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"I tried to sign up for Organizational Behavior but I couldn't find the classroom...." - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
"I tried to sign up for Organizational Behavior but I couldn't find the classroom...."
One of the most frequent subjects of old stories on Facebook pages from my home town is my crazy 6th grade science teacher, Mr. Z. The man would be arrested today for some of the things he did in and to his classes in the name of experimentation. As early as second grade, we heard rumors of the "electric chair"- and sure enough, there was a teacher-sized chair with electrodes on the seat, low-voltage to be sure, but enough to give tender young arses the idea.  Even sicker was his hand-generator game: now, boys and girls, all stand in a circle and hold hands while I crank the generator. Step out of the circle any time you don't feel comfortable. So naturally, as the wusses stepped out (me among them), the resistance lowered and the jocks and bullies in the class, determined to be the last one standing, wound up suffering their otherwise unexplained lifetimes of brain damage.

Mr. Z. was also in charge of the Safety Patrol, and handing out detention to those caught by the little narcs and by teachers.  I rarely got in trouble for anything other than forgetting to do homework.  His variation on the Bart Simpson drill-

- was to make us write out long, dull, smarmy essays that he passed out on  mimeographed sheets (mmmmm, wood alcohol!). And so I was frequently acquainted with Disorganized Dave.  Dave didn't plan his time, organize his materials, or keep track of his obligations, and he certainly wasn't going to graduate 12th in his class, attain two degrees and wind up making fun of the teacher over 45 years later.

Mr. Z may be dead (he's certainly reviled if he isn't), but Disorganized Dave lives on in this very place.


Yesterday, I lost an old-school key- to a desk surface that takes up the second of four drawers in a highboy dresser originally owned by my parents.  I use it mostly for software disks and other out-of-the-way detritis, and usually the "drawer" is in the upright and locked position. But sometime recently, I must've been digging for something in there, and left it down- and the key disappeared to parts unknown.

This required a relatively rare skill on my part: straightening.  And boy did I straighten. Waiting-to-be-stored files on top of the dresser got stored. Old and threadbare clothes got thrown out.  Broom bristles boldly went where they'd rarely gone before, and still.... no key.  Finally, with the whole shebang in much closer to apple-pie order, I manuevered a lamp in the process of plugging it back in, and voila, key! Where I could've found it if I'd just looked within a few feet of where it was likely to have fallen (or, as it turned out, been stored so it wouldn't fall) and done no cleaning at all.


Dave was not finished with me, and in fact, this morning revealed that one of my worst organizational traits is when I try to organize in the first place.

I'd done court papers before Thanksgiving, but needed the filing fee; that came yesterday. In the meantime, I lovingly placed the papers in a Good Stuff pile on this desk, where they of course commingled with accident paperwork, health insurance worksheets, and about 8,000 "1.9 percent business loan for $90,000 no credit check just send us an application fee" faxes that I use for scrap paper.

By today, the pile had lost its piliness, and the motion was nowhere to be found. I quickly duplicated its text from the PC, but there were original attachments that I couldn't duplicate.  And so, again, began the fun.

At least 20-30 files where it might've been mislaid: no.

My go-to folder in my laptop bag: nuh-uh.

Aha! Hidden in with the accident paperwork I did file away! Nyet.

At last, came the last resort: did I stick it in, or more likely drop it in, with useless paperwork that I committed to the recycle bin?

You betcha:)  Clean, still usable, and had that check arrived a day later, it would have been on its way to a recycling center in Lewiston.

Meanwhile, those 20-30 files got stuff put into them that belonged in them, other stuff removed that didn't, and I'm off to file the papers now that I've got my life ever so slightly back in order.

Maybe I should try attaching some electrodes to this chair and see if THAT helps me do better at this....

This entry was originally posted at http://captainsblog.dreamwidth.org/176025.html. Please comment here, or there using OpenID.
6 comments or Leave a comment
liddle_oldman From: liddle_oldman Date: December 11th, 2013 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
A) Ah, the smell of mimeographed assignments!

B) I used to work for the Mass office that licenses physicians. They need to submit a quite astonishing amount of paperwork, and twice that if they went to an off-shore school (whether St. Croix or Mumbai). Someone filled a filing box with completed applications in the process of being approved, and balanced it on top of his trash-can overnight. And (you guessed!) the cleaning people disposed of it.

It took *months* to re-create those files, at least as far as they could be re-created. That is to say, you have my sympathy, and satisfaction that you rescued *your* files. :)
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: December 11th, 2013 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
At least those files weren't actual garbage. It is a recurring theme, in News of the Weird articles, to read of fancy art museums' "installations" of household garbage being carted off by after-hours janitors as being, well, garbage- often with the embarrassed employers forcing art-appreciation sensitivity classes on the cleaners.
tilia_tomentosa From: tilia_tomentosa Date: December 11th, 2013 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, what a jerk of a teacher!

Who is "Disorganized Dave" *confused* Is it just a figure of speech or what?

And how do you manage to be more absent-minded than me? That's quite an achievement! :P
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: December 11th, 2013 11:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
1) Yeah, I didn't explain that very well. Ten more demerits for me:( "Disorganized Dave" was the star, or rather the villain, of the stock essay we were required to hand-copy from the mimeographed original. Dave was scatterbrained; he forgot his homework, didn't do his reading assignments, and didn't keep his pens and pencils in a neat pencil box (this was the 60s, mind, before cool shit like Trapper Keepers; hell, writing had only recently been invented;). Ultimately, Dave forgot to pass on an important note to the principal, and the Russians bombed the school and we all died because we didn't duck under our magic anti-nuclear desks in time. Others in the series: "Frosty the Snowball Thrower," who threw one at a fire truck and caused an orphanage of nuns and innocent children to perish; and "Nick, a Teen," who thought smoking was cool but wound up dying of lung cancer before his 14th birthday.

Was there a second thing? Oh wait:
2) I'm older. You'll understand someday....
tilia_tomentosa From: tilia_tomentosa Date: December 12th, 2013 12:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I had to put my pens and pencils in this kind of ugly case:

Somebody has posted a photo of a good-as-new one here, but you can't see the inside:
symian From: symian Date: December 12th, 2013 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)
That reminded me of our school Principal and his "electric paddle" supposedly used for spanking kids. It was really nothing more than a wooden paddle with an electric cord taped on it.

Man, people in education used to be mind-fuckers. I'm surprised I got out of school sane.
6 comments or Leave a comment