Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Upside down

Before you turn me / Inside out and / round and round

Warning: ranting.  Much of it horribly self-serving.

I organised a trip at work, for many students and staff, the first one went with two coaches and left after much rain had been falling.  Panicked calls to the destination and the bus company were met with assurances that we could make the trip and so we went.  My boss missed an instruction I gave, as trip leader, and was thus disoriented and unhappy before we even began.  Then there was the closed road.  The coach I was on was through the flood before I could stop the driver, well, once in the flood I couldn't tell him to stop - that would have stranded us.  We drove on, the coach with my boss on it tried the same but my boss, understandably, threw a wobbly.  I phoned the management, the higher ups, this was beyond my experience.  They said they'd phone my boss.  They didn't.  She blamed me.  They blamed me - apparently the number we gave them for my boss was wrong.  It wasn't.

Then relations on my boss's bus soured.  She yelled at the driver, he took umbridge and it just got worse from there.  We found our way blocked, twice, and I kept my boss informed.  She wanted to call the whole thing off, but we had one last route to try.  Advice from management was for me to keep going.  My boss phoned another member of management and said she wanted to call it off, they agreed, she called me to tell me this - bear in mind my last communication from management was to keep going.  I accepted her decision to turn back but kept going.  Of course the kids on my coach told the kids on my boss's coach we were pressing on.  Cue angry phone call from my boss.  Ear boxing.  We turned back.  Arrived back, boss has a go again about my 'lack of communication' and failure to keep her informed.  We take our lessons.  Lunch: boss has a third go about the trip, the organisation, the point of the trip.  It is all my fault, naturally, I refuse to be brow beaten so she steps it up.  Demands that I find cover while she meets a member of management to discuss trip - I'm trip leader, that's my job, I am shouted down.  I arrange cover.  Then I teach - I have had no lunch.  Other staff on trip have had lunch, they have been kept informed by me, my boss has lunch in meeting while covered.  I teach.

End of day.  Boss reiterates that it's my fault, but is slightly more mellow.  The coach driver has complained about her attitude, which is fair even if she was in the right, and she blames me for putting her in that position.  Because, of course, it was my fault that the road was flooded and that her coach ignored the sign that said 'road closed'.  I have also managed to plead my case to management - especially the part where there was no one on management to talk to (my boss phoned her contact using his private mobile number whilst he was teaching - I went by the book, silly me).

Today we try the trip again with the second cohort.  Boss insinuates I didn't complete paperwork the day before and asks that it be ready today.  I tell her to fuck off in my head: I am anal, nay, Stalinist in my bureaucracy.  I over-communicate on the trip, which semi-pisses my boss off.  I cajole and harry the whole day because people are fucking slow and we have a timetable to keep to.  My boss counsels a more relaxed approach and wins the day with accompanying staff.  Bitch.  It goes well nevertheless, I keep the peace with the bus driver because I can fucking network and am pretty good at face to face conversations - entirely false, granted, but I can talk my way round issues and make everyone involved feel that they got what they wanted, it's what I do.  There is nothing she can complain about.  This pisses her off, I can tell, mainly because she keeps trying to complain.  She finds something and e-mails me about it at 7pm - it's unconnected with the trip.

Oh, and the manager who fucked up on the phoning?  He's in charge of my support - which I happen to know he is clueless in, he was trying to find out how to run the meeting with me in the three minutes before we had the meeting.  I was early, I heard him on the phone.  I do not feel terribly confident that it will be a fair process - he claims he has seen me being 'difficult' with my boss - the reason he thinks I should be on support.  I asked for clarification, politely, and was bullied in front of him.  He not only approved of the bullying but believes that I was the difficult one.  I should point out that there was an independent witness in the meeting, whom I invited, who would call me if I was being a dick (and has).  He reckoned I was bullied, I don't know.  So my manager believes me being bullied is my fault.  He's a PE teacher - not too hot on dealing with victims of bullying as it happens in the student body - so I guess it comes with the territory.

I also heard back from the USAF/MoD job.  I didn't get it.  Of course I didn't get it.

I have always believed that things happen for a reason, that I got into teaching because Him Upstairs wanted me there.  I don't know what the reasons are now, I mean, I never did, but now I don't even feel that I can guess.  I don't know what I'm supposed to be learning or doing.  I'm in a profession that is all about statistics and targets as a teacher who is crap at both.  I can enthuse, I can make students feel good about my subject and their lives but I can't hit 'challenging' targets for them and my stats make me look pretty shit as a teacher.  Basically, my students achieve the low end of their targets or miss them altogether.  I'm not good enough at what I do I guess.  So... Not be a teacher?  But what then would I do?  Where are the jobs?  I bring in around two grand a month - not to be sniffed at - and we just about manage to live comfortably on that.  Starting pay on most jobs that I can do is closer eight hundred a month.  It would barely cover our mortgage.

But staying just involves more hitting.  Bigger sticks.  Stats.  Meetings.  Support.

I'm tired of staying in bed because I don't want the day to start, of feeling the cold dread and roiling stomach as I drive into work, of looking over my shoulder the whole time and desperately trying to hide my failings lest they be seen.  The paranoia that means I wipe the board clean regularly so no one can see what I was doing in the lesson and makes me too nervous to enjoy a lesson.  The feeling like I want to cry on an evening at the end of a day.  The constant shade that tells me "you should be doing better than this".  I'm tired of the abuse I hurl at myself in a last ditch attempt to make me do everything I need to do in a timely fashion, but fail anyway.  I'm tired of being unable to offer the support I know that I can and should be offering to others because I believe I need it myself.

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All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!