Newest Member: HedgehogCat


Looks like I lost my only remaining friend

Hello everyone, and I hope you all are having a wonderful workweek and a lovely afternoon. It has gotten a lot colder in my area after having had such warm, sunny weather last week. I am writing because I know a lot of you have given me advice and feedback before, which I appreciate, I really do. I really do feel like I have no place else to turn to really vent or let my feelings out. I thought I had that with a former teacher friend I used to work with, but it seems that recently she hasn't been around either. I'm not sure how to feel about that.

It started when we were having a conversation by text early one morning before work. It was a continuation of a conversation we'd had by both phone and then by text the night before. We were discussing how both of us despise Mr. Trout, the mean science teacher who sabotaged me at the previous school I worked. Mr. Trout was a bit of a bully. My friend RA worked with him too and he seemed to treat her better than he treated most of us there, and especially better than he ever treated me. He was a very chatty, talkative guy and always trying to rope colleagues into long conversations with him after school in the hallways, the parking lot, etc any chance he could. While most of our colleagues would try to avoid conversation with him because we were unhappy with him for talking behind our backs and his other usual backstabbing tactics, RA was friendlier to him than most because she hadn't encountered any bad from him (yet) to her knowledge. Unfortunately, even RA was not immune to Mr. Trout's backstabbing trash talk. About midway through the school year, she was out of work for a few days due to being sick. One of those days was a staff PD day, just staff no students, which left extra time for chat among colleagues. Mr. Trout started questioning why RA wasn't there, then brought up all this stuff out of nowhere, about how he thought she might be a lesbian because she always talked about having a female roommate at her house, and how he had Googled her maiden name and found lots of absurd stuff posted about her online, presumably from a bad-pick former boyfriend or guy friend. He claimed there were pictures of her online, pictures that are rather embarrassing and not stuff a teacher would want to have out there, that the same nutty guy had posted without her permission. He told us this more from a place of entertainment and amusement than from a place of concern. It almost seemed like he was trying to throw her under a bus on the one PD day that she wasn't there in presence. He kept trying to get us to look her up online or look at the pictures on his phone that some crazy ex-boyfriend had posted of her. Nobody cared to look because all we cared about was that RA was a dedicated teacher and easy to get along with at work. Finally, one of the teachers Mr. Griffin told Mr. Trout off. I didn't mention any of this to her until almost three years later, and even then I mentioned it very vaguely and simply because I felt really awkward and uncomfortable with divulging something so awkward and potentially mortifying. Let's just say she was very unhappy and angry. She didn't say much, but she did tell me that this news had ruined her day and that she was no longer going to be nice to Mr. Trout from now on. I think she even tried to write a bad teacher review about him on a teacher review website where some people had written unpleasant reviews about me (to this day she swears that the one coherently written review was Mr. Trout pretending to be a student, especially since the review about me tooted Mr. Trout's horn and used wording Mr. Trout is the type to use).

Anyway, the topic of Mr. Trout came up in conversation last night and all the backstabbing, unfair things he had done to everyone. We talked about how he always played Principal's Pet and would then gossip about people to the principal after school, but then would weirdly badmouth the principal to us and talk about how our school needed a different principal. We talked about how even after they had a falling-out, somehow he still went back to being Principal's Pet eventually. We talked about RA's speculation and fear that maybe the real reason she got force transferred from our school was because Mr. Trout had told the principal about all that unflattering, mortifying stuff that crazy guy or ex-boyfriend had posted of her a few years earlier. She mentioned that nowadays it would be illegal to post pics like that without someone's permission, and she wondered if the same applied to passing around pics like that at a workplace? I guess she thought about it overnight and woke up with a vengeance to go after Mr. Trout. She texted me early the next morning, telling me that given the content of what that nutty guy had posted about her and the way Mr. Trout was so fixated on it, that what he had done by trying to pass those pics around at work could constitute a form of sexual harassment behind her back. (not to mention the huge age difference between them too) I responded that yes, what he did to her was sexual harassment.

She then texted, "Yes and I'm making a report to the union on it." then "You all have been warned." and then "So they might call you or Griffin or [Principal] in to testify. [for a disciplinary hearing on an employee's misconduct] Eh probably not. Knowing the district's crappy union, they'll probably just discard my report like used trash since I don't work for the district anymore."

