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A stupid person I once had to work under.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by TCSC47, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    Apologies. I couldn’t sleep in the early hours of this morning so I came here. The reason for my insomnia was an idiot who many years ago became my head of science. I don’t know why at this particular moment in time, twenty years later, but his pratishness kept going around in my head and kept me awake.

    He had just become our new HOD from outside the school, and was admittedly on a hiding to nothing, because he was replacing our much loved and respected previous HOD who had very sadly died in harness. (Indeed, IMO the job killed him.) However, this new guy had no idea how to make things easier for himself or indeed maybe wasn’t even bothered.

    The first effect from him was even before he arrived. Our science technicians were having trouble getting our lesson practicals ready on time. Although he was still half a term away from arriving, he had directed our technicians to undertake an inventory of all our lesson and practical resources for his benefit. This severely ate into their time. Whether or not he knew the problems he was causing, I don’t know, but it was most certainly a portent of things to come. Our teaching philosophy was exceedingly experiential along the lines of the then Nuffield science ethos and our technicians were an important part of that with so much lab and classroom equipment to look after and put out.

    But the big crunch came when he finally arrived. Within a few weeks we observed our technicians bundling up all our work schemes, class instructions, work sheets and such, that we had spent many years writing and building up, modifying, and carefully looking after, --- and then dumping them in the bin. No discussion with us – just out! This was a life time’s work which the department knew back to front and exactly how to use. No need to read up on every lesson prior to delivery. They were our schemes, we owned them, they fitted our resources and equipment and we knew how they worked and how the students would cope with them. We could concentrate on all sorts of other things rather than working the lessons themselves from scratch every day!

    (My blood is boiling more and more as I write this!)

    Then he presented us with a pile of worksheets from a bought in commercial scheme, which we had to assimilate, understand and adapt our teaching, equipment and resources to in the otherwise normally hectic middle of term. Never mind about death by worksheet for the kids, it was death by worksheets for us as well! And in any case, it was a poor scheme (I’m not just saying that because we were all angry at the time. It genuinely was ****.)

    I don’t know how intentional all this was or not, whether the guy was an idiot or a plotter, but whatever, he pretty much destroyed the department that I knew. What I resented most was that he had pulled the rug out from under our feet putting him on an equal or higher standing of competence, by destroying ours. None of us knew what we were doing so he had an easier route to controlling us. --- Bar steward! --- Within two years the majority of the department including me, had left. We all know how difficult it is to deal with the usual constant drip drip of change that is today's education business, so I hope you can see how this extra game playing broke us.

    There have been three people in my work life who I would happily spit on if I met them, and this guy is one of them.

    Have a nice day!
  2. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    The usual -- for ****, read craap
    monicabilongame likes this.
  3. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I think we've all (unless very lucky) met people like this - but the key questions are: 'who appointed him' & 'why'?

    Either they knew what they were doing, and he was just carrying out their wishes...or they didn't know what they were doing (& if so, why didn't they stop him?)
    monicabilongame likes this.
  4. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    I have pondered this Frank. Our head had been with us for a year, but I don't think the science department had upset her or got in her way. I wouldn't go as far to say she didn't know what she was doing, but I think it was a **** up rather than a conspiracy. She may have been looking for machismo staff who were going to be her "people" though.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  5. Nellyfuf2

    Nellyfuf2 Senior commenter

    It seems to be to do with getting older... sometimes memories are available for review that are so clear especially in the wee small hours, not just bad stuff but sometimes echoes of childhood and feelings can become quite clear and real.
    Maybe you are just processing how you felt as part of tidying your memories.

    The appointment of that nerd, maybe just that constant improvement that seems to be something we have to do. Although the saying " If it ain't broke, don't fix it" should be applied to most areas of education.

    I have experience of being "condemned" and then the brand new world of Mrs Iminchargenow broke very quickly as did in fact Mrs Inincharge. Damage all round - a whole class of YR that could not read at the end of the year.
  6. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I used to have two things of this type that I couldn't let go. And then a third happened and one of the others seemed to lose its significance. So I can only assume that I can only hold two grudges at a time! I'm not a person to hold grudges at all. My two things are very much on a par with yours. One was a social worker who lied about us to try and cover up her own mistakes. The second was worse. And people like this take you by surprise. You don't expect anyone to act so badly so by the time you've realised what's happening it can be too late to stop.

