Thursday, January 01, 2009

New year? Feh.

I know that teaching in public schools is very different from the real world. Did you know that teachers talk that way? "Let's go out to lunch and behave like real people at work." This is our impression of the world, anyway--we are insulated from it, and only have our spouses or friends to tell us differently. Our own reality IS reality. That's just the way it is.

Which is why I find myself confused today. I usually couldn't give a shit about the new year. The calendar flips over. Whoopity doo. I don't care, because my year doesn't start in January. It starts in August, ends in May, and there is a special in-between time called "summer" where I get to join the real world.

But today is different for some reason. I think it's because I turn 40 in four weeks. Today, I am full of hope, and I'm thinking about my health and my businesses, and things I want to do. I wonder if this is how people in the real world feel on January 1.

Is it?


  1. New Year's is fun to celebrate. It's an excuse to get together with friends, but I don't make resolutions. I maybe just reflect one the year past and my hopes for the year ahead.

    Don't worry... 40s aren't so bad. For me, they've been easier and happier than the 30s.

  2. The main difference between my job at BnN and DPS is... hmmmm... well, at BnN I babysit adults- read their minds, walk them to the book they want (instead of telling them to do it themselves), sometimes searching all over the place for a book that may not even be in the store (instead of telling them it's not there and it's time to leave), clean up after them after the store is closed-- and they leave some incredible messes! Then I, ever so politely, thank them for allowing me to serve them. I don't take work home with me but then I am not management-- those people live and breathe sales- worry about which words the book sellers are using to talk to customers, etc. Corporate policies are pretty tight-- what to wear, what to say to customers (freedom of speech??? HA!) There are rules about what can be in the break room and what can't-- no menus lying around- we don't want to advertise for other businesses! Not enough time to leave the building for lunch unless your picking it up and eating it on the way back... Nobody to eat lunch with as lunches are scheduled so that only one person leaves the floor at a time. NO summers off- that's for sure! Kids in the store with parents who don't supervise them. Saying the same thing over and over again (that part is the same as DPS) except the script is: Can I help you? Can I sell you a membership? Can I get your email address? Can I do this? Can I do that?

    That's the real world I think-- except for corporate execs who rule the world.

  3. Perhaps the biggest difference is classroom management. The energy it takes to discipline kids-- that is a stress that the "real world" doesn't really get- even parents. Especially when so few kids are actually disciplined- too many of them rule the roost at home. Why wouldn't they try and do the same at school? Which is why teachers NEED two weeks off for Christmas, spring break and summers-- it's not just a luxury of the job.