It’s not all Z’s fault

I’d been blaming myself for not keeping things up to scratch, but now I’ve checked through thoroughly, I was in almost every particular.  Most importantly, I’d kept a record of the cheques  sent – and the cheques themselves, of course.  So this morning, I sent out an email to everyone who hadn’t yet sent in their evaluation forms and/or their cheques – the former by email, the latter by post.

I’ve had several replies, most of them promises of answers pdq, but one was from someone protesting that he’d sent his cheque.  I’ve checked through, and he has.  But he put down West Suffolk instead of Bury St Edmunds on the accompanying form, so I credited it to West Suffolk, who hasn’t paid up.  And another email was from someone who said that she’d sent me the details – which she has – and that their society treasurer is also Area treasurer, so he would deal with the finance direct.  PITY HE DIDN’T TELL ME, THEN.  Sorry to shout.  It’s been a bit like that.

I also had an email from someone who didn’t like a form having a yellow background in one section because of the extra ink involved printing it out.  He went all environmental on me.  I wrote back cheerfully suggesting he read it online and not bother to print it out at all, thus saving the paper and the ink (the reason it’s in yellow is to show people where they may type, as most of it can’t be altered). But you know, he was barely polite – frankly, I was treated as a lowly-paid employee rather than an unpaid volunteer like him … but it’s those who are paid less who deserve the kindest treatment – I don’t mind being taken to task when I’ve screwed up, but I’m still doing it for free, you know.  I’m sorry, here I’m going to quote my great-grandmother, whom I never met.  She used to say to my (very young) mother “my dear, never be rude to those who cannot answer back.”  There is no excuse for being lofty with someone whom you perceive as being in a menial position.  None.  That’s flat.

The Head told me this evening that a North Norfolk titled bloke (no gentleman, I fear) was extremely rude to a young teacher who was giving up her weekend to take some of our children on a Duke of Edinburgh Award trip.  Whilst not wanting to make it Googleable, I’m going to name names because, apparently, he behaved like an upper-class shit.  She had arranged to camp on some of his many thousands of acres and, because a completely separate booking had left a mess, he chose to blame the schoolchildren who had been there too, but in a different area.  He was very intimidating and rude to her and accused her of not having booked at all – he’d evidently forgotten having spoken to her himself a few months ago when he took the booking.  For money, which was paid.  Lord W@lp0le may be a Baron, but he is no gentleman.  I think he’d not have spoken to me that way, because he’d have recognised someone on what he’d consider his level.  I can’t bear the “class” thing and don’t do it.  But I can do it, if it’s necessary.  I’d have been what my children call “fruity”.

Anyway, the Head has written a totally tongue-in-cheek letter of apology, which will make the Baron embarrassed if he has any shred of decency.  I don’t know the fellow, so he may not.

15 comments on “It’s not all Z’s fault

  1. Mike and Ann

    Pity the ‘gentleman’ was never given your great grandmother’s piece of advice. My paternal grandmother once told me that the first principle of good manners is contained in the phrase ‘Never demand as a right anything you can ask as a favour’. I always thought this was her own idea, then a year or two ago I came across it in a phrase book. Can’t remember who said it but it was some Irish politician of the late eighteenth century.

  2. 63mago

    “Fruity” – a very different meaning I learn here 🙂

    The behaviour of some people, it is embarrassing, no second thought about the person vis-à-vis, no idea that one could be in this position, no empathy in the end. It was, it is and it will be and decorated and honoured Hornochsen are just bulls minus balls.

  3. Roses

    I don’t know whether it’s a mark of good breeding (as my mother would argue) or whether it’s just good manners. But you see the true character of a person when you watch them interact with people who serve them.

    Good manners, I’ve always impressed upon my Boy, opens more doors than attitude. Attitude has it’s place, but good manners are always relevant.

  4. Eddie 2-Sox

    The toff in question does sound like a complete tosser. Most posh people though, like Z, are very comfortable with the hoi polloi, like me. We know our place, and they do too ;o)

  5. Z

    Someone who, however provoked, takes advantage of his authority to bully anyone, let alone a young woman, isn’t as much of a gentleman as he thinks he is.

    My “How do you do? ” alone would have stopped him in his tracks.

    (that’s me being fruity, according to my children’s definition, Mago)

    Simon – you’re not getting a rise out of me, babycakes

  6. Blue Witch

    I can’t help thinking that if a ‘titled'(non)-gentleman can have this effect on a teacher, what will a stroppy parent (or even stroppy puils!) do? What about assertiveness training for all staff? Or training in non-violent communication (Marshall Rosenberg suff). It’s worked brilliantly in all schools I’ve worked with…

  7. Z

    It’s not that easy when a man who is several decades older than you and with whom you’ve previously had an amicable conversation on the phone, suddenly accosts you, shouting and being abusive. I didn’t mention how she reacted, I don’t actually know. I expect it was with dignity. But I’d have been deeply upset, however well I’d hidden it and however well I’d dealt with the situation at the time.

    You’re prepared for situations in school, but this was out of the blue. You don’t know the teacher in question, or anything about our school. Please, love, I’m having the shittiest week. Hold back, hey?

  8. Blue Witch

    Actually, I’d heard about it on the EP Grapevine (and later from someone who worked there) years before your association with it.

    But, if you think “They” dislike the school, I shouldn’t worry… none of them will be around for much longer anyway…

    I have undoubtedly picked exactly the right time to ‘retire’ 🙂

  9. Z

    The number of advisors seems to have increased considerably over the past few years. In fact, it seems to have been a career move of choice for early-retiring headteachers. Some of them are excellent, but the huge cost has concerned me for a long time. And the amount of food served at training sessions and seminars has gone way up – a load of cakes the other evening, most of which were uneaten. Used to be a packet of biscuits.

    Actually, I’d love to know what’s being said about us now. You wouldn’t care to email and tell me, would you? 😉


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