This morning started out a bit crappy. I was on edge going into work because I knew that nothing would be prepared or organized whatsoever, and there’s nothing that I can do about it but sit and wait. My boss has been working on this schedule for almost three weeks now, when I guarantee that I (or any teacher for that matter) could sit down and fix it in less than two hours, have her approve it and all would be well — but — that’s not my job. We finally get our schedule and she tells me that it needs to be changed yet again because some hours/classes/whatever are not right. I calculated and compared quickly and assured her that things seem to be in order, and I could easily switch a class here or there to even out the workload if that’s what she was worried about.
She turned to me and said, don’t calculate anything or try to help. This is my job. I can do this. Trust me. I’m the boss.
All of the anger and frustration I had been repressing and trying to ward off the past few weeks suddenly boiled over in my head and I wanted to scream, I don’t trust you at all! You’re horribly unorganized, common sense seems to be a foreign concept to you, you’ve been treating us foreign teachers like we’re completely bothersome, and somehow you’ve lost the ability to speak English and you barely talk to us anymore! So forgive me if I don’t trust you even a tiny bit to do something as simple as a schedule that you can’t get right after three weeks!
Instead of letting all of that spill out (because although it’s the truth, it’s not kind, professional or productive), I just stared at her for a minute, snorted/laughed, and turned back to my classroom.
I was raging mad.
Mostly I was upset with myself for even caring, seeing as it’s so close to vacation, but I also felt stung, like I had done something wrong while trying to be helpful or reassuring.
So, once again I had the talk with myself about how it’s not my job to worry or care or even help if it’s not wanted. I decided to just teach my classes, slack off and play games if I felt like it, and to ignore/be short with/avoid my boss for the rest of the day.
But then, as I was heading to the gym to conduct a completely unprepared for and unorganized event, my boss said, “Teacher, coffee.” and presented me with a delicious iced caramel latte that she had run out and bought for all of the teachers. I was taken aback, still fighting to be upset, but for some reason I couldn’t. I could literally feel the hostility slide out of my body, replaced by a smile. You see, coffee is the way to my heart. I thanked her, took the peace offering, and all was forgiven.
Later in the afternoon my phone rang, and it was the bank saying that something went wrong while trying to transfer my money home, and it’s now stuck somewhere between Korea and America. This could not be solved over the phone, and I had to physically go to the bank with someone who speaks Korean to even figure out what had happened. I told my boss what was going on, and in an instant she dropped everything, had someone cover my class, and we set off for the bank to get it sorted out.
Today, “I thank God Almighty for getting me out of my own way” (a line taken from the song “Black Sheep” by Martin Sexton). I’m thankful for kindness, for helpfulness, and for my boss, as frustrating as she can be at times.
And I really thank God for coffee.