04 November 2010

Another Day, Another WTF

People have told me that I am crazy for working where I do, with the population that I do, and/or working with teenagers.  Indeed, it takes a certain type of personality to deal with the drama and hormone fueled insanity that teenagers seem to exude (clouds of it!  Think Pigpen from Charlie Brown!!).  However, I have to say the most difficult part of my job is not typically the kids.... it is the adults.

Today I received a phone call from a parent.  She was quite pleasant, but I could tell she was on the edge of being upset.  The problem?  She, for some reason, could not seem to get in touch with her daughter's classroom and teacher.  She told me she had been calling the school for weeks, and they keep transferring her from teacher to teacher, but it is never the right one.  Of course I ask the obvious, "What is the name of your daughter's teacher?"

Simple enough question.... but mom can't remember the teacher's name.  So my next question is the obvious, "what is your daughter's name?"  Then: "uh... how about you spell that for me?" 

I look the kid up in our computer system, and get nothing so I figure something is wrong with the system.  I take down the woman's name and number and tell her I will get back to her after doing a bit of research.  Don't worry ma'am, we'll get this whole thing sorted out today so you don't have any more trouble contacting your darling daughter's teacher. 

Long story short, I visited multiple classrooms personally, asked every single person in Special Education I could find, essentially spent the day looking for this kid, only to be told time and time again that no one has ever heard of her.  I start to wonder if someone is screwing with me....which would not be unusual given my situation. 

As a last ditch effort, I seek out someone in the main office with a computer and access to district level information about students.  Turns out this kid doesn't even go to my school.  She is enrolled across town.  Has been since August. No. Joke.

I really wanted to call the parent back and say, "How is it that after 12+ weeks of school you STILL don't know how to contact your child's special education teacher?"  And we're not talking mild to moderate disability here, we're talking severe disabilities class.  Seriously.  I'm still wondering if this whole thing was a joke on me... maybe someone trying to figure out how resourceful I am in my limited time.

I managed to find the correct phone number, call this parent back, and leave a very pleasant message on her voice mail.  I really do enjoy helping people, and it is even better when they aren't angry or yelling at me right from the get go.  However, I am completely shocked that no one she spoke to before me even tried to help her.  She said she had called the school six or eight times, and always gotten the same runaround... transferred from teacher to teacher, and never to the correct one.  There are so many levels of fail here, it really boggles the mind.

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.  So glad it's Friday.

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