Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Incredible Disappearing UFT Rep

In a pivotal career move, a UFT Rep reread Catch 22, and decided his favorite character was Major Major. He immediately determined to emulate him in every way possible. From that moment, the only time he saw members in his office was when he wasn't there. It was much more efficient and convenient. When he was there, and people came, they had all sorts of complaints. Principals were crazy, working conditions were awful, they hadn't had a raise in five years, blah, blah, blah.

On they would go, and they invariably reached a crescendo with, "What the hell is the union going to do to help me?" And no matter what he told them or who he promised to call, they weren't satisfied. The ungrateful bastards.

But ever since he started seeing people only when he wasn't there, things had improved. The office staff was always pleasant. Everyone said hi, how are you, good morning, nice to see you, and no one pressured him to do anything whatsoever. There was coffee, a water cooler, and happy people everywhere. But still, even though he'd stopped seeing people when he was there, that damn phone kept ringing.

Lately he'd made another discovery that further improved his lifestyle. You could place people on hold, and if you did it long enough, they'd hang up. And if they didn't, you could hang up yourself. One teacher learned this harsh lesson when she happened to call when he was there. She heard his voice in the background barking "Who is it?" She was placed on hold, listened to some radio music, and he picked up the phone, breathed, and hung up. She had broken the new rule of only calling when he wasn't there. Damn teachers. Can't they learn the rules? He hustled out of the office before she could call back.

But there were other issues, and nag, nag, nag, everyone wanted to ask him about them. In fact, they wanted him to travel to their schools and explain stuff. This was highly inconvenient. Why couldn't they pick up a newspaper or something? Didn't the union send them one for free? In any case, if he wasn't seeing people in his office except when he wasn't there, why would he travel to other places to see the same people he wanted to avoid? There would have to be another new rule.

On the other hand, this new grading thing was a golden opportunity. Teachers were going to other buildings and wouldn't be able to talk to him. If he planned strategically, he could visit schools on days when there were few, or hopefully no teachers at all. Fewer teachers meant fewer questions. If he could arrange these meetings as late as possible, there would be little or no notice of his arrival. Optimally, no teachers at all would be there. Few people knew as well as he what an incredible pain in the neck teachers could be.

In fact, if the teachers who were not in attendance had questions for him, they could call him in the office. He'd be happy to meet or speak with them just as soon as he wasn't there.

Life was potentially good, mostly.
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