A Day of Organized Chaos at a School at Alert Level 2: 22 May 2020

On Fridays, I go into The Place Where I Work myself. My husband (who also owns it and works there) works from home on Fridays.

To be honest, this is the first Friday I’ve done this in 9 weeks.

Usually, I try to wake up before the alarm goes off at 7 AM, which means I am usually waking up every 5, 10, 15 minutes after 4 AM or whenever I seem to wake up. This last week or so, it’s been 3 AM, so I got to wake up at sporadic intervals until, by the time it was going 6:00 AM, 6:05 AM, 6:07 AM, 6:10 AM, 6:13 AM, and so on until it hit 6:29 AM, I decided to haul my ass out of bed and get ready for the day.

It wasn’t too bad of a morning to get ready, the temperature being warmer than it has been throughout the rest of the week and me not hating early starts on Friday mornings after the last one being 9 weeks ago.

By the time I got out the door, around 7:25 AM, the sunrise was spectacular with the clouds brightly illuminated in oranges, ochres, pinks, salmons, and a variety of amazing colours. The neighbor across the street even commented on how stunning the sunrise was — to be completely honest, I didn’t even see her there, so it surprised me — and I had to agree.

Friday mornings at work are team meetings before class starts, but with the COVID-19 pandemic and our strict policy of letting only students and staff in, someone had to man the door between 8 AM and 9 AM when the students come in, and that was me. My colleague in my department attended the meeting in my stead.

The morning kinda fell apart a little. Some students weren’t coming in for their assessments so two of my colleagues had to act as models, which meant I was covering reception and running around a little bit.

Mid-morning, a student came to me to say one of the toilets was out of hand towels — and this week, the toilets running out of everything seems to be a theme — and I went to the cupboard and found… no more hand towel rolls. I dashed upstairs to see our other owner, and he managed to cover that for me while our “director of cleanliness” was acting as a model for the students. It ended up we had to pull the hand towel roll out of the men’s bathroom — only 4 of us out of 70 – 80 of us use that toilet as most everyone at the school is a woman — and use some generic hand towel roll for our bathroom.

With the assessments meant the students had lunch break at a weird time, so I was told to reprimand the students for going out of the building even though I didn’t know they were taking their lunch break as ordered by the tutor herself.

The policy is that none of our students are to go out to get food or go on breaks outside the school, except for one certain intake who are there an hour and a half longer than other students and therefore need a lunch break. Their lunch break is after the other students leave. But by falling during the school day for everyone, their going out can expose the other students potentially to danger and also make those other students ask, “If they get to go out, why don’t I?”

So I did confront the first two students about it, but then I asked my colleague (who finally came back from having her treatment finished for their assessment) to cover and tell the next two students who went out the same thing I did. That met with a bit of resistance, and the story that their tutor had told them to do that, which was counter to what we had told our team in the first place and… I lost it. I said that I was so far behind on my work (which I am) and everyone could do what they want but if people got sick, it wasn’t my fault. I can only do so much. And, seriously, I can only do so much.

I feel like I am yelling into the wind a lot of the time. I’ve said it before and I will say it again.

I basically barricaded myself in my office, except to heat up my lunch and take the dish back, and that was that. Minimise my exposure to anything that might be going around.

There was a project I am working on, and I got part of it done today, although there is a secondary, more technical part I need to work on next week. At least there was a sense of achievement getting that first bit done, even if it took me all day.

Despite being at work 30 to 45 minutes early most days this week, I didn’t leave early any day this week, including today. Traffic was heavier today — well, that combined with people driving super slow for some reason didn’t help — so it took me longer to get home. By the time I did get home, I was ready to unwind.

For some reason, dinner didn’t cook fully, which happens sometimes with a roast chicken, so we had mostly vegetables, which was okay, but I was looking forward to chicken. We ended up eating what we could and distracting ourselves with what was on TV tonight.

We finished watching the last season of Schitts Creek. That show manages to tug at my heartstrings at the best of times, but the final season made me even more emotional. The final episode was a tear-jerker, and I will honestly miss it. I understand going out on a high note, and that they did, but I will miss the exploits of the Rose family and the citizens of Schitts Creek.

Today in New Zealand, we had another case of COVID-19, and this case was linked to a nursing home cluster up in Auckland. That makes 3 cases over the last 8 days. Canterbury has 2 active cases as of today, and 97% of confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand have recovered. That is a good sign things are going well.

I haven’t heard anything back from the student who is sick and has been tested for COVID-19. Since we have so few cases in Canterbury, and 1 new case here in well over a week happening this week, the odds are in our favor that she has some other bug. I think that was what was setting a lot of our team on edge today, so hopefully good news will come through soon that that student is negative.

What will be, will be, right?

On that note, I leave you. I’ve been up for nearly 20 hours if we don’t count the up-and-down sleep since 4 AM, so I do need to get some rest. Please stay safe, stay in your bubble, and be kind.