Friday, 15 July 2011

Gone ... and already forgotten ... by some

Yesterday was quite a busy day for me. I had quite a few things to do during the morning, including sorting out the Wargame Developments accounts (no problems, just time consuming), sorting out my company's accounts (some problems [of my making thanks to transposing two numbers by mistake], quite time consuming), and a visit to the local cash-and-carry to buy some much needed household supplies and some new storage boxes that I will use when I 'Spring clean' my toy/wargames room.

The afternoon was taken up by a return visit to my former place of work for the end-of-term barbeque. I had been specially invited, as the Principal wanted to publicly thank me for everything that I had done, and I wanted to take the opportunity to say my final 'goodbyes'. I was also supposed to collect my final contract payment.

As expected, things did not go too well. The barbeque started at 2.00pm, and by 3.00pm the food and soft drink was gone (there was no alcohol available), and the assembled staff began to disperse. At 3.15pm there was an urgent announcement that we should all return to the area where the barbeque had taken place as the Principal was now ready to make the presentations. Furthermore, the alcoholic drink (wine and beer) had now arrived ... after the organiser had realised that none had been bought!

I was one of several people who were thanked for the work that they had done, and presented with a small token of thanks ... which in my case was a bottle of Merlot ... and a comment that the Principal had never before experienced a deputation from a group of students demanding that a member of staff should not leave (Nice one, ladies and gentlemen!).

We then said our final 'goodbyes' ... or at least I managed to say mine to most of the people I had worked with, but not all. One of my closest work colleagues had not bothered to turn up as she was having some TOIL (time off in lieu) for working over half-term, and my line manager was working in her office and had not thought it necessary to go to the barbeque. It is funny how you can work with people for three years and they don't want to or can't be bothered to come to say 'goodbye' to you ... and then they talk about how important it is that we respect each other?

Oh! One final thing. My payment cheque was not ready. It had been raised and authorised ... but was still awaiting a signature. I doubt if I will get it before September.

C'est la vie!.

18 comments:

  1. It'd be funny if it wasn't so sad. Hopefully you're catching up on the sleep by now and the horizons are widening. Good luck, thoughts have been with you.

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  2. Thats the difference between 'friends' and mere 'colleges'. Sometimes its hard to see the line, but line there is!

    Nice that your students spoke up for you though. My wife is a teacher and the best (and most rewarding) praise she's ever had has been from students.

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  3. "and a comment that the Principal had never before experienced a deputation from a group of students demanding that a member of staff not to leave"

    I think that says it all. All the OFSTED malarkey, the finishing you a week early to save money, the no-shows at the barbecue, when it boils down to it they're all "sound and fury, signifying nothing" in comparison.

    Well done, Bob.

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  4. Dear Bob,
    Congratulations on your retirement. Rest assured - similar things happen on this side of "the Pond" and I won't regale you with tales of woe related to my retirement.
    The good thing is that once you settle into retirement fully, you will hardly remember how you got by without all the free time to do the stuff of daily living. No more running to get an auto repaired before work and trying to figure out how to get back and forth to work. And going to the doc's can be done during the middle of the day - not at some God awful hour. But best - if you want to spend three hours using natural light to paint that latest regiment of foot then the time is yours. No lessons to prepare, no papers to grade, no parents to call. Life will be good. Enjoy every moment of it!!!
    Be well and remember that there are some of out there who understand what it was like to be a teacher and who honor your service.
    Jerry Lannigan

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  5. Don't really understand how this works but Congratulations and Best Wishes on your retirement, again.
    Jerry

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  6. One of the things we were told is that we can keep our school laptops as it wouldn't be worth wiping the drives and reloading everything. We have now been told that they will need our laptops to be wiped anyway because of data protection!

    One week to go.

    Rob

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  7. "the Principal had never before experienced a deputation from a group of students demanding that a member of staff not to leave"

    This sir is pretty amazing. Don't drinak all the Merlot at once ;)

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  8. Adelaide Gamer,

    Many thanks for your kind words.

