet somehow still has been left to adorn the walls and you've got a lovely refugee college student motif going on that would give Carson Kressley a fit of the vapors.
At my previous school, it was not this way. If a table needed to be removed, two guys and a dollie showed up within the hour. The floors were actually swept every day. Teachers were not expected to provide their own classroom clocks, batteries, or surge protectors on top of the million other things upon which we spent our own money. It didn't take three sullen, hard-bitten men two days to bring up a box of paper from the first floor. The maintenance supervisor didn't go out
It took me two years in my new school to learn the following things:
1. If you want something done, wait for the night crew to come on duty and ask Louise. Louise will actually get it done, and call you "darlin'," too.
2. If you can't wait for Louise, email the work order to the maintenance supervisor and CC the principal.
3. If it weighs less than two hundred pounds, move it yourself.
So now I will spend about 4 hours rearranging my room.
But, by God, someone's buying me a new chair. One as nice as the maintenance supervisor's.