Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Employer/Empoyee Attitudes

Normally I do not post anything other than very generic information about my workplaces. I work in schools with students who have varying levels of disabilities and handicaps, and that's all I'm going to say-- not where my schools are, not what the names are, and not the types of disabilities and handicaps that my students have.

Yesterday I was driving back with Eli and his mom and we were discussing work and being an employee and how employers treat employees and expectations, etc.

I am now going to vent about a principal I know-- not necessarily a principal at a school that I work in or have worked in, but a principal that I know in a professional relationship. When I saw her school I was impressed by her attitude-- she seemed to care and be interested in developing the OT program at her school and seemed to value the therapists and her staff-- spoke highly of them and reflected pride. I now know her from the inside-- therapists talk.

She yells at staff members, has clear favorites, takes out her temper on staff, and does not project an attitude of growth in the school. From what I understand, she has pushed, and is really pushing, for the school to be more "normal"-- standard subjects should be taught, and more emphasis should be placed on academic learning rather than more functional things for the students. Great. But that's really on the side. The point of this post was to discuss employer's/supervisor's attitudes and employees attitudes.

A few examples:
There was a meeting that had been scheduled and the day of it was pushed to a slightly earlier time. That day a representative from the Teachers Union had come to the school to answer questions about a new contract that was signed for the schools system. One of the staff members from the school was in the teacher's lounge with a couple other people, talking to the representative about five minutes before the meeting was supposed to start. The principal came in and said to the staff member, "Don't you have a meeting?" The staff member replied, "Yes, it starts at ____, in five minutes." The principal snapped back, "Maybe you should have your feet on the ground and know when you have meetings!" and went into the bathroom. When the principal came out the staff member said to her, "[Principal's name], I did not deserve that." And the principal responded, "I had it up to here today!"

...to be continued...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hi. Back again.

Well it's been a long...well, I haven't really been unpdating properly since about when I got engaged, so let's say...oh. Seven months. It's been a long seven months.

Which it actually has been. There have been a lot of changes in my life, aside from getting married and moving; that's only part of it.

Where to begin...

We're past the engagement.

Let's start with moving, because that's next. Eli slipped when he was helping me move and hurt his back, which semi-put him out of comission for a couple of weeks, at which point my mother came in. We moved my stuff to our apartment and had a lot of boxes for a while. (note: we are now down to 9, which are mostly/all books. Go us.) We also bought a closet and a bedroom set (bed, 2 nighttables)-- more on that later.

Oh, wait, interruption-- I was doing coverage one day a week at one of my school until December and that ended so I kept that day free to do wedding stuff.Back to moving.
Moving into our apartment was kind of interesting. It was raining pretty hard, which was why Eli slipped, but aside from that the current tenant hadn't yet moved out. Fun! We agreed with the landlord that we were going to get the apartment on the first of the month; I had intended on moving in slowly over a couple of weeks until my mom came in, but my roommates and I found someone to replace me in the apartment starting the first of the month, so I moved out on the first. We spoke to the guy living in the apartment when we went to show it to Eli's mom (the month before we were supposed to move in) and the guy said, "Oh...I don't have a place to live yet, so if I need can I stay a little longer?"  We told him no, and he said, "Well I don't know if I'll have a place, I'm looking but nothing's come up, etc...." and we called the landlord and said this guy didn't seem like he was planning on moving out on time, and that we were moving in on the first. So the night before the first we called the guy living in the apartment to make sure he left/would be out by the first and he said he was still there and wasn't planning on leaving until sometime on the first, at least. We immediately called the landlord and told him that we just spoke to the guy and he wasn't planning on leaving until sometime on the first (and that we could move in from midnight, if we wanted, seeing as we technically had the apartment from then...). Fast forward to about 9:30-10 when we arrive at the apartment with my stuff and see...the landlord using HIS OWN truck to help this guy move out. Seriously?! Well, anyway-- we got the apartment in a horrible mess, dirt everywhere, cigarette butts lying around-- the guy's UNDERPANTS hanging in the bathroom (which we told him about and he took, thank goodness). Giant, giant mess. Which we semi-organized, etc., until my mom came.

Bedroom set: We wanted an in-between size bed that separates (standard beds in Israel are 80 cm wide, standard beds in America are about a meter wide, and we wanted a 90 cm bed because we decided that 80 cm is too narrow, but we would have a hard time fitting 1 meter beds in many Israeli bedrooms because they're all built smaller. So we went for the middle size, and we are happy with it :) ) We actually found the one we wanted in the size we wanted that separates on display so we asked about buying it and the store said ok. So we got it for less-- there were a couple of scratches that the store repaired-- and so we got a great bedroom set for under standard price. And they built one of the nightstands new for us because they only had one on display. We ordered mattresses from the same store. When we went to try out mattresses, the store had mattresses that were different on either side; they were very close and both comfortable and Eli said, "Too bad they don't come like this [meaning one side one thing and one side another]. The guy in the store was like, "Well, actually, I can order them like that for you." So we got cool mattresses! They delivered our bed when the mattresses were ready but not the nightstands so we called and asked where they were. In the end we got them-- and one was broken and we finally got the second one a week or two ago.

Family arriving/Pre-Wedding: My mom came in about ten days before the wedding and we went for the tasting with Eli's parents and his younger sister and youngest brother. My mom kind of hung out a lot until the rest of my family (dad, sisters, brother-in-law, and nieces) came in. My parents and younger sister stayed in the apartment with me, and my older sister and her family stayed with family friends.

The shabbat before the wedding: In Ashkenazi [Eastern European] Jewish tradition, the shabbat before the wedding there are two separate celebrations: the groom has an "aufruf," where he is called up to the Torah and candies are thrown at him, and the bride has a "shabbat kallah" where she celebrates with her female friends and family members. My shabbat kallah was at my old apartment, and my sisters and nieces came; my mom went to Eli's aufruf (there weren't really going to be people there for my mom to hang out/talk to who weren't my age-ish, and she would have felt kind of awkward).

Day before the wedding: Took off from work and ran around. Don't remember much of what I did. I went to my friends' apartment in the afternoon to get ready for the mikva-- before a Jewish woman gets married she goes to the mikva to make herself spiritually pure (not physically clean-- you do that before you go to the mikva!). Yay for jacuzzi tubs. And then that night went to the mikva with my friend for moral support (she took me to a mikva near her and her husband's apartment. More explanation on mikva here: mikvah.org) and stayed over at her and her husband's apartment with my younger sister.

Day of the wedding: My friends who I stayed over at took me to the Kotel in the morning. Something really cool that not too many people know about is that a bride and groom can drive straight up to the Kotel [Western Wall] and park in a parking area near the Kotel (provided there is enough space, say the guards). I came back to Eli's and my apartment and I had lots of free time until makeup and the siyur (when the photographer takes you on a photo tour thing and takes pictures of you). So I sewed the sleeves up and the buttons on. My younger sister did my hair (and it took all of a half hour, extra hair spraying included) and someone who lives nearby came and did my makeup, as well as my mom's, Eli's mom's, my sisters', and my best friend who came from NY for the wedding (thank you Sara!). Then I went for the siyur and to the hall.

Despite how much we wanted to have the chuppah on time it didn't happen. It was a half-hour late. On the upside, it was not due to either of us.  What else is there to say? It was wonderful.

..To Be Continued...