A few weeks before, I had been brought into the Headmaster's office with my colleague sitting in the corner with pursed lips and a smug face. It was explained to me that my teaching skills weren't "up to their school's high standards" and that I would NOT be asked back for the following year.
I was devastated.
I loved that school and most of the kids in it. It was my first full year teaching. What they "expected" from me was a load of fucking bullshit. I was (and still am) a perfectionist and I put my heart and soul into that job. I never did anything half-assed. I spent mornings, nights, lunches and weekends helping any student that needed it. But here's the thing...
The morning of my FIRST day on the job, I was asked to take out my eyebrow piercing and I refused. They had 10 weeks of meetings and training with me to ask me about it before that morning. It's not like it was something I could hide. So, of course, I was pretty upset about that. I told them if they had asked me before, I would have taken it out so it would have had time to heal. I wasn't going to have two holes in my face on my first day on the job.
And I thought that was the end of it. But it wasn't.
My colleague, who was more than pleasant at the beginning (she was only a few years older than myself), began being terribly passive-aggressive towards me. I just ignored her. I don't have time for bullshit behavior like that at my work place. And it got worse and worse, to the point it became full out bitchiness and cruel bullying; not to mention she did this in front of the students which was so fucking unprofessional.
So on this particular day, the NEW teacher that was going to replace me came for a visit. I had nothing against him. I welcomed him into what was soon to be his room; I had a class currently underway. I showed him around; where things were kept, et cetra, et cetra. It was a fairly uneventful interaction.
After class, my colleague stormed into my empty room, "How DARE you speak to the new teacher! You have no right!"
And here's right about where 10 months of her under-handed psychological tormenting came to a really big ugly motherfucking head and I exploded:
HOW DARE I? LAST TIME I CHECKED, I WAS A FUCKING HUMAN BEING AND I CAN SPEAK TO WHOMEVER I WANT TO. I AM LEAVING, YOU GOT WHAT YOU WANTED, SO FUCK OFF AND DON'T SPEAK TO ME LIKE THAT EVER AGAIN. YOU'RE A BITCH AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT AND YOU'RE JUST JEALOUS OF ME BECAUSE ALL THE STUDENTS CAME TO ME FOR HELP INSTEAD OF YOU AND THAT'S THE REAL REASON WHY YOU HAD ME FIRED. YOU'RE A PETTY AND PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR A TEACHER.
Oh yeah, I went there, and it felt so gawd damn amazing. She stood there, stunned. I had taken her abuse and snide remarks all year. It was the last thing she expected from me, I'm certain of it. Then, she attempted to rebut: "And you with your stupid damn eyebrow ring. You're the unprofessional one. Do you have any idea how much of a disappointment you are?" Oh, right... we're rehashing THAT up, are we? OK...
YOU SAID YOU WERE PROUD OF ME FOR STANDING UP FOR MYSELF, YOU FUCKING TWO-FACED BITCH. YOU KNOW HOW UPSET THAT ISSUE MADE ME. AND WHILE WE'RE ON THE TOPIC OF UNPROFESSIONALISM, LET'S BRING UP THE FACT THAT YOU DIDN'T EVEN SHOW UP TO YOUR OWN ART SHOW AND I COVERED FOR YOU. AND THAT WAS JUST...LAST...WEEK. YOU'RE THE ONE THAT DISAPPOINTED ME. YOU WERE MEANT TO BE MY MENTOR AND FRIEND BUT INSTEAD, YOU TURNED OUT TO BE A SELFISH COW THAT TOOK SOME SICK PLEASURE IN TORMENTING ME. WE ARE DONE HERE.
And you want to know something? That night was the first good night's sleep I had had in months. Sure, I had lost my job, but I said my peace and didn't go out with my tail between my legs. It still breaks my heart that in the end, it was the kids that lost out. They even started a petition to try to get me to stay... which of course, was also my fault that caused "a very awkward situation".
Karma is a sneaky bitch though. That colleague had a nervous breakdown and split from her husband over that summer holiday and she was off work until Christmas. They didn't even get a long-term supply to take her place! I emailed the Headmaster and offered my services once a week to help the students with their projects, since I was already more than familiar with them. And that I would gladly do it FOR FREE.
He never replied.
....are you SURE you don't live in Idaho? Because this story could easily (EASILY) happen down here.ReplyDelete
It scares me how judgmental people are. The "I'm better than you" attitude is probably one of the most hindering things about the 20th/21st century. If we could just get THE FUCK over ourselves, we'd be in a much better society.
