Friday, December 13, 2013

Petty Tyrants and Delusions of Power

I wrote this about a month ago immediately after an "incident" with the principal at Quin's school:

Quin is in 8th grade and the kids are going on a trip up to the Wisconsin Dells at the end of the year. In order to raise funds for the trip the kids are doing various sale fundraisers and also helping do concessions and raffle type things at the school sporting events. Tonight (Nov. 14th) was a basketball game and Quin and my 2 other adopted/acquired teens, Jasmine and Shianne, had volunteered to do concessions for funds for the trip.

At a bit after 6:30 tonight, I got a phone call from the girls, all of whom were crying. I got them coherent enough to tell me what is going on and it was some convoluted story about how they had been told to do something by one adult, but then the principal countermanded the order and they were trying to get clarification because they had been doing what they were told and the principal was yelling at them and calling them names and they wanted me to come to the school. So, I told them I'd be there in a minute and ran down (the school is only about a block away) to find out what was going on.

I got there and got the girls side of the story and went in and they asked the principal to come over. You could see that he heard them, but he very studiously avoided acknowledging them. So I called his name and he suddenly found his hearing. He came over and I explained that I just got a phone call from 3 crying girls and asked if he could tell me what was going on. Please keep in mind that I went into this treating him as an equal and with respect, not all bent out of shape and ready to tear into him from the very beginning. He told me that they were yelling, screeching, and screaming at him (in those words). Now, within his first sentence, I already knew that he was lying. Obviously, he seemed to think that rudely patronizing me was the best path to head down. There was no reason for him to be rude to me right off the bat, and he was snotty from the get-go.

I'm not one of those parents who believes that their child can do no wrong, but on the other hand, I have raised Quin with one of my very first and highest rules being that we talk to adults with respect and we DO NOT raise our voices to them. I have been told nearly every time she is with other adults (like friends of the family or the parents of her friends) when they return her to me how very impressed they are at her manners and respect. In this case, Quin and the girls get the benefit of the doubt because I know that my kid is far more scared of breaking my rules about respect and then losing her gadgets and privileges than she is of anything that the principal might do to her.

So, I told him that I just want to know why he was calling them names. They told me that he called them babies, told them they were acting like 4 year olds, and called them stupid. I had them say what their claim that he called them was. He flew off the handle and I told him to calm it down and talk to me civilly. Keeping in mind that I am just barely 5 feet tall and just barely crack 100 pounds, he leaned up over me trying to be intimidating and started telling me that he won't be talked to in public this way and that I can call and make an appointment to discuss this. I told him that I would not call to discuss it, he could talk to me and get this resolved right now. He leaned up closer to me and started ranting, spittle flying, about showing him "the respect I owe him" and telling me that he'll deal with me privately. I told him that he can discuss it now or that we can have this discussion in the local media. I let him know that I was happy to let him make that decision, but if he continued to try to bully me like he just did to my child that it wasn't going to remain a private conversation.  What surprised me the most was that he got all furious enough to fly off the handle when I had the girls repeat the names they said he called them, but he didn't deny doing it. So when I pushed the issue and asked again and he DID admit to having called them those names (though he disputes stupid and claims he told them they were "acting stupid") but readily admitted to calling them babies and telling them they were acting like 4 year olds it was just further confirmation that he had started off lying and had no compunction about continuing unless he got caught and the issue pushed.

At that, this man who appears to be in his late 40's/early 50's, STOMPED his feet and stormed away from me. The girls were still in tears at that point and I will be damned if this authoritarian little Nazi is going to retaliate on the girls because some uppity little stay at home mom (me) stood up to him and his bullying. This isn't his first offense, either. The girls have told me that he has bullied them previously and I assumed they were just being overly melodramatic. Then I started talking to some of the other parents. Many of them have told me similar things. He tries to bully the women and has tried to intimidate many of the men. That won't fly with me. I am not willing to accept that kind of behavior from someone that I am forced to trust with the safety of my daughter and to provide her with a safe learning environment.

Right now, I'm willing to let him have his foot stomping tantrum as the last word. I told Quin that if he bothers to apologize, to accept it gracefully and let it go. If he pretends it never happened and never brings it up again, to let it go. But, if he tries to give detentions or other punishment because I stood up to him, that she needs to let me know about it and I will handle the situation and she needs to just not mouth off or handle it herself because that could get her in legitimate trouble that she would have to accept punishment from the school for.

Unfortunately, Russ (my husband) wasn't home from work yet to go down there with me because, while he is unholy laid back and nearly impossible to make angry, he is huge and intimidating looking himself. People tend to have a much different attitude just by his presence. With me, on the other hand, I constantly have people trying to use my size against me to intimidate me. The thing is, most of them don't know that I'm the impetuous aggressive one who is far harder to intimidate. I am the one who will stand my ground and refuse to be bullied.

