369: Obnoxious and Toxic

12273880-illustration-of-comic-cartoon-houseflies-flying-around-and-eating-a-dog-poohI have a coworker who is responsible for this title. What a genuine turd. With a Dairy Queen flourished curl on the top. A person who will never have hemmorhoids, because he is such a PERFECT asshole.

I have just had two days of sincere aggravation at the hands of this individual, icing on the cake of aggravation he has been baking for the last seven months. When I was hired at this job, I was hired as head of the department. This was shared at a joint meeting in August, the first month of school. Since them, this little dude has weaseled his way into refusing to be subordinate to me, refusing to submit any paperwork through me, as instructed by our common boss, and refusing to keep me updated on developments, also as instructed by our common boss. He went to far as to resign, and the boss man groveled him into staying on. My opinion of the matter would have been to say “don’t let the door hit ya, on the way out, where the good Lord split ya.” If you are the boss man, why do you want to keep an employee who is not doing their job, and one who flouts your direct requests, at that? I’d take one look at that figurative middle finger in my face and let the dude WALK. Life would be so much simpler.

Yesterday, this person installed a network filter at our school, restricting Internet access for ALL STAFF and ALL STUDENTS, one day before the grades for this quarter are due, wreaking havoc with planned lessons and grade reporting, because he did this without a word to anyone that this was what he was going to do, until after the fact. And, for the good of the school and staff morale, I am not letting people know that this problem has been caused by this …..person. I am taking the higher road, and not liking it, because I have 25 years of experience and I know, even if he obviously does not, that one does not launch a software initiative that affects all users without a word of warning. It tends to piss people off just a tad. Which I have been hearing about ALL DAY TODAY, the day after.

Now, I get to fix it. What joy. For this, they pay me the big bucks. Yeah, right.

368: AUUGHHHH! Reviews!


I subscribe to a site that posts anonymous (really) reviews of international schools and their leaders, commonly called directors instead of principals like in the USA. Many, but not all, of the international schools have a review posted there about them from a former teacher who worked there, and most of them (not all, but most of them), are not positive reviews. The site is http://www.internationalschoolsreview.com, and it costs about 40 bucks a year to subscribe. I repeat, most of the posted anonymous reviews are NOT positive ones.

Partly this is because a satisfied customer is unlikely to write a review, because they expect to be satisfied, and if you mostly meet that expectation, they don’t complain, because they expect to be satisfied, so when they are, that is…..expected. It is the UNsatisfied customer who is pissed off and mad as hell who obtains the necessary motivation to write a review, and/or tell their friends, and friends of their friends, and perfect and total strangers on the street, how piss-poor this school actually was (or is). They are the ones who will go into exquisite detail about just how piss-poor, too, including sometimes naming names!

It is obvious that these reviews were not written by happy campers. Therefore, one must read the reviews of a school to which you are considering applying for a teaching or administrative position with a grain of salt, size large. Remember, happy campers usually don’t write reviews. However, there is some consolation in reading the bad ones anyway, because you know an unhappy camper is going to write every bad thing they can think of, so if it is not TOO bad, that probably means the school is about average. No school is perfect, trust me.

And then, there is the occasional glowing review among a cast of dozens of piss-poor reviews, which one instantly suspects was written by as ass-kisser in the process of sucking up, or barring that, by the administrator of the school  him or herself, who is trying to mitigate the damage done by the reviews of the other reviewers. People really do read those reviews and consult that site for the worst that can be said about the school they are applying to – or considering applying to – or the one they have just accepted a contract for and are now doing their homework about (belatedly), so they can back out at the last minute if it is truly terrible.

EVERY school has some issues, just like every marriage, and every family. People COME with issues, so it won’t ever be perfect anywhere. But that does not mean you want to shackle yourself for a two-year contract with Attila the Hun, either!

367: Intelligence gone awry

untitledI got into an exchange of words with a liberal on FB. Nothing particularly unusual about that. What is unusual about this time is that the person is actually fairly intelligent, and is still a raving liberal. This is a conundrum.

Matter of fact, many of the teachers I know (most of them, in fact), are liberals, and they together form a fairly large segment of the educated and fairly intelligent population, and yet, they are still liberals. How can this be? I suspect that being teachers pre-selects them for being caring, giving  individuals who are more concerned with making a difference and helping people than they are concerned about money. This is, I believe, a fatal flaw.

