A Delayed Reaction

I work with some excellent people. By and large they are hardworking and intelligent folks. Depending on the day of the week and the amount of allergy medicine I’ve taken that day, some of them are even fun to talk to! With these things in mind, it is pretty tragic that those we work for are completely out to lunch.

Like all bureaucracies, teachers have several layers of Fearless Leaders. At the bottom of this Leading Ladder are those ordinary teachers who are forced to serve for a time in a Leadership role for no additional pay or respect and no chance of having fat people in overly expensive jewelery buy you lunch. Just above them is the first tier of “professional Fearless Leader.” These people actually get paid to Lead and therefore are afforded a modicum of respect and get taken out to lunch a few times a year. At the very top of the Fearless Leader Ladder are those consummate professionals with multiple degrees in Leading. These people have managed to turn their superior BS abilities into lucrative 9:30 – 2 pm careers with frequent and epic lunch meetings.

It is with this highest echelon of Fearless Leader that I have an issue with today. It is now Day 4 of the Hellacious Thunderstorm of 2010. Flooding is predicted for all low-lying counties of NC today, and in fact several major roads already have actual streams running across them. (Remember it’s not the fish swimming across the road that are hazardous to driving as much as it is the crabs; their shells can puncture tires!) The surrounding counties have been watching the flood waters rise over the last few days and with an additional 4-8 inches of rain predicted for today, have cancelled school, presumably because they thought that having their students stand in knee-deep puddles waiting for the bus wouldn’t earn them any brownie points with their parents.

In fact, the only school district still open in our region is our very own. To their credit our Fearless Leaders did call for a 2 hour delay (apparently standing in knee-deep water in the dark is beyond the pale), but as it got lighter outside and we saw that only the major roads had streams on them and only our shortest students would have to tread water at the bus stop, they decided to have school.

As a kid who grew up outside of Pittsburgh, I am no stranger to suffering at the bus stop. I can remember a few occasions where we had to dig through the snow to make a little space for ourselves to wait for the bus. The reason that I’m miffed with our Fearless Leaders today is that they are committing the ultimate referee mistake. Sometimes during a Steelers game a referee will call a foul on Hines Ward. Clearly this was a mistake, but the referee doesn’t notice it until after he’s already used his cute little microphone and hand signals. Sometime later in the game the referee will make up a foul for the opposing team in an effort to “make up” for his original bad call against Hines Ward. Apparently he thinks that the two bad calls will even out.

Our Fearless Leaders today are doing the same thing. They got scared and cancelled school for the Tropical Storm That Wasn’t and had to burn up some teacher workdays to keep us more or less on schedule. Today they clearly had several good reasons to cancel school for the safety of the students and staff, but didn’t because they are trying to “make up” for their earlier bad call.

I can excuse the referee because after all he is simply jealous of Mr. Ward’s ridiculous good looks and physical prowess. Our Fearless Leaders, however, are in charge of the safety of thousands of children and even though these decisions cut into their lunch time, should be made more sensibly.

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