So, we'll see what happens, if anything, but having been told of this man being a bully to the girls, random friends of theirs and then also having their stories backed up and verified by other parents who have been on the receiving end of his temper, I'm certainly inclined to be much more vigilant and attentive to what the girls tell me is happening at school with him and I absolutely won't be quite so quick to shrug it off as them just being melodramatic teenage girls.

I did ask Quin after school on Nov. 15th if anything happened or if there was any interaction from the principal and she and the 2 other girls said that there wasn't and that he behaved as though nothing had happened.

It angers me that it happened, but I don't want to cause undue complications for Quin for the rest of her school years.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Particularly Virulent Strain of Stupid

At some of my previous homes I have been pretty fairly successful with chasing off the Jehovah's Witnesses and causing them to not come back. The ones here where I live now are either far more tenacious or far more stupid. I can't decide which, though.

So, here's what happened. Today I am down with the flu or something. I was up all night feeling horrible and I finally drifted off to sleep and suddenly the dog started going bat-shit crazy. This was at around 9:30 or 10 am. Since the dog thinks he is some big huge horse sized guard dog, he barks and jumps and occasionally snaps a bit. He isn't, he is a Chihuahua/Shih-Tzu mix. (What I have been informed is called a "dammit dog") That being the case, I always close him into the living room when someone comes to the door. Today was no exception. The dog was barking and hopping around in front of the door and I was trying to corral him into the living room and during this fiasco I did something and feel this ungodly pain in my finger. I look and see that I had snapped my index finger nail off above the quick and it was hurting. First "UGH!!!" moment.

I got the dog put away and opened the door. Keep in mind that I had just gotten to sleep and wasn't fully awake yet and sick on top of it. I look like death tried to eat me, couldn't handle it, and crapped me right back out at this point. I opened the door and there were two women in their early to mid 50's or so waiting. I was standing at the door with a blank look on my face and they started to talk. I shook my head and tried to focus and one of them gave me a look of disapproval and asked if they had woken me up. I told them yes and that I was pretty sick. So, what did they do? It wasn't apologize and turn around to leave. No, these stupid broads started preaching at me.

I told them that I wasn't interested and that they were being rude and slammed the door. That was all I could manage right then. Unfortunately.

Really, how stupid do you have to be to be told that the person you are harassing is sick and instead of apologizing and leaving (or even just plain leaving in silence) you start preaching at them?!? Holy Christ On A Cracker! Look, I don't come to your door and preach to you the evils of an organized religion that harbors a child molester and rapist and justifies and excuses his behavior and kicks out of the church his victims. (I'm looking at you Yorkville Baptist or whatever the hell your name is now.) So why, in the name of all things chocolate, would you think that I would appreciate this proselytizing from anyone else? I'll clue you in: I don't. I've asked, told, demanded, and begged these damn cult members to stop coming to my house and they just can't take a hint and they keep coming back.

I'm wondering if it would be illegal to put a sign on my door that says: "If you are a Jehovah's Witness and you knock on my door, understand that you might not be leaving." No, I'm not really going to hurt any JW's, but on days like today, the temptation was nearly overwhelming. If these people don't want me standing outside their kingdom hall during their services disrupting them, they should very seriously consider avoiding my house like we are infected with the bubonic plague.

This kind of virulent strain of stupidity is just going to cause me to be increasingly creative in my attempts to get rid of you. Be smart. Next time I tell you to leave and never come back, understand that ignoring me is going to get some increasingly more inventive and rude ways to tell you occurring. I am long past feeling bad for being rude to you people, and even more so today than previously. I hope to Aqua Buddah that you catch whatever it is that I have today. It would serve you right and make me feel a little better. Petty, I know, but I'm too tired and sick to care right now. Maybe later.

Take care,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Step Away From the Car...

And stay away from it. Really. Put your license down on the ground and no one will get hurt.

Because some people are just not qualified to be operating a skateboard, much less a motor vehicle. I witness this every morning when I drop my daughter off at school. I don't mean the teens who attend the adjoining high school pulling in and looking for parking in their parking lot, either. Most of them are surprisingly slow and careful drivers, at least near the school.

No, I am talking about those idiots who come flying into the elementary school parking lot, dodging kids with band instruments, weaving through traffic and then sitting for damn near forever. You would swear they were jockeying for pole position at Daytona. Every morning.

