Saturday, August 21, 2010
Everything Old is New
So I've officially been back to work for two days now. Yay! While I can't really say I'm a fan of the whole "have to actually get up and get going in the morning" thing as compared to the working in the afternoon thing, it's so nice to know I'm bringing in a paycheck again. Hooray for extra money!!
I really don't know what I'll be doing yet, since none of the aides start "aiding" until about two weeks into the year. I do know I'll be in 2 fourth grade classrooms helping with math (and yes, my first thought was "oh, crap") and a third grade classroom helping with reading. That's exciting because it would be pretty awesome to work with some of my last year's second graders again. But for now, while the aides who actually know what they're doing are testing everybody, I'm pretty much on gopher duty You know, making copies, cutting, stapling . . . all the monotonous, mindless work that you don't actually dislike doing because it's too easy to not like and has to be done. Also, while I was labeling books with their reading level I discovered the existence of the best book title EVER: The Dinosaurs Came Back and It's All Your Fault, Edward. Seriously, that is a real book! Have to admit, I found this much, much funnier than I probably should have. And it's probably a good thing I was the only one in the room at the time, because I get the feeling that the hysterical/maniacal laughter would not exactly have endeared me to all the cute little old ladies I'll be working with this year.
Because, have I mentioned? I knew going in that this was not exactly a job that would be populated with people the right age to play princes/princesses at Disney. But I'm the youngest one there by at least ten years. And there are only four or five of us who are not grandmothers. It's so weird to be at work listening to people talking about what their kids are doing - and their grandkids in college - and naturally having absolutely nothing to add. It kind of feels like being at one of the homemaking/enrichment/whatever-they-call-it-nows in my parents' ward that my mom dragged me to a few times. (side note: my parents are in a fairly old ward) I'm sure things will be different once we actually start working with kids, but for now . . . kinda awkward. I do like everybody though, so things can only go up. :-)
Yesterday was move-in/out day here. And it was . . . interesting. And rather nonsensical. I thought school must be starting on Monday since move-in was yesterday - turns out that's not for another week. Which explains why only about half a dozen people actually moved in yesterday, something that was really confusing us until we put those two facts together. I feel kind of bad for the people who had to move out yesterday, since I'm pretty sure that means they have nowhere to live for a week. I'm really wondering about the philosophy behind this crazy timing.
Also, the remodel of 19 & 20 is finally done. They finished it the day before people moved in - how's that for down to the wire? Luke and I have been up there a few times and can I just say holy cow I wish we were up there!!!! Everything is fancy and nice and new - and oh my gosh that smell of "new"! - there are not words to describe how jealous I am. You go inside and it's like you're in a completely different apartment complex. (I wish we'd taken pictures before people moved in.) No more seventies-green counter tops, modern light fixtures, no shag carpet . . . and I must be becoming more June Cleaver-ish than I've ever wanted or intended to, because I was absolutely DROOLING over the fridge and stove. All shiny and brand new - which kind of makes me mad, because when we moved down here from 20 the stove in here was absolutely unusable. So it was replaced. With a refurbished one that, while it looks much newer than the other, could easily be older than the one it replaced. So not fair. And the guys who moved into 20 yesterday are from Uzbekastan . . . Ukraine . . . some European country that starts with a U. Anyway, they really lucked out getting one of the new ones. So the manager spent a lot of time telling them how nice and new a place they're getting and how lucky they are because they're in pretty much the nicest apartment in this whole town (at least around campus). They're response was "Good, we deserve it because we came from a crappy place." Not sure if they meant Uzbekistan or the complex where they were living last week, but suffice it to say that didn't exactly endear them to anyone with even the tiniest semblance of power around here.
