Had a fantastic meeting with a person "in the know" - her advice is to follow district policies for filing a grievance AND to do some serious PR work. I LIKE her style.
So, today I will start the ball rolling (by mentioning this advice to one person) and see where it lands. Board members and the editor of the newspaper should definitely know my name by the end of the day.
AHHHHHHH!!!!!! This is crazy. I still haven't slept. I don't know how I can keep this up much longer.
(Maybe I'll just go get drunk with my friend, Heather Armstrong - you know her, she's the really bad parent.)
The step forward. The meeting went better than expected. The dress definitely helped. Sounds pretty silly, but I truly think it gave me some extra confidence (far be it for me to believe in my abilities!) My union reps were impressed with my "performance". I think they were worried I would turn into a defensive, sniveling wimp - but I didn't! I said a few things that I needed to say, but didn't get everything off my chest. It wasn't the time or place.
A step back. The district isn't backing down even though it did something unethical.
Another step back. I found out today that someone has been lying that I trusted.
This entire process is awful. As I told the biggest, big whig today in the meeting - I'm devastated by all of this.
I hesitate, and even sometimes shudder, when Chris offers to go to Costco for us. I love the idea that I don't have to go, but I know that he WILL go crazy and over buy.
After re-arranging the frig and freezer to cram all the new items he brought home this afternoon, I tried to find a positive in this latest Costco experience. I turned it into a learning experience - a math problem.
We now have enough hotdogs to feed the kids one daily for the next three weeks.
I brilliantly left my power cord for my laptop sitting on the floor of the hotel room in Palm Spring...thus my lack of posting. I have 44 precious minutes left of battery still waiting for the Fed Ex package to arrive from Rosa - a lovely housekeeping manager. I doubt she knows how much I love her for finding and saving my cord.
The last two days have been a roller coaster. I have never felt so much anxiety in my life. I still don't know why I was "non-renewed", but have learned that I am well liked and respected by others on my faculty. They are rallying around me like and I have to admit it feels nice. It doesn't take away the nauseousness, shakes or grapefruit-sized knot in my stomach, but it does help.
I am definitely in the angry mode. I think that's better than the "woe-is-me" mode. One thing I do know - being back is HARD. Rum and cokes with Heather daily was much more fun.
I have plans in my arsenal thanks to an incredibly supportive husband and group of supportive friends. I'm really not sure why this happened yet - and may never know - but I'm not ready to embrace it. It totally sucks, but on the bright side - it's a great weight-loss plan!!!
Well, I need to find my sweater - the high today is only going to be 76 degrees. Somehow I think I'll manage!
This week has truly been a blessing. I was given time to calm down, listen to LOTS of advice and really do some internal searching. The main theme of the advice has been - Take the High Road. On Saturday afternoon, I couldn't even fathom that approach, but with each day of sunshine, rum and relaxation - I begin to consider it and even embrace it.
Some people have told me that I just need to get over it. Others, that I shouldn't go back since the way I was told was so unprofessional. Most people, though, are telling me that this is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It may take me a few more days to completely believe that, but I know deep down that I will soon.
Going on vacation, immediately after learning that I wouldn't have a job next fall, was probably the best thing I could have done. Poor Heather has had to listen to me complain, whine and get angry for the last twenty four hours. She's been great about keeping it all in perspective, though. "F**k'em, you deserve so much better...let's drink!"
We're in Palm Springs visiting an old friend of mine and it's definitely therapeutic. I had a margarita by the pool yesterday afternoon. Drinks in our condo before dinner. Another margarita at the restaurant and then more back at my friend Monika's condo. Yep, who needs therapy?
Yes, I have a headache this morning, but nothing a little ibuprofen can't tackle. Today I feel calmer. I know that this is "for the best", but I just hadn't planned on leaving school counseling this way. I had visions of them begging me to stay when I quit. This is a little different. Now I don't even know if I can show my face next Monday. Think about it - I'm supposed to go back to work - for TWO MONTHS and act as if everything is fine. What do I tell the students? I have to tell some of them as I'm the advisor of a club and we're planning for next year right now.