Normally I just kind of roll my eyes and continue with my day. Today, however, continuing with my day required coming home, sitting down at the computer, and venting about the stupidity. I have a seriously low moron threshold on the best of days and today was no exception. This morning I saw a whole new level of stupid.

Picture the parking lot shaped like a really long horse shoe. Pulling in to the school lot to drop your kid off, you drive up the back aisle of parking spots and pull along side a curb and sit and wait. You wait because all of the cars in a huge line in front of you have a kid or three to drop off and you need to just wait your turn. No one wants to be there sitting, we want to drop our kid off and get going. Especially in this cold weather, when my jeep is still freezing because it hasn't heated up enough yet to be blowing any heat. Nonetheless, we wait. Except that some people don't.

Today this idiot comes flying into the parking lot, races up around the curve around all of the waiting cars, and just about takes out a family in the crosswalk. Didn't even slow down for them. Then, because as the family is crossing the cross walk my kid is getting out of the car, just as I pull forward to leave, this dumb, impatient, bitch whips over in front of me, nearly clipping my front bumper with her back one, inches forward a few feet, and throws her car into park. Three kids come creeping out of the car at a snails pace...if that snail had been dipped in molasses and then frozen...all stopping to say their goodbyes and last minute chatting. They finally start to walk away and the passenger side window goes down and the mom starts yapping some more...and keeps yapping. The kids are obviously cold and getting impatient, but mom just keeps running on. Finally they do walk away and the window goes back up. The car did not start moving, though. The idiot then proceeds to sit there watching her kids until they are all out of sight and in the building. That wouldn't have been a problem, but they have parking spots for doing that and she couldn't be bothered. Now, all of her kids are out of sight and in the building so she starts moving. Inching along watching the school. In case it spit her kids back out and she had to rescue them or something, I guess. By this time we are at the other side of the horse shoe and nearing the exit. There is a crosswalk there, too. This moron is so busy inching along watching the school (because her kids were long out of sight at this point) and not paying attention that she almost takes out another group of kids. Little ones this time. Crossing guard gets her attention and she snaps out of it and just drives away like nothing happened.

Seriously, how does someone at that level of stupid still have a license? How many people count as points when it is only because you weren't paying attention?

I worry, far and away, more about this kind of rampant stupidity than I ever did about the teenagers driving to and from school that I see on a daily basis. Whatever crackpot joke of a license she has, I can only hope that it is revoked soon.

Take care,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I love writing about music. Even more, however, I love listening to music. From Rossini's "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" to Aqua's "Barbie Girl" (which is easily one of my favorite "guilty pleasure" songs) to Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals and a little bit of everything else inbetween. Except rap. I have to say, no matter how much I try to appreciate it, I just don't. It isn't music. There isn't something I can sing along with or harmonize with. I just have to take a pass on it. Everything else, though, I will usually find something that I like.

The guilty pleasure/pure cheese songs are so much fun! Just about anything from "Glee" is awesome. I love Forbidden Broadway, too. "Wickeder" cracks me up, but so do most of the Forbidden Broadway songs. Some songs are just perfect for singing and dancing around with a O-Zone's "Dragostea Din Tei" and if you're the "Numa Numa boy" they might even make you famous-ish. I could dance around singing Kris Phillips (Fei Xiang)'s song "For You Only" for hours. His song "Love Me", too if I knew all of the words. Sucks that I don't know enough Mandarin, though.

I have so many that I love putting on and cheesing out to. Not all of them are cheesy, it's more likely that I was doing something cheesy when I heard the song and that is a memory associated with it now. For example, Asia's "Heat of the Moment" isn't pure cheese on its own, but the first time I heard it I was 16, working at McDonald's, and back doing dishes in "the dives", having water fights with a co-worker and I loved it. Or, years later, discovering that the same co-worker was roommates with my (at the time) future husband and sitting in their dining room with White Town's "Your Woman" looped on repeat. For years I had trouble remembering the name of that group and the album and song name so I just called it "The Star Wars Song" because of the music that the song opens with.

Random others that are just fun to listen to in my list are: Dexy's Midnight Runners/Save Ferris "Come on Eileen". I love both versions. Same with Cheap Trick/Save Ferris versions of "I Want You To Want Me". Both are great. I love Hot Chocolate's "You Sexy Thing" and The Cars song "My Best Friend's Girl". I can totally rock out to Rockapella's "Zombie Jamboree" or "Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego?"

There are others that I love that I can only listen to when my kid isn't around. They are certainly not "Quin Appropriate" songs. Unfortunately, those few are some of the most very favorite songs on my list. Ugh!!

Off to cheese out to some of the more not kid friendly songs for a bit. I am kidless for a few days and loving that I can listen to anything that I want!

Take care,