Friday, 2 November 2007

Warning: This post will contain profanity

Where should I start? Ah, yes, the Stupid Fucking Bitch, otherwise known as the head teacher at my daughter's school. Her real name is (I've removed the name of the head and school on Laurie's advice). But to me she's Stupid Fucking Bitch or SFB. What inspired this nickname? Well, yesterday was the Year 7/8 Disco at daughter's school. She bought her ticket on Monday. On Tuesday we bought the outfit. Yesterday she had six friends round to get ready. They all set off walking to school in high spirits.

Meanwhile, son got ready and I took him and a friend to the disco, then came home to get ready to visit a friend who's ailing in bed after a serious back operation. Then the phone rang.

"Can you come pick me up?" daughter said tearfully.

"Why?" I asked.

"I lost my ticket and they won't let me in."

I drove round, picked her up, heard more of the story. Apparently, one of the PTA mums was going to let her in, but SFB butted in with her enormous fat ass and said no, she couldn't go in. I told daughter I would retrace her steps and look for the missing ticket. She waited at home for my friend who was due to pick me up in minutes. As I walked along, kicking up the leaves, picking up every piece of paper I saw, I got angrier and angrier. Have I mentioned I can have a T-E-M-P-E-R when provoked? My friend found me and suggested I get in the car and she would drive me to the school, for by that time I'd decided to confront SFB.

I got out with both guns blazing, found the SFB and tapped her on the shoulder.

"You wouldn't let my daughter in because she lost her ticket."

"That's right. How am I to know she actually bought a ticket. I have to think about Health and Safety."

"You're calling me a liar. Why would I come down and make a scene if my daughter hadn't had a ticket? Look, I'll pay 20 quid for another ticket."

"That's not the issue. I have 220 children in there and if there were a fire you'd be coming to me saying I hadn't done my job."

"You don't have 220 children in there. You have 219 because my daughter lost her ticket. Were you never 13? It isn't like she lost a school assignment."

"How do I know your daughter actually bought a ticket? Last year we had 20 children say they'd bought a ticket but hadn't and were 20 over our legal capacity. I can't risk that."

At that point I stormed out because I would have hit her otherwise. Lots of PTA parents and teachers witnessed the scene. I'm probably known as Psycho Mum now. And yes, perhaps she had a point. But so did I. If she'd looked at it logically, she'd have seen my daughter had taken the trouble to dress up like her friends as a fairy. Why do that if you hadn't bought a ticket? Why would I as a parent risk humiliating myself and my daughter by causing a scene if she hadn't bought a ticket?

But she chose the Hard Ass route. These are the rules and I'm sticking to them. And that's probably why she's gotten as far as she has. Certainly couldn't be her teaching abilities. If she were so very concerned about Health and Safety, why not write down the names of each and every child who bought a ticket and tick them off as they went in so they had a record of who exactly was in there in case of fire? I don't think she actually knew exactly how many children were in there. She was making a stand by refusing my daughter entry. And meanwhile I had a distraught 13-year-old waiting at home.

I walked home, still looking for the ticket. When I got in, I found the Halloween candy and said to daughter, "There are times when you just have to have chocolate." And wine of course.

I'm not one of those parents who never thinks their child is in the wrong. She knows and I know that ultimately it was her fault for losing her ticket. But sometimes you need to cut a person some slack. And I think this was one of them.

I hope my daughter wasn't too horrified that I created a scene. I hope she realises that I am on her side and will fight her corner even when the odds are stacked against us. As for SFB, she can take a flying, fucking leap into a great big pool of shit as far as I'm concerned. I think she was hiding behind Health and Safety, but that's what people in Education seem to do these days. By the way, I'm not the first parent to have confronted her and been fed a load of shit. And probably won't be the last either.

As an addendum, son had a great time at disco (and of course I had to go back and pick him up) and landed himself a girlfriend. I've considered writing an apology to the head but will do so only if she takes my outburst out on my daughter.

21 comments:

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

I wouldn't apologise mate, I would be writing a letter saying if health and safety was an issue, all childrens names should have been recorded and marked off as you mention. Start a campaign for her to do the job right!

