Meanies

You know that John Prine song, In a town this size?  Well if you don’t, its about small town gossip.  Our town has its favorite juicy tidbits.  There are some people who are constant sources of good conversations.  Mostly though, we talk about our institutions, the store, the bar, the soon to open(maybe) nursery, the nonprofit groups, and the juiciest of all, the school district.

There are strong supporters of the school, and very strong detractors. The two groups seldom agree on anything.  Although, lately they seem to be finding common ground, in the maintenance man.  The district does not have enough money for a janitor, but because of the wisdom of state budgets it has enough for a full time deferred maintenance employee.  Deferred maintenance is anything that has been put off so long it has become a hazard, like the water system.  Only one person applied for the job, a nonlocal. He drives an hour and a half to his job.

Small towns have hidden rules as in, it’s just the way things are done.  It is easy to spot people who are visitors because of a million tiny things.  The way they drive, the look on their face as they walk into the store, you know stuff like that.  I am sure the locals can make them a little nervous also.  We see the same people so much we stare at a new face.  Not a, “I think you have something in your teeth” stare, a “who are you and what are you doing here”, stare.

Back to the new guy.  At first he seemed to be doing a good job.  He didn’t talk to anyone but he was making the place look nice.  Then he decided that he need to make sure things were safer. There are a lot of rules for schools, I mean can you imagine the lawsuits over hurt kids… scary.  So newbie decided to put cones up in front of the school gate and in the middle of the road, he felt that peoples parking, and driving habits were unsafe.  Extremely difficult to find fault with, but mildly irritating all the same.  Next it was the school garden, its locked now because kids would go in by themselves and that was unsafe.  We have to have a babysitter at all school meetings because that many kids running around after school hours is unsafe, even though the parents are there.  All mildly irritating.

He recently decided to push his authority over the line of mildly irritating.  He was giving the insurance lady a tour of the school grounds, and chris20weston20big20brother20hey20oa couple of preschool parents were pushing their kids on the swings.  When asked if he knew who they were he said no.  He should know, they are there three days a week.  There is not that many parents to keep track of.  Any one else at the school would have known them.  Preschool parents or visitors of any kind now have to sign in at the office to play on the playground.  I understand the validity of this rule at big schools or even moderate schools.  Everyone in our town knows everyone else.  Even if we have never talked to them we know who they are.  If one of the teachers didn’t recognize someone on school grounds they would walk up and introduce themselves, it does happen about once a year.  City rules are seldom practical for rural places and vice versa, unfortunately bureaucrats, and insurance companies keep trying to get away with one rule fits all.

Once a month the preschool holds a board meeting at the school.  We had requested that the principal share with our board the repercussions of the newbies day with the insurance lady.   Newbie came and stood over her shoulder as we asked questions.  He whispered something in her ear walked off, and two seconds later the fire alarm went off.  Uh oh end of the meeting we need to practice the fire drill.  Fine, I need to find something to throttle anyway.

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3 Responses to “Meanies”

  1. One of the worst frustrations I’ve dealt with in my life are people who think rules are meant to be followed strictly–not paid attention to with the spirit of the rule in mind. We don’t want pedophiles or kidnappers so we make a rule about strangers and end up with neighbors having to sign in to a playground.–a foolish waste of energy.

  2. Ooooh I am still seething.

  3. Are you kidding? I’m so tired of all of the mediocracy and injustices that other project onto us. Wish him out of that school! He’s an idiot.

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