A Contemptuous Attitude….#198 (the 80’s)

Shawn & Pam

Shawn & Pam

Another Kiowa Grade School fall semester  commencing,  Pam Cooper,  Gary’s custodial co-worker having a work related adversity,  Pam once again complaining about difficulty utilizing the backpack vacuum on the carpet installed the previous year in the first thru third grade classrooms,  preferring to use a floor push vacuum sweeper, but having to move every desk to accommodate its employment.   The floor sweeper, a remnant from the past, was basically used by Gary in the downstairs library and in Sally Foresters kindergarten room.   Mrs. Forester’s room having been the only prior carpeted room in the building with the exception of the office and library.   Gary suggesting Pam approach Juanita Smith the Grade School Principal requesting a new floor vacuum sweeper, explaining her difficulties with the backpack and mention the age of the floor sweeper.  Pam’s rapport with the Principal was questionable, the school custodian previously having been discovered making direct undisclosed out-of-state long distance calls at 6:00 a.m. on the school’s telephone to her ex-husband in Michigan failing to disclose her actions to administration.

Judy Rocket - Grade School Secretary

Judy Rocket – Grade School Secretary

Gary by happenstance waiting for his bus route to commence  was in  school secretary Judy Rocket’s office which adjoined the Principal’s when  Pam entered Juanita’s office,  accosting the Principal about acquiring a new floor sweeper for her custodial duties.   Juanita was patient,  acknowledging her requesting,  but illustrating that all the custodian in the district utilized the more efficient backpack appliance and it would be questionable if Glen Piper  the school superintendent would approve the request.   Gary and Judy could hear Pam getting belligerent,  ranting about the discomfort,  her preference for a floor machines and in a threaten voice,  rebuked the Principals logic.   Juanita,  remaining composed,  replying,  Pam would have to make do with the backpack.   Pam in a sudden burst,  slammed her school keys on Juanita’s desk and exited the building, the Principal looked up noticing that Judy and Gary had witnessed the incident.   Gary’s first thoughts was of  Pam’s scheduled bus route,  immediately suggesting to Juanita that he would  ask Cathy Cox’s  if she would accommodate Pam’s after school student delivery duty.  Gary returning after securing Cathy’s availability, finding  Juanita clasping a purse,  it was Pam’s,  who in her haste to leave had left it behind.   Gary offering to return it, knowing that Pam had moved into an apartment across the street from the school.  Crossing  south of the school,  Gary approached Pam’s place of residence,  able to see her thru the screen door  sitting in a rocker,  her actions giving concern,  she was rocking back and forth with a look of asperity on her face.   Returning the purse,  Gary concurred with her litigations,  soliciting her to apologize to Juanita and return to her school duties, but it was to no avail, her temperament abounding.

Wanda Eckert - USD 255 Secretary

Wanda Eckert – USD 255 Secretary

Gary now the schools solitary custodian accepting Pam’s classroom assignments,  not a new experience,  having accorded the responsibility during Pam’s sick day absences’, but recognizing the custodial vacancy annunciation was in need of  immediate attention,  an available person coming to mind, his brother-in-law,  Shawn Johnson.    Shawn was currently employed by their father-in-law’s business,  Murrow Construction.  Bud having let some of the family know that he wasn’t to enthusiastic about hiring Shawn,  but acknowledge his employment as a succor for his household until Shawn could find other employment. Gary informing the Johnson family of the school custodial vacancy,  Shawn without hesitation retaining and submitting an employment application to the School District’s Central Office.  Gary being privileged to a discerning relevance by Wanda Eckert,  the superintendent’s secretary divulging that Juanita Smith upon hearing about Shawn’s application  was very detrimental to his employment,  questioning his character,  having experienced the rumors of his antics from fellow educators during his prior South Barber school years.  Gary deciding to talk to Glen, approaching the Superintendent’s office on a deliberate mission to affirm his brother-in-laws qualifications.  Glen acknowledging  Gary’s approbation for his brother-in-law’s employment and mentioned that he respected Gary‘s advocacy.   The conversation turning,  the superintendent directing a response from Gary with a question,  if Shawn was hired, he wanted assurance that Gary would administer a degree of awareness to Shawn’s propriety,  Gary understanding  the reality of what was not being  said, in other words keep an eye on him.

Gary,  for the first time in five years of maintaining two-thirds of the custodial assignments for the school finding relief with the accession of Shawn,  some of the workload responsibility being lifted.   Gary no longer singularly responsible for the two most time consuming projects,  the mowing and the never accomplished continuing floor maintenance of the  gymnasium.   Shawn volunteering to dust mop the gym floor, before,  during and after school,  Gary still involved with the care of the stage,  dressing rooms and bleachers.   The school year continuing, Gary maintaining his 12 hour school working schedule arriving and unlocking the gate to the fenced High School bus security area at 5:00 a.m..    Shawn arriving about the same time,  their schedule coinciding at the beginning of the day,  but differing in the afternoon,  Gary accomplishing an hour for lunch,  working till 6:00 p.m.,  Shawn taking a thirty minute lunch and finishing his day at 5:30 p.m..    As the year progress,  Gary noticed an abridgement in his brother-in-law starting time,  it wasn’t consistent,  some mornings arriving at the school as late as 6:00 a.m.,  nevertheless,  finding him staying later in the day to maintain his required hours,  but soon that too was displaced,  entertaining an earlier departure time.   Gary reasoned it was none of his business considering the work was being accomplished,  the only impropriety of gravity was Shawn’s fallacious documentation.   It was Gary’s responsibility to delivery the Grade Schools custodians self indorsed handwritten time cards to the Central Office, the custodians were district employees under the supervision of the Superintendent,  not the principal of the school as most of the public assumed.   Gary couldn’t help but notice Shawn’s late morning appearance and his early departures, but his hourly written record  didn’t reflect actuality,  Shawn’s time card always proclaiming a 12 hour day and a 60 hour week.

Gary remaining aphonic about his brother-in-law temporal solecism,  recalling a bible verse he ministered to his Apostolic Christian Church  Sunday school class,  Galatians 6:7,   Be not deceived for whatsoever a man soweth,  that shall he also reap.  Gary having a sense that Shawn’s school employment would not be one of longevity,  but at a loss on how to intervene considering Shawn’s contemptuous attitude, making a decision to stand idle and wait for the inevitable and destiny to come to fruition.

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