Thursday, September 25, 2008

Paper towels

Sometimes I wish I had a job where, when I went to wash my hands in the bathroom, there was soap in the soap dispenser.

Or, when I was ready to dry my hands, there were paper towels in the paper towel dispenser. So that I didn't have to put my wet hands all over the dirty door handle, and then walk around until I found paper towels somewhere, or resort to wiping my hands on my pants and leaving big wet handprints.

And then, if we did run out of paper towels, I could go to a supply closet and there would be paper towels there, because we wouldn't have run out in the whole entire school so that actually no one could dry their hands anywhere. Because someone would be on top of ordering things like paper towels, because everyone wouldn't be so overworked. And people wouldn't be hoarding paper towels in their closets because they know we tend to run out and they don't want to be the ones to run out so they take extras and hide them.

Or maybe I could work somewhere where the rug got vacuumed more than once every ten days, so that it wasn't covered with the accumulated dirt and grub of 22 small children. That way, when they had to sit on it (oh, about ten times a day), it wouldn't be disgusting to sit on.

I try not to sweat the small stuff, and to be cheerful and good-natured and give people the benefit of the doubt. I think usually I do a good job of it. But sometimes the small stuff is just too much, like when you haven't had enough sleep because you're working so hard to be a good teacher, and you have insomnia because of all the stuff you have to do, and maybe you have a hard day even though you're working so hard and trying your best.

And then you go to wash your hands and there's no soap or paper towels, and it feels kind of like a personal insult, like someone should care that you don't have soap or paper towels. Or you go in to work in the morning with a to-do list a mile long, and seeing that dirty rug covered with crumbs and dirt just feels like a slap in the face, considering everything else you need to accomplish. And then you decide you should just spend your own money on things like paper towels and soap, or your own time on things like vaccuming the rug, and that doesn't feel too good either.

And then you start to think about the plight of public education in this country, and standardized testing, and how maybe we don't have paper towels because people don't value public education or teachers. And when it gets to that point, you probably realize it would be better to go to the bar and have a gin and tonic or three than to keep traveling down that mental pathway.

ps. I heard that there are no paper towels in any school in Boston right now because they are negotiating a contract with the paper towel people. I cannot confirm this information via the internet, or my Budget Gal contact in City Hall. But isn't that kind of amazing? 56,190 students in the city, and no paper towels. Isn't bureacracy a wonderful thing?

1 comment:

  1. Here's what the schools need. Check out the savings!