    With the social worker we threatened to resign on the day we found out about it, which focussed the management to take it seriously as we were very successfully caring for a very difficult teenager. There was a lot of grovelling, but the woman never apologised and it still makes me furious, nor was she sacked on the spot as she should have been, but allowed to leave at the end of her contract. The other thing is still ongoing. I think it's unlikely to be successfully resolved so that'll stay with me too.
  7. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Beware. As one reaches a certain age the baggage from the past begins to resurface and crowd in. Mine includes not only the dumb things others have done to me but also the dumb things I have done to others. Then there are the dumb things I've done to myself. And the dumb things I keep on doing. My favourite theologian William Barclay advises that an essential part of repentance is to dump the dumb (like emptying the cache of your PC) and then move on.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Two traveling monks reached a town where there was a young woman waiting to step out of her sedan chair. The rains had made deep puddles and she couldn’t step across without spoiling her silken robes. She stood there, looking very cross and impatient. She was scolding her attendants. They had nowhere to place the packages they held for her, so they couldn’t help her across the puddle.

    The younger monk noticed the woman, said nothing, and walked by. The older monk quickly picked her up and put her on his back, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other side. She didn’t thank the older monk, she just shoved him out of the way and departed.

    As they continued on their way, the young monk was brooding and preoccupied. After several hours, unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. “That woman back there was very selfish and rude, but you picked her up on your back and carried her! Then she didn’t even thank you!

    “I set the woman down hours ago,” the older monk replied. “Why are you still carrying her?”
  9. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I think @Mainwaring has it right. As you get older you have more life experiences on which to reflect, and as the future gets shorter, you tend to rake over the past, often trying to identify 'where it all went wrong'. I recognise this in myself. My late mother was an extreme case of this, especially in her latter years. She loved a 'good grievance', and kept a well-matured stock of them, which she would chew, like a cud. This brought her no happiness, and won her no friends; she just became more bitter, and more boring.
  10. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    I'm sure most of us can recall a similar experience. Mine was to do with a career HT who wanted to wind practical subjects down and get rid of anyone who opposed him. It took him 3 yrs to lay off 2 older teachers on rigged capability, hound a HoD into depression and early retirement with a false allegation, and make every other teacher in the department leave, at which point he could say "can't run this dept on supply staff" and close it.

    We were a happy, popular, productive department whose results, via directing the non-academic children out of Humanities, were middling and thus unlikely to make him look super. He ruined the careers of three staff, made one ill and spoiled what had been a wonderful job for all of us. His ****ing face is never off local TV and I will never forgive him for what he did.

    But I don't lie awake at night hating him. I wonder why. I'm pretty good at grudge-bearing and he's the direct reason I left teaching and have been broke ever since! I wonder if like you, TCSC47, he's just lying in wait, looking forward to mugging my sleep in the future?
  11. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Going against what I said above, certain experiences are so vivid that I cannot let them go. After my school became academy, I saw things being done to people that, previously, I would not have thought possible in a school. The first incarnation of the academy's management, literally had a criminal element in it, which tried to traduce a long-serving member of staff by reporting him to the police for having indecent material on his laptop, which it had planted there. Fortunately for the teacher, when the police examined the laptop, it found that it had been in the school's possession when the material was up-loaded.. I thought this sort of tactic would come under the heading of trying to pervert the course of justice but whoever it was in the SMT got away with it, and an IT technician carried the can.
    EmanuelShadrack likes this.
  12. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    If we let things that we feel have hurt, upset or irritated us in the past keep coming to the fore then we have lost, the plot and the joy of our current or more peaceful situation.

    I'm with GDW 100% amd jot to put too finer point on it... put that sh*t down, it was a hurdle, something you had to deal with, your job, you dealt with it so move along ... deal with the now and enjoy every second you can. I doubt very much that the person you are still thinking about even remembers you and I'm pretty sure they aren't lying awake some years later thinking about you, who's winning?
  13. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    The monks story is a favourite of mine.

    The preposition in the thread title reminds me of interviewing teachers in India: droves of gorgeous young women, fluttering their eyelashes, sticking out their chests - particularly impressive in a choli (sari bodice) - and cooing seductively 'It is my dearly cherished ambition to work under YOU, Mr Mainwaring'.
  14. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Especially for you, @Mainwaring. 'A pleasure to serve under you, Sir.'

    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  15. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Some might say lucky you. I wonder if it were that you had power and could facilitate their career, was it a cultural thing ... or were you just drop dead gorgeous? ;)
  16. knitone

    knitone Lead commenter

    grumpydogwoman and needabreak like this.
  17. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    This is a brilliant tale. I can't help thinking it can be applied to so many things that trouble us not just individuals.
    grumpydogwoman and knitone like this.
  18. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    OMG! That describes my mother exactly. She's been like that all my life, though, not just as she got older.
  19. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    Did we share the same mother? Mine was also very spiteful and nobody had experienced pain like she was having. Suchan evil, spiteful woman and she rewrote her will leaving absolutely everything to my sister, I didn't even get a mention.
  20. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Sorry about that but I bet she is rejecting it now on the other side.

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