It is not a problem to want to help others. This is a good thing. Teachers are usually among the group of people who want to help others as a major driving force in their lives. Nobody goes into teaching for the  money, that is for darn sure. This is not a bad thing, per se, wanting to help others.

It is a problem, however, when you care more about helping others than you do about having the available money to help others…oh, wait!! I can solve this problem easily: help others with OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. There you have it, the liberal manifesto.

It never seems to occur to these otherwise fairly intelligent people that you cannot help others (individuals OR countries) when you are BROKE. The USA is BROKE. We don’t have the money to bail out countries, police other countries, pay for our numerous and over-subscribed to social programs at home, or even to fund our own citizen’s paid-for-in-advance benefits like Social Security, and military veteran’s benefits. Economics of countries is, indeed, more complicated than personal individual finances, but countless examples of other nations spending themselves into financial ruin prove that the principles are not too far dissimilar. You can’t run up massive debt, and then try to pay it back with bogus money you print up, willy-nilly, in the basement reserve. Your debtors consider that cheating…somewhat. They tend to call you on it.

When they call you on it, you have massive inflation and economic disaster – and there are many examples of this process in history. Brazil in the 1980’s is one. There are others more recent.

Nobody said helping others is a bad thing in principle. I will say it is a bad thing when the program designed to help others is mismanaged, and creates generational poverty-stricken, dependent recipients, and massive fraud and cheating to obtain benefits by people who are otherwise perfectly able to work, and choose not to. Still, helping others is good – as long as there is money to do it. When you are broke, you can’t do it. And if you keep doing it anyway, printing up the readies to do it with, the snit is going to hit the fan, and all of us will not be smelling pretty.

How is it that is so very, very difficult to understand for what are otherwise at least moderately intelligent people? THAT’S the part *I* don’t understand.

366: Conundrum

HOW is it possible to be busy all day and yet accomplish so very little?? How does that work?

This is what happens when I don’t make a prioritized list each evening. I wake up and just start on the thing that needs doing that is closest to hand, and that is not good. I need to begin on the most important thing instead. THEN I will feel some accomplishment when the most important things get done, instead of the more urgent, but less important, things.



365: Getting rid of a corrupt government in the USA

First of all, I cannot believe that it is possible to actually HAVE that statement as a title.  Sheesh, people.

Second, I believe that our innate pride in our country, and our respect for it, is what has prevented the citizens who are angry and pissed-off (and ON, for that matter), from rising up and revolting. Americans follow the law. That is why we unbelievingly, but peacefully,  handed the reins of government over to an inept, useless, do-nothing, no-good excuse for a Presidential candidate when it was announced that the liberals in the inner cities of several key states had actually managed to elect his sorry ass.

And the information about the extreme voter fraud that occurred to get him elected the second time aside, he was elected, and we let the majority of Americans have their say and watched the DemocRATic ass be sworn in for a second term, in spite of knowing full well it was going to be a disaster. Disaster is a relative term, and disaster is getting exponentially worse. What heinous act will this bozo have to commit before Americans overcome their innate  respect for the law and forcefully demand that this idiot be impeached before there is no country left – worthy of respect or NOT??

He is literally the joke of the world, and has been for quite some time – and not just of the civilized world. I hear even Kenya is refusing to claim him as a natural-born citizen lately. No wonder – it is as if he is on a PLAN to destroy not only himself, but America along with him.

You know, when progressive ideas are making things worse and worse, WHEN do liberals finally wake up and admit that their modern policies are complete and total FAILURES? When do they return to tried and true tactics that actually WORK to bring about some CHANGE that isn’t another unmitigated disaster?

I begin to understand all those Central and South American countries that have coups every other week – if their dudes were as hopelessly inept and corrupt as ours are, it is the only way………………………

Is somebody going to have to sacrifice themselves and assassinate him, before he can be stopped? And what about the power players who put this “post turtle” into office and gave him the keys to the kingdom? Will they all have to be assassinated, too?

364: Off to see the Wiz—veterinarian!!