    I find the whole situation at my previous workplace bunglingly hilarious! ... and I am glad that I am no longer part of all that.

    I am gradually finding my feet, and discovering that it is very easy to fill one's day with all sorts of things. Today I did some gardening (the second time in a week) which is something that I have never enjoyed before. It will never be my favourite hobby ... but I can see more merit in it now than I ever did before.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. BigLee,

    I did make several good friends at my last workplace, and we have arranged to go out for a drink later in the year in order to keep up-to-date with what is happening in our lives.

    As you say, there is a difference between a friend and a colleague. I have had hundreds of the latter during my working life, but less than a dozen of the former are ex-workmates.

    Students are the best judges of how good a teacher is or is not ... and I don't mean how popular but how good. I know that some of the students who went and spoke up for me are ones who I have given a rough time to over the years when it has come to doing their work ... but they have always known that I did it to help them to achieve something, not for my own glory. I am sure that your wife could tell similar stories.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. Dr Vesuvius,

    In her defence, the Principal has not had a lot of experience dealing with students as she went up the administrative ladder to get the job not up the academic one.

    To leave teaching knowing that I was respected by my students for doing a good job for them is the best present they could have given me ... and the memory of what they said to me on my last day will live with me for ever.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. CelticCurmudgeon (Jerry),

    Many thanks for your congratulations and very good advice.

    I am just beginning to realise just how busy I can be when not working, and once I can have a decent lie-in in the morning (i.e. when my wife stops working and expecting me to get up to make her breakfast as I have done for the last thirty years!), I may even begin to feel a little less tired.

    I must admit that I am looking forward to doing some painting and modelling over the next few months, and the thought of being able to do it during daylight all year around is something that I had no yet realised. Thanks for pointing that out.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. CelticCurmudgeon,

    Thank you again. You seem to be coping with making comments to my blog quite well!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  13. Xaltotun of Python (Rob),

    I would love to say that this sounds ridiculous ... but it smacks of all the sort of disorganisation that the world of education is bedevilled by. (My wife often says that education administrators could not find the brewery, let alone organise a drink in one!)

    Have they asked to see your memory sticks so that any data that you have on them has also been 'wiped'? I doubt it ... but might I suggest that you mention it about 48 hours before you retire. I am sure that the panic-induced administrative 'fireworks' will be worth watching!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  14. Pat G,

    As a I wrote in reply to Dr Vesuvius, the Principal has not had a lot of experience dealing with students, so it probably did come as a bit of a shock to her.

    As for the Merlot ... well I have found a good home for it; it is going to be raffled for charity.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  15. Bob

    Just think, it's your life now. You build it the way you (and the wife of course) want it.

    The past belongs to those left behind, the future is all yours.

    Live it.

    What do you mean, the merlot is going to charity? Make a really good marinade with barbecue spice, black pepper, garlic, tomatoes and soak some good steak in it (add anything else grabs your fancy too) then cook it in the sauce slowly for 30 40 mins, then grill it. Oh, and have a glass or two (of merlot) whilst cooking.

    Enjoy

    Arthur

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  16. Arthur,

    I am already going forward, if a bit hesitantly.

    The problem with the Merlot is that my wife does not drink red wine ... and I rarely drink alcohol of any sort (I suffered from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis some years ago, and since then I have been ill almost every time I have drunk anything alcoholic), hence my decision to hand to bottle over to be raffled for a charitable good cause.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  17. Bob,
    And it does give one a sort of pleasure to dispose of the leaving gift from a management for which one has no affection or respect!
    I've never regretted 'recycling' the set of place-mats depicting fox-hunting scenes [why?] given me by the head of one school as a present to my cousin [who followed the hunt]...
    Enjoy your freedom"
    Arthur

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  18. Arthur1815,

    I appreciated the thought behind the gift ... but not the gift itself.

    Using the gift to raise money for charity seems to be the best way to 'pass on' the good intention behind the gift to someone else.

    All the best,

    Bob

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