Normal for me means getting in at 7:00. Most staff and all students are warmly wrapped up in their fetid pits, but TSB has to be in nice and early, to prepare the school for the 8:45 start when the students amble in at their usual glacier pace.
|Our kids walk faster than this ...JUST|
I have to check which of my weak and malingering colleagues have decided to take the day off, and to arrange cover for their classes.
The excuses I get given by these poor souls vary.
My son/daughter/partner/hamster has a runny nose, and I don't feel I should leave them alone. (Why not? Is your presence going to make them feel better? Just leave them with a TV cartoon/Barbie Doll/glass of malt/bowl of nuts. They don't need mollycoddling, for goodness sake)
- Going on a training course they have forgotten to mention to me (FFS, they should be sent on a course on Memory Strategies (during a weekend of course) to help the poor bugger in remembering to tell me the day before)
- I've got to take my dog to the vet (Bloody Hell man, I thought Kiwis were hard. Couldn't they just rip off the dog's bollocks with their bare teeth like the sheep cockies do?)
However, I digress.
As I walked towards the admin block, at my usual brisk pace, exhibiting a tall, erect military posture, I noticed something odd.
I very rarely notice something nice at NLHS. I do remember the mother of one of my year 11 boys at a Learning Conference (the newfangled bloody name for parent's night) who was very, very nice. But not often.
|This was very nice.|
I must admit that I very often notice something odd at NLHS.
I notice Colin the Groundsman meandering in his usual wobbling manner (tie your f*cking boots man, that's why they invented shoelaces for f*ck's sake) toward wherever it is he'll be hiding from everyone for that day. It's no use shouting at him, he's got a pair of extra-padded ear muffs with integral radio permanently glued to his ears, so he won't even notice a Richter 8 earthquake, unless it ruffles the paddock.
I notice Richard [of RBB] arriving in his clapped out old motor, mumbling mispronounced Italian phrases to himself whilst whistling some very obscure (and out-of-tune) tune for his Gloria.
I notice one of the band of feral ex-students who haunt the premises, trying to scavenge food, water and the fag and cigar doubts, trying to hide behind the gym.
This time however, what I saw was extremely odd.
|Odd, man ...like weird|
An old bloke, in his mid eighties I would guess, slowly ambling over the back car park towards the gym. I should say that it is not unusual to see some of the local denizens of Nuova Lazio using the school as a public thoroughfare (and occasionally as a public toilet) at some times during the day, but rarely so early in the morning.
It was so odd, that even Colin the Groundsman stopped to stare before heading for his hide.
"Ah Well" I said to myself as I turned to head back to my office, "There's nowt so queer as folk"
(Especially the late unlamented Brendon, who was as queer as a 3 pound note and eventually left before he got charged for grooming some of our more sensitive senior students)
Ten minutes later while struggling to re-re-arrange that days relief cover (I've got to wait until the electrician comes. Never heard that one before. ... NOT) I heard someone trying to open the doors to the admin block.
It was that old bloke again.
I talked to him ... sort of.
I talked, he talked, but no communication was established.
I asked simple questions.
"Who are you?"
"The girls aren't working"
(Thinks, what girls, is he some sort of pimp?)
"Why are you here?"
"I work here making sure the jobs get done"
"I've worked her for almost 15 years. and I don't recognise you" "Why are you here?"
"Right along that road and around the corner"
"That's where they go you know, it takes ages to get them back again"
"That's my job, I've always worked here"
"What do you do?"
"That ground's not flat you know, you've to work at it"
It dawned on me that this bloke was completely away with the fairies.
Eventually (another 5 minutes of non-communicative talk) I persuaded him to f*ck off.
One of my colleagues (who were beginning to arrive by now [the lazy buggers] phoned the cops and told them to keep an eye out for the poor old bugger.
It wasn't until much later that I suddenly realised I had made a grave error.
He would have been ideal as a relief teacher.
He wouldn't have taken any notice of the crap said to him by our kids.
He would have been talking gibberish, but the kids would just have thought that they didn't understand, a usual state of being for many of them, so no harm done there.
AND the poor old soul wouldn't have realised that he was supposed to be getting paid, and I could have pocketed the lot, about $250 each day. I could have made a nice wee nest egg for my semi-immanent retirement.