Monday this week, I called the veterinarian’s office and discussed with them bringing in two cats for neutering – one male and one female. I told them Saturday morning, since I am off work for a week and can stay home to give them their meds and be sure they are healing properly. I called this office because the e-mail I sent to the other vet I sometimes use was never answered. They told me an appointment for Saturday morning was not necessary (just come in), and how much it would cost, and that the meds were included in the cost, about 200 dollars for both. OK.

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At 6:30 on Saturday morning, I checked with my neighbor who was outside already about a ride to the city – she was taking her dog to her vet for boarding, and could drop me and three cats in crates, too. This was a HUGE favor for a car-less person. Many taxis here in Panama won’t pick you up if you have an animal carrier, and neither will the city bus.  So, we arrive, unload the crates, and I discover once inside the store that the store’s veterinarian clinic is CLOSED FOR REMODELING. Not just that the vet is sick that day and can’t come in – oh, no. Closed for remodeling. And my ride is driving off…….SNIT.

So, I go to the street and start flagging taxis. These two cats have been without food since last night to prepare for their surgery this morning, and I only have this week to be home to care for them as they recover. This has to happen NOW. The first taxi says no when I confess ‘tres gatos in cajas’ (three cats in boxes). The second taxi is more ratty-looking, and he says yes. Since I don’t know where to go, I tell him veterinarian’s office – and off we go. He takes me to Spay Panama clinic, and they have a line of about 50 people already (before 8 am), but the lady there kindly tells my driver another vet office, and off we go…again. The third office has the lady at the front desk selling the Science Diet, but no doctor is in. She comes out and tells my driver another office nearby. I go in to vet number 4 and praise God, I get a yes. It is going to cost more than twice what my original vet was going to charge, but this one is open, and this has to happen TODAY.

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I return to the taxi and pay the guy 30 bucks for being so super in my emergency, which delights him so much that he gives me his phone number and says for me to call when they are done and he will take me home. I fill out papers, and leave two cats for neutering surgery, and one for a visit about itchy skin rash (Caruso, above). Then I go next door to the grocery store, and carefully and thoroughly peruse every single shelf, shopping to kill time (a dangerous proposition for me, let me tell you). Plus, the store has a nice, little, inexpensive cafe, and I also dawdle over a leisurely lunch of $3.00 chicken, rice and lentils, plus a doughnut and a slice of cake, with two large cups of some interesting sweet/tart fruit juice.

Then, having nowhere else to go, I tote the loot back over to the vet’s office and settle down to wait in their air conditioning. This is Panama, and I am not a total fool.  It is only 12:00.  I doze fitfully in the chair until 4:00, when the vet comes out and tells me they are fine, gives me the ‘recipe,’ as she calls it, of medicine instructions for all three. The meds are another sixty bucks, on top of the 370 for the two surgeries and the consultation about the skin fungus (as it turns out).

I call Jorge, the taxi driver, and when he arrives 15 minutes later, we negotiate a fee to return home, we load up my groceries and the kitties, and off we go, accompanied by a chorus of stressed-out kitty meows.  It’s been a long day, mom, and they discuss this with me (and Jorge) all the way home.


Part way there, I see a strange, moving lump on the side of the road, and realize it is a three-toed sloth crossing the road – when I exclaim “It’s a sloth!!” Jorge stops the taxi and backs up – I hop out and direct traffic around the sloth until another car stops, and a man with a cloth band hooks it around the sloth and hauls him/her to the other side of the road to safety, and we are all off again. Excitement over. It’s nice that everyone was protective of the sloth. I had never been that close to one before.

We get home, and I pay and tip Jorge and tote everybody and the groceries into the house. It is well after 5 pm, and everybody needs feeding, including me. Then, it is time to medicate everybody. As I do this, I notice that Cielo, the male cat that was neutered, has his tummy shaved as if he were getting the female spay incision – way up his belly and his sides – far more than necessary for the more simple, less invasive male procedure.  I guess the vet got busy shaving before they read the directions on the bottom of Cielo and figured out this one was the BOY, and it was the other one that was the girl!

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As I type this, Dulce, the girl, is snoozing at my feet, after antibiotics, vitamins and pain meds, and a nice comfort session in my lap, getting stroked and petted like she likes it. Cielo hates the lampshade collar that prevents him from licking his sore spots with his sandpaper tongue, and he keeps bumping into me and everything else.  But everybody is cared for, and it is DONE!! Now, to get well!!