Tuesday, October 10, 2006

character sketch

With her slightly wild, long black hair flowing around, almost dwarfing her face, she scurried from table to table, overseeing the students and parents who were seated, filling out paperwork. Her long black dress swished around her legs as she moved between tables, intermittantly stopping to question or assist the families still trying to get their students registered on this first day of classes in the new school year. Every time she crossed through the entrance, her high heeled sandals clicked crisply on the uncarpeted area. None-the-less, things seemed to be bogged down, dragging.

I was here to show these new, but already late, students around the large campus and to get them to their appropriate classes having missed as little instructional time as possible. But I was just waiting around. In spite of her business-like manner, there was a pervading sense of inefficiency. Was she trying to do too much? be too many places at once? Why hadn't she lined more assistance, delegated responsibility? Even addressing the group as a whole for part of the process would have made better use of the time. Could it be that this new department head with a PHD didn't know some of the answers or necessary information and was trying to conceal that from all of us---students, parents, volunteers, even the other counselors??

I went to offer my assistance or to go get someone else from the office to help her. Her eyes were brilliantly turquoise and apparently kindly, but the kindness seemed superficial because there was no interest behind it. The eyes seemed to look at me, but she spouted only proper platitudes. She didn't seem either to hear what I was saying or to care what I was offering. Her polite but cursory response was a "thanks, but no thanks; don't break my concentration" reply, which made quite clear her feeling that only she could handle the situation and suggestions were not only unwanted but mildly annoying.


Blogger dailypanic said...

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3:06 PM  

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