In further proof my life is a sit-com, I have a confession to make:
I was humiliated by poop.
It nearly cost me my job. I shit you not.
That’s right. I was laid low by a turd. Turd is a bad word. Who knew?
And it’s all Jeff Goldblum’s fault. You know the guy. Jurasic Park. Independence Day. The Big Chill. Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Oscar and Emmy nominations. Yeah, that guy.
So Jeff Goldblum is a pretty major deal in Hollywood. But for me, I will always remember how he starred in a production meant to bring the curtains down on my career.
So, it all began when a coworker told me to “Google Image” Jeff Goldblum is Watching You Poop. What I found struck me as hilarious.
Time out for sensitive readers:
I’m well aware, there are those who have a scatalogical sense of humor and those who don’t, and frankly, I don’t trust anyone who can’t laugh about bodily functions. Clearly God had a sense of humor–so what’s wrong with you if you can’t manage a tee, a hee, or a ha over a good bathroom joke or poorly timed incident?
But if you can’t laugh at bathroom humor, stop reading now. Abort. Abort. Come back next week and I’ll have a post for you that has nothing to do with the word poop.
You still here? Great. Follow me and I’ll tell you a story…
So, I printed a copy of the Jeff Goldblum picture and took it home. I put it in my sons’ bathroom one night. It scared the youngest one, but set the wheels in motion for the three of them to make their own. I have to say, I appreciated the stretch spelling (top.)
And so, like any proud mother, I placed these on the bulletin board behind my desk where all my personal effects and pictures were posted.
As a creative writing teacher, I also had a number of funny posts contributed to me by my students over the years.
And so, when my current students saw the new posts, they wanted to get in on it as well. Now, mind you, these are high school seniors, so I really didn’t see how “poop” would be an issue.
Here are a few of the student contributions that made the board:
There was even one celebrating our principal. Which he saw. And laughed at. But then he retired. And that’s where this story goes downhill…
The woman who took his place had no sense of humor. She’s the subject of a couple other posts: Martha Wannabe.
Old Martha and I had a past history, and suffice it to say the school now became like a small western town. It wasn’t big enough for the both of us. And so, Martha got wind of this Watching You Poop display, which had been removed due to my moving classrooms, but which I had preserved for posterity via a PowerPoint slideshow.
Well, Old Martha found it on my computer and one spring day, just before my oldest son’s graduation (from the same school) and his prom, I was summoned to the office to see Martha.
Given that I was the English department chairperson, I assumed the meeting was about the department’s schedule for the upcoming year.
I was wrong.
I walked into an ambush. The assistant head of internal investigations for the county school system was seated beside Martha, and it didn’t take me long to figure out what was in the folder in front of him.
To make a long story short, I had to explain how these “slides” evolved. He was especially dismayed by this one as he thought I was photographing students. I wasn’t. This student made it herself and gave it to me, asking me to post it.
I only include it now because the background shows a dandy picture of the display on the bulletin board wall:
That night, my best friend howled as I told her the story. Mary Jo then said, “That HR investigator was watching you poop, today.” We laughed like a couple of cackleboxes.
And so, a week later, I received a phone call summoning me to a meeting at central office. That phone call came on the same day as my son’s graduation from the same school I worked at. I’m quite sure the timing was not coincidental.
The meeting was rough. There’s a reason they call the head of HR Fat Fuck_________
Funny thing was, I knew from my sister, that before the man I met with became an HR guy, he was a regular teacher and served on the executive board of the teacher’s association. At meetings, she said, he would fart and then laugh his ass off about it.
But suddenly, the word poop is immoral. We wouldn’t want to corrupt the high school seniors with such language.
Anyway, I left that meeting in tears. My “union” rep did nothing on my behalf (since we don’t really have a union–we have an association) and I was told a decision would be made as to my fate at a later date.
Two weeks later, a letter came in the mail. I was being administratively transferred to a different high school–and a great one at that. One I wanted to teach at years earlier, but there were no openings, and so I ended up at the mercy of Nurse Ratchett, er, Martha Wannabe.
So despite the smackdown, I ended up in a better place. Later that year, I had a heart attack–brought on by stress. Go figure. And six years later, cancer. All stress related, no doubt.
I happen to know Martha Wannabe was rallying to send me back to the horrid middle-school where we both used to teach and where her animosity toward me began. The union rep told me so.
As it turned out, other powers that be were watching out for me at the board of ed–making sure I would land someplace soft.