I arrived 25 minutes late to a substitute teaching job I had taken LAST week. I knew what time I had to be in (7:10 a.m.) but arrived late because my son was having trouble with his orthopedic boot (he broke his foot last Friday) and I couldn’t leave him. I just couldn’t. Mom first, provider second. Which really screws with my finances but my priorities are clear to me. Problem is I did not have a phone so I couldn’t call and was so involved with my son I didn’t stop to email my supervisor. When I arrived I was told they were sending another sub and no longer needed me. I was pissed. I was late, but I was there and the other sub still wasn’t. Why, I questioned, make the school and students wait even longer just to be punitive toward me? That didn’t make any sense to me. It still doesn’t. I think the administration and my supervisor was wrong for that decision. I feel they put their pride first. Their procedure, their “system” before their students. But this is where I missed my opportunity to be the bigger person and do good instead of more wrong.
While speaking with the Vice Principal of the school he made sure to inform me that a full time teacher had to take time out of their prep period to sit with the class I was late for.
My real response was this-
“Well I’m here now, just let me go up stairs and relieve them.”
What it should have been-
“Well, let me go relieve them- so they can enjoy the rest of their prep period- until the
new sub arrives. At least then I can be of some help.”
I thought of that a couple of hours later in the car. I was remembering how much kind acts had helped my
mood for the day. I realized I had missed the opportunity to do the same. I had been so bent on making money for the day that I put that as my primary goal and didn’t think of all the other events my being tardy had put into action. VERY self-centered of me. AND mediocre.
In situations like these Bigger really is better. Being the bigger person that is. It doesn’t matter that their system is fucked and that they were plain stupid for not just filling their empty position with whom ever came first BUT- I could have been of service regardless of my missed shift and I failed both myself and them in that respect. You see, I feel it’s our responsibility to help where we can. “That’s not my problem” is NEVER a phrase that should exit our mouths. Because every time a problem presents itself to us, it becomes our problem. EVERY TIME. If we weren’t meant to be a part of it, then it would not have presented itself to us, and our abilities. If we witness a car accident, we can stop and make a 911 call. We may not be able to pull over and do what an EMS worker would; we may not have the know how and if we don’t we shouldn’t try. We shouldn’t try to do anything more than what we CAN do to help; but there is ALWAYS something we can do to help. Even if it is just finding the right person for the situation.
It’s a little off putting I’m sure. To think that every body’s problems are your problems. BUT, they aren’t. Only the problems that present themselves to you are YOUR problems, even when you aren’t directly involved. And doing SOMETHING is far better then doing nothing.
I could have helped today by being the bigger person. The way my supervisor spoke to me was ridiculous and honestly threw me off. It made me want to fight, not help. But in the end the impression I would have made by being the bigger person probably would have helped me; a lot more then getting hung up on and leaving the school angry.
It was a silly day. A day that was gloomy despite my happy beginning. Over cast and heavy, it was a day that just didn’t have any fluidity to it. And the world is spinning and I am too, but don’t feel it and I can’t help this feeling that my life is out of place. That I’m not living the way I should. And I miss someone. Mostly with my mind, but plenty with my heart and I can’t reach them. Mainly because I’ve decided they don’t want me to. And I very well may be right. And that makes me overcast on the inside. Gloomy and grey and missing the summer that I got to enjoy far too little of. But next year is so close. And new beginnings are just around the corner. And I’ve got the tumultuous rumbling in my gut that you get right before a race, at the starting get, anticipating the moment when you don’t have to hold yourself back anymore. When I can jet forward at full speed, unrestrained and wild.
That’s what this day felt like. That forced kind of restraint. That you don’t want to do, but do, because there is a good reason for it. That unwanted but necessary waiting before the big blast comes. It’s exciting as well as insufferable. And I feel like I’m going to explode.