Saturday, November 9, 2013

Applying Myself

Since I'm at my kids' school all the time anyway, I decided to apply to be a substitute teacher.  Getting paid to do what I was already doing was a genius idea, so, obviously, not mine.  I have the occasional brilliant idea, but they are never ever finance-related.  I like making friends, making jokes, and making cookies, but making money has always been pretty far down my to-do list.  Also, making to-do lists is pretty far down my to-do list.

But I'm by no means anti-income.  So when this opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it.  (Jumped at it?  Jumped all over it?  Wait, which preposition goes there?  Am I even qualified to teach?)

Initially, there was a lot of paperwork to prepare.  An extensive application, reference forms, a list of additional references, and the references addendum.  Basically, all of you should have received a phone call from Wake County Public Schools wherein they asked you to vouch for me.

I also needed an official copy of my college transcripts.  For the first time ever.  I've had to give proof of my degree before for one other job I had like ten years ago, but honestly, I could have fooled those people with a home calligraphy kit and some decent card stock.  But this was sealed transcripts!  And it was so fulfilling to have someone other than my parents see that A+ I got in World Lit. that I may apply for more transcript-required jobs just to show off.

After I was approved, which had to be related to my stellar performance in Western Civ. circa 1996, I received another large stack of papers to fill out.  So I went at it again, with my best I-could-be-a-school-teacher handwriting, only I had my husband fill out the W4s (W2s?) whatever those tax thingies are, and my direct deposit forms.  He knows our routing number, I don't even know what a routing number is; it's easier.  Anyway, he handled that task chicken scratch style and I was worried he was job-blocking me, but alas they hired me despite his poor penmanship.

Next I had to get a physical and a TB test.  First of all, I thought TB had been eradicated back around the time FDR was in office.  Isn't it one of the myriad of shots they gave me as an infant?  Like here's how you don't get measles and let's top you off with a TB vaccine.  Regardless, they screened me for tuberculosis.  And the blood draw and TB test happen to fall the day after I had my endoscopy, so one arm was a little tender from having an IV.  No problem, use the other one to draw vial after vial of blood and then dig a needle under the skin of my inner forearm.  (If my brother is reading this, he just fainted.  He can't even hear the words blood or needle without blacking out.  It helps to level the playing field of toughness between us because I could draw my own blood if I needed to.)

Then my doctor said, "While you're here, you should get the flu shot."  Now, I like needles as much as the next girl, but playing human pin cushion for a day isn't really my thing.  Yet, I didn't want to go back a different day, so "Okay."

She sent the nurse back in with another syringe and the nurse asked, "Which arm do you want it in?"

Ummm... "Yours?"  She laughed and jabbed it in my left shoulder.

I passed the physical and TB test with flying colors.  But there was one last hoop to jump through.  Substitute Teacher Orientation.  As with any "orientation", there were those of us there who came to get the information we needed and get out, and others who wanted to ask about every conceivable, and inconceivable, scenario and try to turn what could have been a three hour presentation into a three week hostage situation.  (You have been in classes or meetings with these people, I'm sure.  They have a story about everything and it seems like they've been planted there by enemy agencies to make sure nothing gets accomplished.)

I survived.  I'm an official substitute, and I worked exactly two days before going on vacation.  But in all fairness, this Disney trip has been 36 years in the making and I only decided to start substitute teaching a couple of months ago.

Tune in next time to see if I successfully smuggled a manatee out of Sea World.  It's gotta be easier than becoming a substitute.