I love this. You can't see, but I'm giving you a standing O. (and not in THAT way, you pervy perv...)
I wish I could explain to you how similar your experience is to mine in some ways... but for now I can't. But it is.ReplyDelete
I'm proud of you for standing up for yourself, for doing your job with your whole heart, and for sharing this story!!
It really is! The first month or two, she acted like we were going to be BFFs. Yeah, right. Just as long as I didn't make her look bad by doing my job well and connecting with the students. Sigh.
Thanks for the standing O. Appreciated ;)
It's such an awful situation and 100% unnecessary.
Way to go you! I can't imagine how hard that would have been, but you handled it!ReplyDelete
it's so nice to blow up on people like that! I cant remember the last time someone pissed me off like that.ReplyDelete
I've had one of these bitches at every single job I've ever had.ReplyDelete
I feel pretty much all of it comes from jealousy. Although it also feels a little conceited to say that.
Good for you for sticking up for yourself, though! Feels good, man.
I've had a few others as well, but this one took the cake, by far.
It's sad, really. I'm not a jealous person when it comes to this type of shit. I'd MUCH prefer to enjoy my work and work WITH my colleagues. Why does everything gotta be a clusterfuck, yo?
Yup...that's enough to make you want to stop teaching! A school doesn't work well if the teachers aren't on the same page and get along with each other. I remember colleagues trying to suck me into to talking about other staff members, I never went for it. Not worth it.ReplyDelete
Yes. I did teach at another school for a year after that, but I had pretty much switched off. It turns out I'm not really a 9-5'er anyway, but still...
Good for you!! Isn't it amazing that there are these women (in my experience it is usually women that are like this) that work so hard every day to make others lives so damn unbearable so that they can bear their own. If they worked even half as hard on "fixing" whatever is going so wrong in their lives...well the possibilities are endless. I too, like the other people that have posted here have had my share of this and although I have learned better ways of dealing with it, it makes me sad and angry that I have to. And I've never been able to have this experience that you did.ReplyDelete
You pretty much rock and kick ass.
Good for you! After 11 years in the educational profession...its one of the cattiest, bitchiest, backstabbing gossip infested, power hungry professions I have ever worked in. I am BEYOND over it and have been looking for whatever way to get out I can. Because I AM a responsible adult and mother I can not just up and quit until I know I can provide for my child, but I will be burning out as soon as my ducks are in a row and I can bounce on their heads on my way out the door.ReplyDelete
Glad that you went out with a bang - what a terrible situation to be put into.ReplyDelete
Wasn't that just the best and sweetest revenge? Love this happy-ending story ;)ReplyDelete
good for you!ReplyDelete
oh by the way ... your post tags are descriptively awesome!
There is something really satisfying about that moment where you finally draw a line and tell someone you will not allow them to treat you like shit for another second. And vindication is fucking awesome, is it not?!ReplyDelete
YES!! It might be a very malleable line, but whatever it was, she totally fucking crossed it ;)
Thank you! I learned from Kris @ Pretty All True, but they still don't even come close. lol
Yay for standing up to her...I almost disagree with Ducky. Nursing (and the aides) can be just as bad....too many women in one small area.ReplyDelete
I agree with lostonthemountains work in a nursing home where most of the nurses are over weight and unhappy, and your not. It gets ugly. Makes me glad that one I'm getting old so women aren't as bad and two I now work for myself! Natalie@Bridget's daughter found you through Kat's blog. And I think you were right to go off on her.ReplyDelete
Perhaps you could let these things out a little more regularly when it's warranted instead of letting them build up.ReplyDelete
1. Yes. In a perfect world, we all say what we feel without catastrophic fallout.
2. Until I actually lost my job, I really couldn't say anything.
3. Are you Yoda?
sometimes enough really is just enough. You tried your best to deal professionally with this backstabber but at some point, especially when the damage is already beyond done, you just have to put a person in their place.ReplyDelete
So glad you stood up for yourself. My heart broke for you when I read that you were fired because of that snide bitch. It seems like that was your passion.ReplyDelete
I had a boss like that coworker of yours once and she made my life miserable for five years.
But, I'm grateful for the experience because without it I never would have learned to stand up for myself in my career and I wouldnt be where I am now.
OMG!!! T. Roger is back as Yoda! Don't ever leave us, T. Roger. Miss you we would.ReplyDelete