The Eight-legged Administrator Rides Again
It's amazing how bosses everywhere seem to think that meetings are actually productive uses of ANYONE'S time. Faculty meetings are no exception. When I first started blogging, there was a great blog called "The Endless Faculty Meeting." I loved it because if faculty meetings were that cutting, we might actually enjoy them.
In one school in which I taught, we had faculty meetings on Fridays after school. It's amazing that someone didn't throw a ninja star made out of overhead projector parts at her head. You can already guess that this idea occurred to at least one person trapped there every other Friday.
My favorite thing is when we have faculty meetings on the shank end of parent-teacher conferences, and the PTB allow the tech dude Mr. Babbage (who smells like what I imagine Snoop Dogg probably smells like, if you get my drift) twenty minutes of every single meeting, even if he has nothing productive to say. So far, the only thing that Mr. Babbage HAS said every single meeting is this: "Well, this isn't working right now, but if it WAS working, this is what you'd see...." and then a fifteen minute wall of sound complete with reverb about what the imaginary techie thing might look like. I am tempted to say: "If it won't work on your brand-new MacBook Pro, it sure as HELL isn't going to work on my ten-year-old iMac," but that would then prolong the meeting, so many of us amuse ourselves by playing BuzzWord Bingo and messing around on our smartphones. I personally have sought to perfect a fixed expression in which I unfocus my eyes and meditate with a faint smile on my face.
I was right in the middle of a mantra when I suddenly came back to earth with a bang in the last meeting. First, some backstory: we have the bottom part of an eight-legged administrator on staff (Mr. Leckmichhorst) who haunts the main office, filling our principal's head with loads of sweet nothings for hours on end. He sucks up as only one whose vast incompetence and mental inertia is matched by his naked ambition to rise into the lofty ranks of middle-management can suck up. Only if he started biting on his pinkie finger while wearing a leer and a Nehru jacket could this performance be any more perfect. After his tete-a-tetes at the feet of the Throne of Power, he then comes back and regales his clan of hyenas with how stupid the principal is. Leckmichhorst's unintentional impression of the late Alexander Haig claiming control of the White House is spot on, I have to admit, and just as delusional.
Imagine my surprise when Mr. Leckmichhorst rose upon his hindlegs at the podium and started talking about how our school was going to be absolutely TRANSFORMED by adopting a new behavioral management system that rewards the kiddies with gold star stickers and that utilizes weird acronyms like PAHTOOTY or DERRIERE or something like that. His assurance that this NEW! FABULOUS! SYSTEM! wouldn't put any more work on the plates of teachers was truly jaw-dropping in its disingenuous brilliance. We were led to believe that we would practically be able to play SkeeBall in all the halos sprouting above kids' heads under this system, and that all the old referral forms that would be henceforth obsolete could create a bonfire from that would be visible to astronauts on the International Space Station. There wasn't even a whiff of ozone detectable as this dude sat up there and lied his face off promoting a plan he has ruthlessly mocked for months. So that, in his own words, "I can get a $30,000 raise next year!"
Wow. What a performance-- and just when Oscar nominations are being handed out. But you can't save people from their own moral squishiness OR their own naivete, so back to the meditation.
Om. Om, dammit.