(I forgive you for eating chocolate in this circumstance! lol)

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I wouldn't apologize either. Any time you're dealing with people, especially children, you have to be flexible to a degree. That was the polar opposite of flexible.

Is this an annual thing? Maybe they do need to keep a list of attendees. At the very least it would give her something anal to do to keep out of everyone elses hair.

You did what a mother is supposed to do. Don't back down. (Now if she takes it out on your daughter that's a whole new ballgame...)

Grr.

laurie said...

wow. that's AWFUL. what a horrible woman. that's just egregious controlling behavior, and i am so sorry for you and your daughter.

i'm not clear on how stopping your girl from attending this shindig was a matter of Health and Safety. that's bullshit from someone who apparently just revels in power.

i should warn you that since you put her name in your post, she could easily find it through google. you might want to take out her name, unless you relish another fight.

but i agree with va vaoom and RC--dn't apologize. you have nothing to apologize for. you defended your girl, as you should.

-Ann said...

Good on you for sticking up for your daughter. One thing that always irritated me when I was a kid was that my parents hardly ever believed me when I said the teacher was the one with the problem. I was always accused of having a Bad Attitude. Then when my youngest brother went through the same schools and had the same issues with the same teachers, THEN they saw the problem with the teachers. (Being the oldest sucks.)

Kaycie said...

Do not apologize to that stupid woman. You were absolutely right. What's more, she should have had a list of the children who bought tickets. Who's to say she didn't let 20 kids in there who had gotten their ticket by doing a copy on a color photocopy machine?

Stupid woman. She needs her ass kicked.

Queen Vixen said...

Absolutely outrageous! You did the right thing blowing up that pompous 'job'sworth' madam. How ridiculous. Talk about crap man management. Good for you, strength to your arm and your daughter will remember that .... you stood up for her. Fantastic! Fire regulations - my arse!!!!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I can't believe the pettiness in this. Did it really matter? Surely they don't have to be as strict as all that, and your idea of having a list of all people with tickets is a good one. No, I wouldn't apologise, you were doing what was right for your daughter, you were being her parent.

Crystal xx

Eileen said...

I would not apologize at all! That is just plain cruel and inflexible. Sounds like a person who should not be working with children. I have never heard of such a thing, really. You advocated for your daughter, who was very excited about this. She lost a ticket, big deal, why would a parent lie about it? They should have a list.
I hope your daughter had a nice night anyway. Chocolate always helps me! It just makes me so mad!! I hate when people are so insensitive to children's feelings.

debio said...

This woman had so many options available to her to settle this thing to everyone's satisfaction.

But what is oh so important here is that your 13 yr old - on that very wobbly bit between childhood and young-womanhood - has suffered an unjustifiable disappointment.

Well, Headmistress might see it as a lesson learned and character-building, but I see it as just plain cruel and wrong.

Good for you for standing up for your daughter - what are we here for if not for that? I would be tempted to take it a step further; no way apologise but write to the school governors. I think it's that important - not the disco, of course - but her inept handling surely indicates her general approach to being at the helm.

Snuffleupagus said...

Hmm... Does this woman have reason to hate you or your daughter? I must say I do understand her turning away your daughter to start with. As she says, how does she know she bought a ticket? We certainly would have done the same. BUT, if a parent goes to the trouble of coming to the school and explains that the ticket was bought, one never questions a parent's word. As you said, she was calling you a liar. And that is simply extraordinary.

Was there perhaps another child who she had just turned away and so she felt under pressure to do the same to your daughter? Was that child black, or naughty? She would then have felt pressure to treat your child with the same venom, for fear of the repercussions.

Or is she just autistic? Has she been like this with other matters? How totally crazy. I have never heard of such a thing. All that nonsense about Health and Safefy is just a whole load of bollocks!

Pixie said...

