Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Chick-Fil-A Blues


 
Chapter 35

          Yesterday, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and drank a cup of instant coffee. Then I read the news on my smartphone while taking a nasty shit. A Chinese woman had an intense verbal argument with her boyfriend. So she threw a rock at his car as he drove away. In response, he made a U-turn and struck her with the automobile. He fucked her up pretty bad. She has a horrendous brain injury and is currently in a coma.

          Anyway, he went home and attempted suicide by jumping out of his apartment window. He failed. But the fall from the six-story building did a shitload of damage to his body. In fact, the doctors don’t expect him to regain consciousness. Just as well. It would probably be better if he went ahead and expired. The police are going to throw his ass in prison for lots and lots of years. He’s facing a fate worse than death.

          I walked to school with Rice-Boy Larry. I got to my classroom at 7:30 a.m. and called my mom using WeChat.

          I said, “How’s Ken?”

          She said, “He pissed me off.”

          “Why?”

          “The manager at Chick-Fil-A wanted him to work an extra two hours, but he refused. Instead, he came home and played computer games.”

          “Why did he turn the guy down?”

          “He said that I was too blind to drive him home in the dark.”

          “Are your eyes that bad?”

          “No! Plus the restaurant is only a mile from the house. He could have walked.”

          “That boy really needs to get his driving license. It will solve a lot of problems.”

          “We’re taking him to the DMV later this month.”

          “That’s great. You can’t get anything done in America without a car.”

          I talked to Ken to get his side of the story.

          I said, “Why are you turning down work?”

          He said, “I was just thinking of Granny’s health.”

          “Well, don’t fucking do that anymore. She’ll fucking crucify you if you get fired. Trust me. Life won’t be pleasant.”

          “OK! OK!”

          “So are you making the French fries yet?”

          “No. I only cut lemons and take out the trash.”

          “Cut lemons? What for?”

          “Lemonade.”

          “Do you like the job?”

          “I’m getting blisters on my fingers.”

          “That’s life, son. But twelve bucks an hour for no-brainer shit work is a pretty good wage in my book.”

          I went to a meeting later in the day. Some of the teachers are complaining because they think the discipline issues are getting out of hand. Students aren’t handing in their homework. They’re also throwing erasers and pencils at each other. Typical kid stuff. These naughty children are often sent to the office, but the consequences are minimal.

          The boss asked my opinion on the matter.

          I said, “Look. I’m not the king of discipline. But it seems to me that the teachers would want to keep the children out of the office unless it’s something very serious. So they need to have interventions before it gets to that point.”

          He said, “What do you do?”

          “I’m mean and black hearted. I give them punish work and detentions. But the parents don’t seem to mind. They often thank me for my diligence.”

          “Don’t you find that love works better?”

          “But love and discipline aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, the two seem to go together. Plus principals have a lot of power. If you were to walk these halls and shoot some of the troublemakers the stink eye, you’d find that many of your discipline problems would evaporate. It’s good for you. It’s good for the teachers. And it’s good for the students.”

          He nodded. “I’m just not comfortable when it comes to being mean. I’ll have to work on it.”

          The boss is new to education. With that said, I have nothing but respect for the man. Lots of young teachers are titty-babies. If you can’t manage a classroom at an Asian prep school, then you’re pretty much fucked as an educator because it doesn’t get any easier than this.

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