Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How Long Does It Take to Make 100 Copies?, Part 2

Well, the tired old copier at the Morton School recently died. I guess I wasn't totally surprised. What did surprise me, although it shouldn't have, was how long it took to get a replacement.

How long did it take?

Those of you who have the distinct pleasure of working for NYCDOE are placing your bets now, I know. "A week!" "Two weeks!" "Two months!" The sad part is that two months would not be altogether shocking. Probably some of you reading this have no copier access at school at all. One of my teacher friends spent her entire first year going to Staples.

Well, it was nearly three weeks before we had a replacement copier that was fully functional. And I'm not complaining, necessarily, although I am. I've learned this year to do a lot of things without a copier, and while it might be an inconvenience to the children, there's not much I can do, save signing my paychecks over to Staples, which I'd rather not do.

No, it just makes me laugh, in a depressed way, when I think about my old job. I used to work in corporate America, and while the company for which I worked was hardly Goldman Sachs, still we consistently had basic supplies. When our copier broke, we had a replacement the next day. When I had repetitive motion injuries and reported this to my boss, he had wrist supports ordered for me that arrived the same week, on the company's dime. And never once did I bring in my own soap from home. These kinds of things shouldn't be a big deal, but now they sound miraculous. No, these days, I was supposed to fall all over myself with gratitude because the DOE bought me one bottle of hand sanitizer when kids tend to go through a family-sized bottle in about a month.

So for those of you out there who want to make the teacher-doctor comparison, imagine requiring doctors to bring their own Band-aids and aspirin to work, which they would have to buy retail on their own time. That would be the same thing.

Don't forget, friends: we're professionals!
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