One morning, bright and early, Ms. Finnerty got an email from the principal.
Please come to my office period 2.
Ms. Finnerty was confused. She taught period 2.
Are you sure you didn't mean period 3? I teach period 2.
Moments later, there was a response.
I know very well you teach period 2. Of course we will cover your period 2 class. Please be sure to leave a lesson so the person who covers you can teach something of value that period.
Wow. That didn't sound good. Ms. Finnerty searched her memory for what could be so important her class needed covering, and drew a blank. Period 2 she reported to the principal's office.
"Sit down," said the principal. The principal then started fumbling with her collar. Ms. Finnerty sat down, but was inwardly concerned. The principal only fumbled with her collar when she was angry.
"You came into the building this morning carrying two Macy's bags," the principal announced.
This was true. Ms. Atkinson had two sons a little older than Ms. Finnerty's son, and had just given her some clothes her son could wear.
"How did you know that?" asked Ms. Finnerty.
"Ah!" the principal practically shouted, standing, and beginning to pace around like a detective from a black and white potboiler. "How do I know? Because I saw you!"
Ms. Finnerty was getting worried. She didn't know that Macy's bags weren't allowed in school. Why would they forbid Macy's bags? It's not such a bad store. They don't sell narcotics or anything. Well, not as far as she knows...
"That's right, I saw you!" repeated the principal. "And you didn't even say hello to me!"
"I didn't see you," said Ms. Finnerty.
"Let me tell you something, Ms. Finnerty. I am the principal. I am the educational leader of this school. You walked into this building this morning and did not even acknowledge my existence! That is simply unacceptable!"
From that day on, Ms. Finnerty's professional life deteriorated. In June, she was fortunate enough to find another principal who was happy to hire her. And she would have lived happily ever after, if only Mayor Bloomberg had not decided to close her new school for no reason whatsoever.
Views expressed herein are solely those of the author or authors, and do not reflect views of my employers, the United Federation of Teachers, the MORE Caucus or any other union caucus.
Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.