Friday, August 13, 2010

Dear School Non-Information Professionals

Dear Patrick's New School Secretary,

When I called the other day to find out when back to school night is, you informed me that I hadn't gotten a letter with 'important information' because his old school hadn't sent you all of his paperwork yet. Hmm. Number One, I kind of think that the fact that you're missing paperwork on my boy IS important information all on its own, don't you?? You maybe could have called me about that. Second, he's registered there, he's got a teacher, he's been doing summer homework - I would say he's already a student there; why on earth do you need some piece of paper from his old school to trigger your sending me this VIP info? Is it super-secret, all-forms-filled-out-only information? Do I need a secret decoder ring to read it? Don't worry - I definitely didn't spend last night awake worrying that somehow my boy wasn't registered ANYWHERE anymore. Also, I like how you're secure enough in your job that you could take off the Friday before school starts, and leave someone who knows NOTHING about your job sitting at your desk to greet me when I come in, as directed, to fill in whatever presidential paperwork needs to be done. It's good that in this economy, you're able to say, screw it, all the parents dealing with last-minute Important Paperwork can just take a number. When your startled replacement finally finished stemmering repeatedly that she had no idea what she was doing, and actually LOOKED, she found the list of kids in magnet, and found my boy's file, and from what we could figure out, it looked like you had been missing the HEALTH FORM from his old school, which is now in there (the check mark on the file list was in a different color than the other items). You needed a HEALTH FORM in order to send me the first day of school info?! I hope you were out today so you could take a prioritization class, or maybe seeing some sort of mental health professional yourself.

Thanks for the wasted gas,
Why Do I Bother

Dear School Transportation Department,

One of my goals today was to find out about Josie's bus schedule. I looked online, but the local paper had the information link wrong, and when I finally got to the school site, the school had a list of thirty bus numbers to wade through with no identifying information/searchable content. Yes, I could have clicked on every single link, but if the first one was any indication, each bus has several routes it runs, and it was tremendously confusing. So, I called the phone number you helpfully provided on the website. When you answered, you asked if I had looked online, and I explained my dilemma. You then asked if I had driven over to the school and looked. I replied, 'No; I suppose I could drive over there rather than asking you on the phone right now.' Your answer: 'That would be good, because we're busy.' Wha??? Let me get this straight: you gave me your number so I could call you, and then get told to get in my car and drive across town, rather than simply looking in your computer and answering my question? By the time we went through all that, you could have probably looked it up twice over! What do we pay you for, again? You should talk to the school secretary (see above) - she may have information on a prioritization class for you. But only if you've sent her the correct forms.

Again With the Wasted Gas,

Monday, August 9, 2010


DH has been looking for a new job for awhile now. It's not that his current job is in danger, at the moment, but that they're total asshats. Three times they've promised him bonuses of varying sizes, from the $10k one that turned out to be $500 (which they then bumped up to $1k because his manager threw a fit), and two other ones that never appeared at all. It's not just him, either - everyone is treated the same, and as a result, people are leaving in droves. On his project alone, two people left the other week, one is in final negotiations with a company, and DH and another guy are looking. The only one who is planning on staying is the guy who was only hired about six months ago, because you're kind of stuck for at least a year.

So far, DH has had three serious bites from companies. One fell through, and I was kind of happy about that, because I just wasn't getting good vibes, but two others have been strong. He's had two interviews with one, and three with the other. The second with #1 and the third with #2 were both last week, and both with senior VP-type people. Since then, silence.

On the one hand, it's not bad, because at least it's not a No. But on the other, WTF?! It's been a week. Hauling someone in for interview after interview, I think, increases your responsibility to them, because they've repeatedly taken time off to come over there, aka used vacation time to see you rather than family. I think that deserves at least SOME kind of follow-up, especially when the entire time you've spent with the interviewee has been with everyone saying how impressive the person is and how much everyone has said they like him.

More, though, I think my frustration is broader than just this scenario. No one seems to feel beholden to anyone anymore; there's no common sense of dignity. When I'm out shopping and say have to pass by where someone is looking, I always say 'pardon me' as I pass by, but 90% of the time, the person doesn't acknowledge me at all. Very frequently, someone passing in front of me will stop RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME to look at what I was looking at without saying a word, like I'm not even there! Cashiers wait on the person behind me before I even finish signing the receipt. Even at my church, there are people who do exactly what they feel like doing, regardless of how they make other people feel, or allow their children to be incredibly rude (what is it with people speaking for their children all the time? When I say 'hi, that's a nice dress' to a 6yo child, I want the child to say hello back, not the mom to answer for them or start making conversation with me to cover up for the fact that they haven't taught their kid basic manners!). Companies think it's OK to screw over anyone they want, and outright lie to employees.

I know this is nothing new, really, but most times I can grit my teeth and do my best to ignore all the taking-advantage-of. Maybe it's the heat finally getting to me, like the last straw.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Unicorn Poop

First, let me say, I am DONE with school for THREE WEEKS! Hooray!!! I got all A's this semester, and I'm thrilled and all, but woohoo!!! Time off!


We finally had to break down and buy the dogs hypoallergenic food. Delilah is trying to get another ear infection - this would be her fourth - and the vet said if she got another one we should try her on a different food, because recurrent ear infections can be a sign of a food allergy. Great. You all know that there are no normal dog foods that have no grains in them, right? We had to go to the pet store, not the grocery store, and not only that, but we had to go to That Aisle of the store. The aisle where dollar signs drip from the shelves like chow from a torn bag. Crap-a-doodle.

It turns out that all the foods are about the same price once you get to that echelon of pet food - approximately $50 for a 25lb bag. Oh. Mah. GAWD. We go through about 20lbs of chow a week between the two dogs, and there's no way we can feed them different things. Dog food just became its own line item on my imaginary budget.

We settled on Blue Buffalo brand, which I believe is made out of golden geese, the loch ness monster, and little brown pebble things that I think are unicorn poops. At this point, the dogs may be getting better nutrition than we are. It's certainly more magically delicious.

To make it worse, there was a peppy sales person who was actually FROM the Blue Buffalo company stalking the aisle, and I swear she's related to that woman on the Progressive Insurance company, you know, that crazy bump-haired woman in white? She stalked us with wide-eyed sincerity, and even loaded the bag we eventually bought into our cart. It was weird and annoying. I mean, it was bad enough that we're spending our life savings on dog food without a perky woman practically taking it out of our wallets right then and there.

However, I do have to say that after eating their first meal of the Blessed Chow, both dogs are running around the house like they've just eaten rocket fuel. Unicorn turds are tasty, apparently. Also, it's supposed to make them poop less because there are no fillers in it at all. Less dog logs sounds good to me - do you have any idea how much 170 (combined) pounds of dog can serve out? They're like log cabins for moles.

If these new platinum crunchies cure Delilah's ear infections, the money will be worth it, and probably financially come out in the wash, if you figure in what we were spending on vet visits and medicines, not to mention that she still runs and hides when she sees me come into the bedroom at night because I've had to put so many drops in her ears at bedtime. If it doesn't, we'll be meeting you back in the regular dog food aisle, where my debit card doesn't burst into flames upon entry.