Monika said yesterday that I have to go back and act completely professionally, or don't go back at all. I'm not to discuss it with anyone - just hold my head up high and continue to do good work. Ummmm, what? Me? Act like the bigger person? Not get petty? I honestly don't know if I can do that. C'mon! If I go back, I want to bash these people, behind their backs, because I'm a chicken shit when it comes to confrontation. I'm basically admitting that I don't think I have it in me to be the consummate professional. I will be officially entering my mid-forties next month, but today I feel like I'm 14. I'm just sayin' - if I had to go back today, I don't think I'd act terribly mature at all times.
So today the cleansing needs to begin. Less alcohol, fewer calories, exercise and laying by the pool are on my preferred agenda. Monika, the Palm Springs party girl, has other ideas, however. She has a lunch date planned for us at 11:00 and drinks and appetizers at 5:00.
I better go workout and try to get some of this out of my system.
On a personal note, Chris - I can't respond to your emails - something about a server connection error - but I am truly sorry that it's snowing in Salt Lake. (tee hee hee!)
Her face says it all. She was full of so many emotions today - she couldn't contain herself. She laughed, screamed and danced. We made purses, played "Pin the wand on Tinkerbell", decorated cupcakes and hit a Purse pinata.
Unfortunately, about 15 minutes before the party started I received a certified letter from my school. I was "pink slipped" - or I think the correct word is "fired". As a provisional employee (within three years of employment) the district can let me go without reason. I was naturally blown away. This came out of left field. No phone call - no sit down conversation - a LETTER! I suspected that I was not my principal's favorite person, but I NEVER believed that she would let that get in the way of our work. I am a good counselor. I have not received a negative review - in fact they were supposed to review me twice this year, but never did. I was never reprimanded or "talked to" about my performance - good or bad.
As the reality sunk in, I started to freak out. I actually broke down and started crying and shaking. Chris didn't know what to do until I yelled, "Go clean the bathroom floor - they'll be here any minute!" And then he made me a strong rum and coke - I didn't think a valium was appropriate.
After watching the joy that Ella experienced today, I was able to contain myself a bit and am slowly regaining composure about this situation. I needed to stay calm for her sake.
After the party, I emailed the attorney on staff with my union. What do they say in the commercials - wrongful termination? We'll see what he thinks. Luckily I have a week to mull this over. This upcoming week is Spring Break. At this point, I'm feeling so humiliated I don't think I can face anyone back at school.
I forgot to leave a note on the counter for her. I just left for work as if it were any other day. I know what it's like to enjoy a birthday - I still love my birthday, but pretend I don't care now that I'm an adult. Ella must have gotten her birthday obsessiveness from me.
I had major working-mom-guilt around 10:00 AM, so I decided to call her school and see if they would let me talk to her. The front office secretaries are not known for their graciousness, but I pleaded my case and I was patched right in.
"Happy Birthday honey!"
"Are you having a great day?"
"Yes. Guess what? Lucy asked me to be her partner for centers and Erin asked for me to go to the office with her."
"Because it's your birthday?"
"Yeah. And a lot of people are saying "Happy Birthday" to me."
We babysat my nephew last week for a few hours. Chris took Harrison to the Jazz basketball game, so it was up to Ella and me to entertain him.
We did fine for awhile, but ran out of ideas pretty quickly. It was time for Ella to take a bath, so I pulled CJ in with us while I ran the water. He went to the water like a magnet. I had to strip him down and he just leaned up against the side of the tub and splashed in the water for about 30 minutes until his parents came. The funniest part was when he would start to slip backwards...his feet were on the bath mat, and since he can't walk yet, he would slowly slip back until his chin was practically propped on the side of the tub. I would grab him - pull him back up - and the process would continue.
Wife, mother, daughter, sister, student, photographer. Living in the foothills of the Wasatch Range with my handsome husband, Chris, my kids: Harrison (8), & Ella (6) and one great dog, Basie. Taking pictures as much as I can.