I agree with everone else .... NO apology. And if she does take it out on your daughter complain to the Chair of Governors who will have to take your complaint seriously, and deal with it.
pxx

Valleys Mam said...

this is pc gone daft again
Kids loose things - why was it necessary to sell tickets anyway, when we do Discos for the kids its free. We dont make money on them, the PTA raises the cash.
May be this head needs to realsie she is there to support her children.
Looks like she made a stand and couldnt find it in her to move off her spot - sad

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Vi: Thanks for forgiving me. I just might be writing that letter.

RC: I don't think the woman knows how to spell flexible, let alone BE flexible.

Laurie: Apparently, allowing my daughter in would have put them over the fire safety limit,but I don't see how she could have known exactly how many children were in there. Yes, I might take her name out. But I felt I needed to name and shame.

-ann: Sometimes parents bend over backwards for teachers to point of making their own children feel they're not supported. Mine did that too. A generation thing, you think?

VC: Yep, fire regulations are a handy excuse for a lot of things.

kaycie: I'd kick her ass but it's far too large.

CJ: Thank you for your support.

Eileen: My daughter told her friends the next day that she ate chocolate that night and everything felt better.

debio: Education seems to attract a certain sort. I've come across her type before. If she weren't in education, she'd be a traffic warden, of that I am sure.

Snuffy: I wondered what your reaction would be. I can understand her turning my daughter away as well (though there was no concern about how she was supposed to get home). Autistic? Hmmm. Maybe.

Pixie: I'm thinking of writing anyway and suggesting that if they really care about Health and Safety, they will make sure they have a list of names of everyone who bought a ticket and tick them off as they go in.

Valleys mam: Welcome to my blog. Yes, I bet you're right. She made a stand and was afraid of looking weak in front of teachers and parents.

BSkove, Publisher said...

No offense, but I'd tell my daughter if the dance was so important to her, she should have paid better attention to the status of her ticket. I understand your frustration with the BFB, but truly, at age 13, shouldn't your daughter be a litle more responsible? And should mommy-dearest be making a big stink about it? I'd say - live and learn. Take your daughter out for a hot chocolate and tell her to do better next time. I don't think you did her any favors. (I only have two boys =12 and 14= and that is the approach my husband and I have taken with them for many years.)

BSkove, Publisher said...

I also realize I'm in the minority here.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

bskove: You're certainly entitled to your opinion. And I would have to say my husband is in agreement with you. I think it's a bit of a hard-ass approach, and "mommy-dearest" doesn't normally make a big stink about anything. As others have said here, you have to have a bit of flexibility with kids. Some issues are worth being a hard ass about, and some aren't. As parents, we have to make judgments about these issues all the time. Ultimately, my daughter and I know she should have taken better care of her precious ticket, especially now that we know the consequences.

marymaryquitecontrary said...

Boy her ears must be burning, and
rightly so. I can understand her not letting a number of children in, but one child who had obviously spent some time getting ready and arriving with her friends? Common sense should have prevailed;this child had obviously bought a ticket. I am sure that at least one other child who had bought a ticket did't turn up,(children do get sick) and unless they counted the tickets;which would not have been difficult,they would not actually know how many children came to the disco. I am sure you will make it up to your daughter; not easy to replace a night at a dico with your friends

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

marymary: I suppose it's a live-and-learn experience,though not of the variety the head might have been thinking of.

ciara said...

don't apologize. we have had some school going-ons here where we buy tickets, but they actually have LISTS of people who BOUGHT the tickets. it really is a no-brainer solution and it doesn't take that much effort. sounds like that school is lazy and full of bs.

w your daughter being 13 i can only imagine how she felt :(

Queeny said...

Damn that ticket -- and the SFB. What a bummer for your baby?

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Good for you for getting riles. Mistakes happen, we lose things all the time. Profanity is good and so is letting off steam! Who cares what people think of you. Health and safety? Jesus what a laugh butthen it's these people that ave nothing better to do with their lives that chase pointless causes. They should have had a system where a receipt was given but surely if they could record now many kids were in there they could have stuck a name next to it? I think she was lying to you -health and safety require a list of names for the fire brigade should there be a fire. Miserable old flippin jobsworth and silly old trout to boot!