But by far the most obnoxious moment happened just a couple of hours ago. So, like I said the official move-in day was yesterday, but no more than 8 people actually showed up. Now, there were a few who weren't able to come yesterday for whatever reason, and they made arrangements to show up sometime this week. But that still leaves 15 or so that we're just wondering what's up. So yesterday at the end of the official check-in time frame we decide (well, Kendra, who has temporarily taken over since Stacey just had a baby, decided) that all the missing people will have to go to the office first to fill out the paperwork and then they can come to us to get their keys. Sounds like a good plan, right? I thought it was pretty great, anyway. So then, like I said just little while ago this girl and her dad show up at the door asking to get in. The dad does all the talking, which to be perfectly honest made me dislike them both more or less immediately. He wants to take look at his daughter's bedroom before he lets her move in . . . which, to be perfectly honest, made me certain these people were going to be trouble pretty much immediately. She hasn't paid or signed the move-in paperwork, so technically I can't give her the keys without permission from someone more important than me. So of course phone calls are made, but it's, you know, Saturday so of course no one answers. At this point dad starts throwing a fit talking about how they've brought $100 worth of frozen food and there was supposed to be someone down in the laundry room from 1:00 to 5:00 today and how dare they/we not be there.
Me: Ummmmm . . . that was yesterday.
Dad: No, it's the twentieth.
Me: Ummmmmm . . . today's the twenty-first.
Dad: . . . . . . . . . well, you shouldn't have left the laundry room until we got here! You should have stayed there all night!!
(full disclosure - he didn't actually say that, but it was definitely in the body language.)
So I tell him that my hands are tied without permission from the people that we're not getting hold of (note I said "him." Daughter has not said a word this entire time.) and he blusters off all mad and I roll my eyes and sort of hope they came from Cedar City or somewhere and end up having to wait until Monday to get in and all their frozen junk melts (and seriously, a hundred bucks worth of food for the freezer? I hope she's planning on sharing since there won't be any room left in there for her roommates!) because seriously, to adapt a quotation faulty planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. And being nasty will not encourage me to be nice to you. Then, like half an hour later or so this woman comes to the door. And starts going off about how she has a signed contract and has to get in now and you people were supposed to be waiting for us in the laundry room and how dare you not be doing check-in on the day we thought you were and I have a signed contract and my daughter has class on Monday (an assertion I'm slightly suspicious of) and she absolutely cannot move in any day other than today because she is a nursing student and has thousands of pages of homework to do before Monday (an assertion I'm greatly suspicious of) and how dare people not answer their phone when I call them and I have to inspect this place before I let my daughter move into it and you will do what I say now because I HAVE A SIGNED CONTRACT, DANGIT!!! Seriously, the thing about the contract was every third or fourth sentence out of her mouth. Naturally, I was beyond disinclined to be even slightly helpful. In fact, I spent the whole encounter with "be nice . . . be nice . . . BE NICE!!!!!!" playing in my head. I haven't run into people this demanding, self-entitled and just plain nasty since I worked at Disney. And to be quite honest, they beat out a lot of the nasty people I ran into there too. Anyway, it turns out that this is the mother of the girl who speaks less than a Chinese girl would have 500 years ago, and since she has signed a contract (at least I'm assuming she did . . . but I wouldn't be surprised if it was her parents' names on there) I can let them in to look (I think) but since she hasn't paid or filled out the rest of the paperwork I can't give her the key (I think). Yeah, I was pretty much making this up as I went along. So I grab the key to the house and as we walk toward it - she would be in the place as far from my apartment as it gets - mommy dearest rants about how they've been trying to get into the house all summer to look at it, and I'm thinking 'well, why the heck did you sign a contract sight unseen if how it looks is that big a deal to you?!' and we get to the house and she walks around the corner and I'm kind of confused and then it turns out that all summer they've been knocking on the old front door which is now a never used door to bedroom - and a bedroom that was empty all summer at that. Which kind of explains why no one ever answered the door, but of course it's also our fault that they never noticed there was another door. And then she says that they've been knocking on our door all summer trying to get us to show them the house . . . which, considering how rarely both of us were gone all summer, I don't believe for a minute. So then mom and dad start inspecting the whole house - daughter is just so traumatized by the whole situation that she's gone home, which turns out to be, sadly, just Tremonton - and they decidedly do not approve. Too small, obviously old, and all the other girls either stayed from summer or actually showed up yesterday so she/they don't get to pick a room but just have to take what's left, which is almost completely unacceptable, and at this point we've been so much trouble to them that mom is just inches from walking away, contract notwithstanding because we caused such a horrible situation for them by letting them get the date wrong and then not being prepared for them to show up randomly and I'm really kind of hoping they will when suddenly we get a hold of Kendra who gives me permission to pony up the keys and says she'll bring down the paperwork this evening, and if she hadn't talked to mom too I'd have been sorely tempted to lie and say she'd said tough luck, come back Monday. As it is I'm pretty sure she was railroaded by the diva antics. However, I'm not about to give the key to people who won't be living there, so I tell them that when there darling, helpless daughter can be bothered to come back from Tremonton just let me know and she can have it. And believe me, it was really hard not to say it exactly that way. It was absolutely unbelievable the way they were looking down their noses at this place. A place that is in really good condition considering it's 40 years old. You'd think they'd come from Beverly Hills or somewhere, not a town that is little more than a glorified truck stop. (I lived there, I'm allowed to say it.)
