8:30 – arrive promptly on time for a critical staff training. It will involve how to handle kids who regularly exhibit behaviors that are dangerous, either to themselves or to others. I have been informed that if I am fifteen minutes late, I will not be allowed to take the training. My job description can pretty much be summarized as “handle the kids who are potentially dangerous to themselves or others.” No way in hell am I going to be as much as five minutes late.
8:45 – the person who is supposed to be giving the training is fifteen minutes late.
8:50 – tag team with the other attendees as we search the building for the person who is supposed to be leading the training.
9:15 – Pass around a sign in sheet, which we all take pictures of once we have signed it. We are not yet sure of what to do with it, but we now know we need our own documentation that all 21 of us showed up to the same place, at the same time, as we were directed to.
9:30 – watch the old timers reenact the training we are supposed to take. They get recertified yearly, so it’s old news to them. I note with relief that it is extremely similar to the system I was trained with in my old job.
9:45 – trade stories with other attendees. It’s a bit like that scene in Reservoir Dogs where Mr. Orange establishes his credibility with the other gangsters, except presumably all of our stories are true. We aren’t paid enough to make this shit up. Those who new to behavioral health suddenly realize what they have signed up for.
10:00 – talk of leaving becomes serious, as we finally track down somebody who, while they don’t know what is going on, knows the right people to talk to.
10:30 – find out that the training was cancelled yesterday. The assigned trainer was informed. None of us trainees were. We are given the email address of the person who can make sure we get paid for the time we just wasted, thanks to their incompetence. We thank the person who actually bothered to sort this out for us, and head to our respective schools.
10:45 – arrive at my school, explain what happened.
“Yup,” the secretary says. “Welcome to the Philadelphia School Administration.”
Sigh. At least I like my actual coworkers.