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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Eventful week!

My first full week at the new job is done! And I'm happy to report that I'm still just as pleased as I was on the first day. I've only worked 8 days so far, but I have zero complaints...about anything. I can't imagine how I've gotten so lucky! On the first day back for the kids (Thursday), a busing fiasco left dozens of students without transportation to and from school. While that played out, a sewage backup that required an emergency crew of plumbers left over half the school without useable toilets!  It was chaos for awhile! In the midst of all that the principal apologized and handed me a list of parents that needed to be called and who weren't going to be happy--their children, who should have been on buses, had no way home and arrangements had to be made to get them picked up. Most were obviously blue collar hardworking types that needed to be at work and/or didn't have reliable transportation themselves. The rest of the office knew that I had been given a tough task, and I knew they were watching to see how I'd handle it. So I did my best. I accepted the task with a smile and pleasant attitude. I made one call after another, and tried to be as empathetic and professional as possible. I didn't complain. And do you know--not a single parent blasted me! Most were gracious and understanding.

That afternoon, before leaving for the day, the principal (a sharp and efficient middle aged woman) complimented me on how calmly I had handled an especially trying first day of school. That was my biggest highlight of the week! She's not a woman who's given to compliments, certainly not if she doesn't feel they're deserved.

This week I also met the teenager I'm a new guardian to! I was really nervous about it. She's living with foster parents in a really poor part of town, and I had no idea what to expect when I knocked on their door. They're all African Americans, and with the way things are going in our country right now, I couldn't blame them if they didn't want a strange white woman over. But they turned out to be a sweet elderly couple that were very kind and gracious. They remind me a little of my grandparents: the wife has flowers and plants everywhere in her tiny front yard and on her porch, and they were watching The Andy Griffith Show when I arrived. My grandparents watched that show all the time!

After I introduced myself, they called *Kay from her room. She was another pleasant surprise. I expected her to be unreceptive to yet another adult sent from "the system". I expected her to possibly be sulky or difficult. In fact, she was none of those things! She was shy and had a sweet smile. She seems young for her age. I had a new book bag filled with school supplies to give her from the GAL program director, and she seemed very happy with it. We talked about the upcoming school year and what classes she's taking. I admitted I had been nervous to meet her, and she laughed. We made a plan to see each other again in two weeks, and she seemed impressed when I took out my planner and wrote her in for the afternoon of the 31st. All in all, a great first visit and I feel good about this assignment! I'll be with Kay until next summer when she turns 18. She's been through a lot of trauma and deserves a shot at a decent adult life. This year is going to be crucial for her.

I met with Kay after work on Wednesday, and that night was book club. I was so happy to see my friends! I had to miss last month's meeting, and I've been too busy with the new job to see much of them lately. The book we read this month was In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. It was a quick and easy read, and not bad for a summer selection.

It's been an exciting week. Now I'm ready to relax! And guess what? It's a three day weekend, because a total solar eclipse is happening here on Monday (!!!!!!!) and the schools are closed. A three day weekend already--I think I'm going to enjoy being "back in school" and following a school schedule! Tomorrow, I'll write more about the grand celestial event that's about to take place over South Carolina on Monday. Until then, enjoy the weekend!


*Not her real name, for obvious reasons.



23 comments:

  1. Wow! See? All that worrying for nothing. (Said the uncurable worrier.)
    I am so glad to hear all of this. I think you are going to be amazing, not only at your new job, but as a GAL.
    Just...wow!

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    1. I don't know about amazing, but I'll do my best.

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  2. I read this with tears in my eyes. I am so happy for you Jennifer, and for Kay who will have you.
    Greetings Maria x

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  3. I am glad it all went well for you Jennifer. x

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  4. I'm happy for you, for the school, and for Kay. You are an asset everywhere you go.

    Love,
    Janie

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  5. Well done Jennifer, sounds like it's all going well.

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  6. Thanks for the update Jennifer. I am pleased that the new job has started so well and that you bonded with "Kay" soon after meeting her.

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    1. I think Kay and I will get along just fine.

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  7. Phew! That was a full day. It sounds as though your assignment of Kay will be a pleasant one, indeed.
    How funny to have a day off due to an eclipse. When I was teaching, I always said that a three day weekend was a double treat. You not only had an extra day off, but a short work week as well!

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    1. I didn't think about next week being a short week! Awesome!!

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  8. Gosh, you had an eventful first day! Congrats for acquitting yourself so well. I'm impressed that there's a holiday in honour of the solar eclipse, what an excellent idea.

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    1. It's a once in a lifetime event, having totality coming right over our heads. The kids shouldn't miss it.

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  9. That's all good. I'm so pleased for you that everything's working out. I was listening to a radio programme last night about 'management' and 'managers'. So many nightmares out there! Best wishes.

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    1. It's so nice to be done with retail! I still can't believe it!

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  10. I believe that we have a partial eclipse on Monday . Is it a regular thing to have a holiday when an eclipse occurs? Is it just schools or do all workers get a day off? Pleased to hear how well your first week went and that Kay sounds like a nice young person who will benefit from your help.

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    1. The eclipse is total over the middle of South Carolina. It's a very rare event.

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  11. This actually brought tears to my eyes. Lucky you. Lucky Kay-Not-Her-Real-Name.

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  12. Yay for Kay and Jennifer, may their relationship be nourishing and strong. Congrats on a great week at your new job amidst some chaos and as a GAL.

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