So another half hour or so goes by and there's another knock on the door and I'm cringing inside and sorely tempted not to answer, but since we all know that would just cause more drama I keep it to a brief groan and answer. Mom and daughter are there, and again daughter doesn't say a word the whole time. Mom writes a check, and I try to hand daughter the key but - I kid you not - mom takes it from me instead and hands it to her. Seriously? I just to scream at the girl "GROW A FREAKING SPINE ALREADY!!!!!!" But I restrained myself. And then they go, and here's hoping (but fully expecting the opposite) that that's the last I'll ever see of any of them.
Okay, I'm going to climb up on my highest soapbox and have a nice, cathartic rant now. Don't say you weren't warned.
HOLY HELICOPTER PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Have these people ever let that girl speak for herself? Is she allowed to have opinions? I've heard of these types of parents, but I've never actually seen any . . . much less interacted with any. And that's even while I was working at a freaking children's playground at WDW!! What are these people thinking? Isn't the whole purpose of parenting to enable the child to be a functioning, independent adult? How the heck is that going to happen when you do all the work that they are perfectly capable of doing? How do you expect them to function in the real world when you spoil them growing up and then try to make everyone else pamper them through college? That's insane!!!!!!!!!!!!
My parents never did anything like that. In fact, I don't think the thought ever even occurred to them. Now, they did haul out half the seats from the van, fill it to overflowing, and drive me down to Cedar every year. And they would take me grocery shopping that same day and pay for about half of it. But my freshman year, when I moved into some pretty run-down, but honestly not that bad dorms and was complaining about the lack of air conditioning and how I was going to melt before winter came? Quiz time! Did they:
A) run to the housing office and demand they purchase a window air conditioning unit for me.
B) say "suck it, you wimp!" and leave for home.
C) take me to Walmart since I didn't have a car so I could get a fan. Which I paid for.
(hint: the answer is C.)
And I've definitely got to give them mad props for not only driving me to Florida after I graduated four years ago, but helping me move into that apartment and taking me grocery shopping on the very day of their 25th anniversary. (random trivia - fours years ago today, actually) On the other hand, that didn't take as long as driving to Cedar + moving in + shopping, so by about 2:00 that afternoon they were celebrating their anniversary at Disney World while the fact that they were leaving the next day and I wasn't was hitting me . . . along with the "holy crap, what have I done?!?" thoughts. Good thing those didn't last long, or things might have played out very differently. :-)
Anyway. There is a HUGE difference between "helping out" and "doing for," amiright? It's ridiculous to think anyone could think doing everything for their kids could be a good thing. I'm seriously worried about what this country is going to be like in twenty years. Have you seen Idiocracy? Totally gonna happen, people!! The general population is going to be made up of fat, helpless people (a la Wall*E) who are all single because the girls can't find guys who sparkle and are willing to bite them. We are soooooooo moving to Canada. Or Russia. Dude, Ethiopia maybe. I am finding the place on this planet where the people are sanest, and we are moving there!!!
Okay, so this has gone waaaaaaaay longer than I was intending. Mad props for anyone who made it this far. That right there is the textbook definition of devotion. :-)
P. S. MOCKINGJAY COMES OUT IN THREE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be coming home from work and completely shutting out the world until I'm done . . . and heaven help anyone who wants to move in that day, because I'm not sure I'll be able to be nice if they insist on taking me away from my book!!
P. ost S. cript
Sending out summer with a bang. Or . .. well . . . a splat, rather. :-)