Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Grumble, Grumble

Oh, wouldn't the world seem dull and flat with nothing whatever to grumble at?
W.S. Gilbert

Tis one of those rare days when I don't have to get out of bed. Coming off a day of substitute teaching hell, I awoke to the perfect morning for recovery -- a gray sky complete with a drizzling rain.

With the blinds closed in my bedroom and the back patio door bringing in the only light, I'm furrowing deep into the covers. Such sinful pleasure to lie here. I awakened early, but have decided to warm myself and shake off the remnants of yesterday's bad day.

One of those days where I find myself policing and thinking that if any of these kids were mine, I'd beat the shit out of them for their behavior. However, these days, I'm not up for a fight. Causes me to step back and wonder what the hell I'm doing with my time. Or not doing.

I've known for some time I don't want to return to secondary school teaching or secretarial work. Substituting offers flexibility, but nothing in the way of contributing to any one's life, least of all mine. I can certainly do it and do it well as most of my work is by request. But the pay is pathetic. I've never enjoyed babysitting and it takes me all day to make what most can make in few hours or less.

Late last night, when neither a teacher request nor an open job for the next day had shown up by midnight, I took myself off the morning call queue. I keep telling myself that for right now, this job works -- until I figure out what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. I mean, really, it's a Wednesday and here I am, nestled in bed at 8:30am.

And if I don't get out of bed, I won't have to think about what else I might could do.

Ah, the disgruntled Midlife Jobhunter. Guess I'll go soak my head in a pail of water. After all, tomorrow is another day.


  1. I know you know I get this !

    I keep going back to my original philosophy that no one really truly knows what they want to do with the rest of their life. If we did, it would be kind of boring, right?

  2. I agree with you - subbing is nothing more than babysitting. Unless it is a full-time sub assignment for a teacher out on maternity or illness, etc. Then you have an opportunity to claim the classroom with respect and get things done.

    You need to find a better temp job until you figure out what you want to do and how to actually get paid to do it. Work in retail. Or restaurants. Become a guide at a nature center. Help someone create things for sale. Try on lots of different jobs until you find one that makes you want to get out of bed instead of staying in it. Though I can't really blame you there. I would choose an extra hour in bed any day or whatever job I had to do :0)

  3. Having been a teacher for all of my working life I would say that if you hate it then don't do it. It is so soul destroying. You only have one life - you should try to do something which you love doing. Good luck with finding the right thing.

  4. I gave up teaching (full time) for the very same reason. I became a bureaucrat and later a librarian. Both much more enjoyable.

  5. I am in school to be a teacher. YIKES :)!

  6. I have a f/t job and I'm still wondering what I want to do...but I am so happy to have read the comments here. "Soul-destroying." That's why I decided I didn't want to teach!

    In the meantime, snuggling in on a rainy morning might be its own reward!

  7. You need some grandchildren, Julie...I'm only joking...but they do fill the bill! :)

  8. Nothing wrong with taking a mental health day. At least you don't have the paperwork...and the politics...and the parents to deal with on a daily basis.
    Shame on many parents out there for sending their product into the schools.

  9. I love gray mornings when I don't have to work - the feeling of playing hooky can't be beat. I just have to get past feeling guilty to enjoy it. I recommend working on this. :-)

  10. I like when it's gray and rainy out when that is how I am it when the weather matches my mood. :) I do think we all need to take days like this to pull the covers over our heads and retreat from the world so that we can refuel...and collect our thoughts or shut them off all together.

    I think you are answering your own questions. We only have one life to live and we may as well live it doing things we love doing. Maybe this teaching should just be temporary while you figure out what you would like to do. You have a lot of life to live yet so wouldn't it be great to spend it doing something that brings joy and fullfillment to your life?

    Sending you warm hugs and happy thoughts...XX Lori

  11. Not doing anything sounds good least for a day or two.

  12. O, there's nothing like a good grumble and a rainy day in bed for warming the soul. I'm right there with you! Substituting is the hardest work of all and you deserve a break today (McDonald's says so).

  13. Ah, sounds like me. The toll booth job is just that - flexible and convenient. Allows me time to go back to Ohio when I want, etc. But now the hours have dropped to nil, due to the busy traffic season being over. Not going to make the car payment. Only have 3 years of car payment left, then NO MORE NEW CARS. Done with 'em. Want to get out of debt once and for all. So my job solutions are directed at that endeavor, simply getting out of debt. I remind myself every moment, keep positive, go to work and to my interview at the hospital today for another full-time job in addition to my part-time job at the turnpike, it's all for a right good purpose in the end. And then, when I pay off my last bill, I will quit both jobs!!!!!!!!!!! (Hubby will obviously need to keep working to make the utilities and house payment, poor guy.)

