Hurting the Public

I had absolutely no time to blog yesterday. I didn’t even have time to eat lunch. I lost count of how many angry phone calls I answered. Here’s a recap:

  • One mom told me I obviously didn’t know what I was talking about, and I might as well forward her to someone who “can actually make decisions.”
  • Another mom screamed and threatened and eventually started crying after 15 minutes on the phone with me.
  • A grandma came into my office and asked if there was “anyone here who actually knew what they were doing.”
  • Another mom told me that the way we are running our program this year is wrong, completely unfair to working parents, and she will take this up with the board of education.
  • The most common response was “You’re kidding, right?”
  • The nicer parents were the ones who told me “Well, I know this really isn’t your fault, BUT….”

Due to confidentiality, I’m not going to blog about what program is being met with such resistance. Those of you who live in Durango and have school aged kids, I’m sure you know what program I’m talking about. Ever since my boss was told that changes needed to happen this year, or else the program wouldn’t exist, I have been dreading the beginning of this school year. Why? because I feel for the parents. Hell, I AM one of those parents. I don’t have alternative options, extra resources and a variety of choices.

How do I tell a mom who is crying because they are about to foreclose on her house that, no, I can’t make an exception? I can’t defer her payment until September. How do I tell a mom who is currently going back to school that she needs to pay for services upfront, even though tuition, books, and college supplies have drained her entire bank account for the month of August? How do I tell my single mom neighbor that her three kids are going to be turned away from the program because she hasn’t pre-enrolled them?

I hate my job right now. I hate hurting parents. I hate being the bad guy to people I don’t even know, and who definitely don’t deserve to be screwed over. I can hear people’s voices cracking over the phone. I can hear them trying to keep it together, hoping they can keep themselves under control. I hear that aching silence on the other end of the line after I give them an answer they don’t want to hear.

You can feel the tension everywhere: at the gas station, in the grocery store, at the bank, and by the time moms & dads get to my office, its the last straw. I’m cannon fodder for people feeling the squeeze.

My boss came over to my desk at the end of the day and said “I think you should talk to my husband.” Her hubby is a therapist. She also offered to watch LB so I could take her tickets to the Bar-D Wranglers last night.

Man, I must look pretty busted.

I thanked her and politely declined. I didn’t have the energy to be social, to fake another smile. I just wanted to go home and sink into the couch. I did exactly that, while LB played on the floor with her aquadoodle. As I stared up at my ceiling fan, and felt the heat of my apartment surround my already sweaty body, I wept.

I wept for the mom who is going to lose her house. I wept for my neighbor who was fired from her job yesterday. I wept for LB, who keeps coming into my room at 4 am, shaking with sobs. I wept for the woman thee doors down who was thrown through her bedroom window Tuesday night . And I wept for myself, cause school hasn’t even started yet.

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15 thoughts on “Hurting the Public

  1. Gosh!!

    I really dont know what to say! You sound sad ;(

    Whats up with LB waking at 4 and crying? Effects from her dads visit?

    I obviously dont know the school programme but can hear I would have probably been one of the moms moaning!

    Hope it gets better!!!!!!!

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  2. WTF. Is this a public school? So why are parents being “forced” to pay for services for anything, up front or not? What a crcok. And while I feel outraged and angry and could go on and on about the bull, that isn’t what you need. I can’t give you what you need, either, other than that I totally feel for you right now.

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  3. I’m sorry about everything. I don’t know much about the changes, but if this is what it’s causing, then obviously there needs to be even more changes made. I’m also so sorry about LB and all the other stuff going on right now. If you need anything or just want to hangout, please, please, please call me. I’ll see you soon and take care of yourself. Love you guys!

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  4. What a horrid day you had. I can understand being the bearer of bad news and taking the brunt of the anger. I’m sorry that happened to you and to the other parents… I hope everything finally works out the best for everyone.

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  5. I couldn’t help googling and I *think* I figured out what you’re talking about. Man, honey, you need a mental health day! I’m so sorry (I’d be one of those who said “I know it’s not you” but still cried anyway).

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  6. Oh man, that can’t be fun. I’m sorry you’re going through this. A good old fashioned vent and a friend would help a little. Damn economy!

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  7. I’m so sorry. I am in a postion, living in the inner city region of our town, to witness first hand the pain of our ever failing system. The after school program at my kids’ school was cut this year due to lack of funding and I know that it blindsided the working parent’s who rely on it.

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