This morning was designated as a cleaning day, to sort through stuff in the old school building and either move it into the outdoor storage shed, throw it out, or move it into storage in the newer building. It’s a job that’s needed doing ever since the new building was constructed, and since everyone was here and nobody had classes the principal declared today to be THE day.
I was tasked with moving stacks of books from the newer storage room out into the storage shed, along with 2 other teachers. Two teachers tied the books together into stacks and I moved them out of the way into the hallway, from where they would be carried to the far end of the building and into the shed. Once I figured out where the books were going, I remembered some carts that we used last year when moving things into the new building. “So wouldn’t it be a better idea to load these onto the cart and just make one trip?” I asked one of the teachers. From his reaction, I might as well have asked to load them onto the back of my pet unicorn and ride into the sky. I rolled my eyes, walked to the other end of the building, pulled one of the wheelbarrow-style carts up a flight of stairs and was back in three minutes. I then proceeded to move the stacks from the floor to the cart, and then wheeled it where it needed to go, amongst nervous giggles. We finished in about 10 minutes instead of 30. Again, the reactions from this simple application of available tools and common sense were as if I had broken the sound barrier in a Winnebago.
Incident #2: We finished moving stuff, and people started filtering back to their desks. I check my email, look up, and it’s as if the staffroom has gone mad. All the best technology in the world at their fingertips, and every teacher in the room is down on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor of the teachers’ room with hand towels. If I recall correctly, we solved that problem a few thousand years ago. It’s called a goddamn mop. I tried pointing this out to them, and this was the result:
“Hey guys, why are all of you scrubbing on the floor like that when you could just have one person do it with a mop?”
“Well we can’t use mops because it will get the floor wet.” She made an exaggerated wringing motion with her damp towel to clarify.
“You do know you’re supposed to wring out a mop before you use it, right?”
“Guhrrr… ehh? But… we have to clean the floor… aren’t you going to help us?”
“You’re all idiots. I’m going to go find a mop.”
As it turned out, when I looked in the closet, the staffroom had plenty of buckets but does not seem to stock a mop. A quick trip to the supermarket five minutes down the road would have fixed that, or even a quick jaunt down to the storage shed might have turned something up. But they told me not to bother, and spent the next half hour hand polishing the floor and complaining that they should ask people not to wear shoes with black bottoms. I briefly thought of mentioning the concept of non-marking soles, but didn’t want to dive into another ridiculous discussion.
I guess I shouldn’t expect much. These are, after all, the same people who do not have even a simple ceiling fan in the staffroom, despite the fact that they have to come in every day and sit in the oppressive summer heat in the hottest room in the complex. I suppose the thought didn’t occur to them, and they’ve been bitching every day about how it’s so “atsui”. But thankfully I don’t have to bow to such utter stupidity.
I bought a desk fan on clearance for eight bucks, and brought it in today. I plugged it in and turned it on, and received awed looks from every teacher. Common sense, guys, not rocket science. I’ve never claimed to be the sharpest tack in the box, but I guess in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.