  14. Hey, don't feel bad, sometimes on my days off, I stay in bed till noon! You should start your own business! Cheers!

  15. Hey, Jules, I'm doing elance and other freelance gigs now. You could do that, too, and put your writing prowess to work. At least you'd make money doing something you enjoy.

    I have always known I wanted to be a world traveler and a writer. I am doing one of those, and hopefully the travelling will come as a result.

    HUGS! Miss you. Hola to Bob.

  16. I'm still trying to figure my own self out too. Change can be good. Scary but good,

  17. Loved this!! One of my best friends is also a sub and you hit the nail on the head....lousy pay, no benefits, etc. Way to go for staying home and taking it easy!! There's nothing better, on some days, than doing exactly what you did!!

  18. Oh my...doesn't sound good. I know several woman who have gone back to work and it is so hard for them. If you don't really need the money I really urge to not do it...if you do need the money gosh..don't know what to tell you. My sister is a teacher...she goes back and forth every year from teaching full time...swearing she will never do that subbing...swearing she will never to that again ! she has four kids to boot...but she is YOUNG(er)...have a glass of wine this evening and "think about it" away from home...come sit on my front porch...take care..

  19. You pretty much described the conversation I had with my husband last night. I do not want to work in an office. I find the people boring (looking at the same 3 or 4) and the work less than challenging.

    I also do not do other people's kids. Bless the teachers, I know they should get hazardous duty pay.

    So what is left? I'm not sure.

    P.S. I made a big pot of soup on the rainy day. In my jammies!

  20. As you know, I subbed for over 30 years. I enjoy teaching and I did not babysit. I would take whatever they were doing and embellish it with something different and try to leave something that one day that would stick with them forever. Sometimes it worked well. Other times not so much. And some days--many days were simply hell. But as I got estalished in the system as I did here in GB the kids got to know me so well that I was accepted as a regular teacher almost and when some of them reached their senior year, I felt I had watched them all through the four years preceding and they viewed me as part of their high school years.

    It was fun for me to be recognized and still is when I run into them in the grocery store and also teachers for whom I taught and those who were young and are still teaching.

    But I think if you don't like it, you should find something else. You don't like to shop so that leaves out retail. You did like running an office as you did in Denver didn't you? How about that?

    And where is that novel you're writing that is going to make you famous? How about an editing job or working on the local newspaper in some capacity. A column perhaps.

  21. I feel your pain. Perhaps in a different way, but I know the lost feeling, and I'm leaving a big, fat hug for you here.


  22. I subbed for a year so I feel your pain.
    Can't tell you how much I appreate the work of substitute teachers.
    You are a paramount cog in the machine.
    I hope you enjoyed your drizzly day off...

  23. Everyone needs a mental health day every now and then. I hope you enjoyed yours.

  24. As I look at maybe having to sub after the first of the year I find myself looking for almost any other source of income to avoid just what you're talking about.

    I wonder, though, if the subbing would be more bearable if you were closer to the thing you've been searching for all these months (like really honoring your writer self?).

    Sometimes we need some days hunkered down and quiet to really know what to do next.

  25. LOVE the quote - I live by it.

    The past exhausting week at my office and cramming all house and yardwork and errands into the 2 day weekend has kept me way behind on enjoying blogs. I want to quit my job and sometimes I want to beat the shit out of some of my co-workers, so I feel your pain.

    I don't know what I want to do with the rest of my life either. Staying under the covers sounds good, least until winter is over in Iowa. :-)

  26. " After all, tomorrow is another day."

    But, frankly my dear, very few people would give a damn.

    WE do, though! A lot of us have been there, done that, and it's just so depressing, so confusing.

    Every agrees that teachers are ridiculously underpaid, but I guess the only way to remedy that is to raise taxes and NOBODY wants that. And yet, our teachers are really the backbone of our country. Just think where we'd be if teachers went on strike? Kids with no education? Out roaming the streets ALL day, no homework to occupy their nights and afternoons, no discipline, no structure, no LEARNING, for Heaven's sake? This country's in bad enough shape as it is; we certainly don't need the next generation growing up in ignorance, but if something's not done about the education system, that's exactly what'll happen, and that will be the beginning of a very short end.

    Hey, as long as you're already disgruntled, why don't you join me at the post office?

  27. When I feel this way, under the covers... that is when my faith is the strongest. It's when I know that tomorrow will come, and the day will be different.


  28. I don't know how anyone substitute teaches; after 20 years in the classroom, I still can't imagine substituting. I'd rather pull espresso shots at Starbucks, in fact.

    So I hope a better option crops up--and I commend you for taking the day in bed when you really need it!

  29. My daughter has decided to return to graduate school to get her teaching credentials. She's tough - but I just hope the job doesn't beat her down. Schools have so many problems, not the least of which are family issues, low funding, etc. But I am truly glad you can scrunch down and enjoy your warm bed, only to grapple another day.


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