The first year I worked in Hell, things were going rather well. Remember, The Beast had not yet come to full power, and I was having a good year. In February, however, I started having terrible pain in my left side. It's an old muscle injury that bothers me when I'm over-exerted, which I was not. I kept putting off going to the doctor, but woke up a few mornings later with red spots around my waist.
Worried sick about what disease I was coming down with, I knew I had to see the doctor immediately. The problem was that we had some BIG! IMPORTANT! MEETINGS! that morning at school. So important I couldn't tell you now what they were about. MAP? MSIP? Curriculum? Who knows. Anyway, I decided it best to go in the morning for my meeting, then go to the doctor in the afternoon.
I made an appointment and let the office know immediately.
It turned out I had shingles. Yeah. BUT. The doctor caught it so soon and gave me preemptive meds (and pain killers!) so that they didn't get any worse. But I was IN PAIN.
The following day I had a conference at Tan Tar A with another teacher from my department, and even though the doctor suggested I stay home for a few days, I knew I just couldn't skip out on this, either. So, I doped up and met the other teacher early that morning. We rode to the conference together, and ended up having a great time. We got to go to several sessions, some together, some separate, and had plenty of new ideas and innovations to take back with us.
When I got back to school, however, I found out things weren't as hunky-dory as I had thought.
My kids, for one, were awful while I was gone. Did I mention I taught all freshmen? I did. So this wasn't unusual for them to be idiots for a sub. The Beast had a conversation with me about their behavior (I realize I can't control fifteen-year-olds, especially when I'm not there...but it IS well-known that classroom behavior when the teacher is away reflects, to some point, behavior when the teacher is present), and what I should do to handle it. Looking back now, I wonder if they were even really bad, or if It was already starting Its plot.
I came in the next day ready to deal with the Freshmen when I opened an e-mail from my Boss. He expressed that in the future I was NOT to make doctor's appointments on the same day, and that such short notice in the future would NOT be tolerated.
Here I thought I was doing the RIGHT thing. See, I could've called in at seven a.m. and skipped the WHOLE day. I mean, I had paid sick leave I was entitled to. Instead, I went to the ridiculous meeting and made my appointment for later in the afternoon so I'd only miss THREE hours of school.
And I was in trouble?
I was HOT.
Remember what I said about firing off e-mails? This was one of those times.
I'm sorry for the 'short notice,' but I was diagnosed with Shingles on Wednesday. When I woke up with spots on my skin and pain in my side I thought it best to see the doctor asap. I would have stayed home altogether if it had not been for the meetings I felt it important to attend. My doctor suggested I stay home for a few days, but I went ahead to my conference yesterday, and am here today.
Yep I did it. And I probably shouldn't have. But he scolded me IN AN E-MAIL.
In the mean time, The Beast was up my butt, saying It was sorry for the way The Boss had handled it, asking how I was feeling, and teling me that if I needed anything to let It know (you know, go AROUND the Boss). Being sick and emotional and vulnerable, I took the bait, telling It I was just stunned at how The Boss had reacted, and that I had meant no one any harm. I had just been trying to do what I thought was best. Words I'm sure were twisted and repeated.
On Monday The Boss apologized (via e-mail of course) and checked in with me several times thereafter to see how I was doing. Boss is a very fair, very good and decent man, and it was so unlike him to become so angry over something like that. I figured he was just stressed (there had been rumors he was leaving...rumors that turned out to be true) and moved on from the issue. I later learned that his anger was fueled by none other than The Beast. Yep. The same Beast who was going behind HIS back making HIM seem like the bad guy to me, and me seem like the bad guy to him.
Did I mention this was right around contract time? Not the best time to have The Boss mad at you. Unless you're The Beast, and you're hoping to get rid of a certain someone...
While this wasn't a direct encounter with The Beast, it would come into play the next year without me even realizing it...
Catch up here: