Friday, August 19, 2011

Best Way To Be Invited To Join Your Kids PTA

Registration for the Little and Mini's schools was last week and this week. Little Awesome's school did it right. They gave us the paperwork, sat us in the cafeteria, copied our documents and we left. What we didn't have right then and there (such as Little-Awesome's grades), we could bring by later. Easy. Zero bullshit.

I had immediate and enduring problems with the the way Mini-Fantabulous's school handled it. They had 'stations'. Stations that seemed to be designed to be as painfully slow and inefficient as possible. Airport security is super fun compared to these horrific stations.

I waited 10 minutes at station one to get my documents checked. They were excruciatingly thorough, checking lease dates, signatures, gave us a stupid pink sheet where they checked off the documents we had showed them. I had everything except Mini-Fantabulous's grades. Other people got turned away because their leases weren't official enough. Mine barely passed the test. They sent me on to station two.

Another 10 minute wait. Being bored out of my mind, I started talking to the young man in front of me. He was obviously an older brother and not a parent. He was a college student. He asked if I were in college too. I loved him instantly and forever for thinking that.

Inside station two they rechecked our addresses to make sure we were actually supposed to be registering our kids at this school. That seemed dumb and like something that should have maybe been done at station one. I had no time to ponder this as I passed with flying colors and was sent to station three.

Station three was the worst. But I had hope because after station three I had one to go!! My hope faded quickly. After five minutes I was in actual pain from being so pointlessly stationary for such a long time.

Though I knew I was acting like a complete brat, I couldn't help but express my discomfort by shaking my head, rolling my eyes, swearing under my breath, sighing loudly, glaring at anyone and everyone around me, whether they had anything to do with my not moving or not and generally making the whole process that much more miserable for everyone.

After what had to have been my whole life, I was ushered up to the nice man in station four, documents ready, hoping to expedite my stay in this place of tedious waiting. He looked over my documents . . . slowly.

"How do you pronounce his name?" He asked in a Mr. Rogers type voice and a Rob Ross type perm.

"HER name." I pronounced it.

"Oh, Ok, I see." He slowly turned the paperwork over, "And is he in 8th grade?"

"Yes, SHE is in eighth grade." I said through clenched teeth.

"Oh, Ok, I see . . . You don't have her grades?"

"No, we moved from very far away. I can have them faxed."

"Well . . . you can't continue the registration process without them."

I felt my face go into a "You've got to be fucking kidding me!" expression.

I saw his face go into a "Holy shit, this woman is about to go bat-shit crazy on my ass!" expression.

I tried to relax my face, "I can call and have it faxed over today so I can finish this."

"Ok, I see, so maybe you could come back later today? Because I really can't continue the process until we have that."


I got no answer. I did the only respectable thing to do when you've just had a major outburst in front of the staff, teachers and parents of the students your child will be going to school with. I stormed off.

In the hallway, the ladies at station four tried to stop me, "You need to . . ."

I waved my papers at them furiously as I continued my storming, "I didn't have the grades so I have to go home! If someone had told me that at the beginning, I wouldn't have spend all day waiting in these lines!"

I went home and called to have her grades faxed over, though I was having serious doubts about her going to this horrible school.

Much later, I ventured back, hoping different people would be at the stations. I even changed my clothes and hair to disguise myself. I imagined that the whole time I was gone they were tsking and shaking their heads, putting some kind of mark in Mini-Fantabulous's file: Warning! This Child Has a Difficult, Belligerent Mother!

The stations were gone. I went into the office. I asked if they got the grades fax. They spent 15 minutes looking, but eventually they found it. They sent me to talk to someone else.

'Someone Else' was confused and annoyed that I was sent away over the grades. From then on I got extra special treatment. They entered Mini-Fantabulous's file first, they put her in all advanced placement classes and gave her first pick of classes that would give her high-school credit. (Unfortunately for everyone, she refused to join Dance and Theater arts, opting for boring old 'dodge ball and walk around the track PE' and 'Drawing pictures art' instead. Drat.)

I felt vindicated. Next time, I'll be sure not to feel bad after yelling at people from my kids schools. Because they obviously totally deserve it.


James said...

Parents are always right.

I think you'll learn that as a teacher.

SuperFantabulous said...

I only like that when it benefits me