I was stunned, frozen. She was throwing all of this on me, when I already have so much on my plate I'm dealing with, not to mention trying desperately and frantically to improve my job situation and build better rapport with my new workplace, expecting me to just accept it? The only thing I seem to be doing right at my new job is keeping my attendance in good standing, perfect standing in fact. I can't lose the one thing I'm actually doing right at my job. Plus, if I testify, I'll look like a snitch.
Word will get around that I'm a snitch and that I try to get other teachers in trouble, and that could further jeopardize my job too. My heart started racing. This happened almost 4 years ago, and she's known about it for almost a year, and she's suddenly springing on her desire to have a trial on him now, involving me?? When I have so much other stuff to worry about right now?!

I texted back: "What?? Now I'm going to have to take a personal day off to testify?!? Now everyone at [my school's name] is going to know my business!" and then "What did you do?"

RA: "I never f--king called the union yet"

RA: "Chill out. All u care about is chance of using a personal day?? You're as bad as the mom who didn't call 9-1-1 for her kid because she was too low on phone minutes."
(The 911 thing is in reference to some kooky article she found online recently from several years back, about some idiot mom whose kid died because the mom was too afraid to use up her limited cell phone minutes to call 911, with the mom now facing criminal neglect charges. She had shared the article with me while coining the mom Idiot of the Day)

RA: "If u had to testify, it'd be a 1% chance of ever happening. And it would definitely be coded as an approved business leave, where you don't even need to use one of your stored personal days. The same way I had it when I got subpoenaed by the union to testify about the test cheating scandal I witnessed at that one school I used to work at. Basically it'd be a free day off, doesn't count against u or your personal day count. And just like how 911 doesn't use up any cell phone minutes. But your reaction shows your true colors."

Me: "Don't compare me to someone that doesn't want to use their cell phone minutes."

Me: "I postponed jury duty til the summer so I wouldn't have to go thru the hassle of taking a day off, getting emergency lesson plans together, etc."

RA: "You're using your summer off for jury duty? You sacrifice everything for this thankless job. Well, it's your choice how you want to waste your time."

Me: "So if I'm forced to testify against him, my administration here would find out why I had to testify and then they'll think that I'm too much trouble"

RA: "NO! They aren't even allowed to discuss matters like that with outside people. That's like discussing patient medical records or a jury talking about what's going on in an ongoing trial. Sheesh. I'm not going to back down from reporting Trout just because you want to be a pushover to your biggest workplace bully."

RA: "Well I'm sick right now and going through a huge ordeal with my dr office which is making me stressed and feeling sicker. I can't deal with this BS from you anymore."

Me: "What does that mean?"

Me: "And I'm sorry you are feeling sick."

RA: "Now I see why no guy in your life sticks around. Your priorities are all whack. And to think I thought you'd care to help a friend while at the same time getting justice for your bully."

Me: "That hurt, what you just said."

Me: "Likewise I thought you'd understand my situation and what I'm going through right now."

RA: "All those guys who just disappeared, maybe they had the right idea"

Me: "What does this mean, you're going to disappear too? After I've already been through so much this year? Great, I guess I'd have to add you to my long list of losses."

RA: "It is what it is."

She never texted anything after that. I didn't respond because I admit I was already feeling aggravated, plus I had to get ready for work, for the job that I must still report to even if I do not like it, because right now attendance and punctuality is the only saving grace I have left. Everything else in my job and elsewhere is falling apart. I need to get something done right! When my workday ended, I looked at my phone but she still hadn't texted back. Sometimes she'll leave long, like paragraph-long or more, messages for me to read during the day about things she found or afterthoughts she had about our conversation topics. This time she didn't. This happened almost two weeks ago by now and still I haven't heard back from her. I'll admit I didn't reach out to her at first because I was angry and also genuinely scared how something like this could affect my job if she did call the union on Mr. Trout and the union decided to take her seriously and escalate it to a disciplinary hearing on him. I also feel like she just doesn't get it, doesn't understand or know nearly the stress I have to deal with at this job, now that she's out of teaching and working a conventional office admin 9-5. I needed some distance and some time to cool off. I did try reaching out to her about a week ago but never heard back, unusual for her. It seems she's still on social media daily, updating posts, so nothing bad happened to her.

I guess she decided we aren't friends anymore. It sucks because she was literally the only close friend I had. This year has been nothing but losses for me, no gains, no positives. I am really hoping 2023 is a lot better. I am so tired of feeling so alone with everything.

17 comments posted: Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Looks like I lost my only remaining friend (moved to Off Topic)

  This Topic has been moved to Off Topic

0 comment posted: Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

Some people just don't get it how busy I am!

Hello everyone, and I hope you all are having a lovely day following a beautiful weekend. Kiss those children for me and take care of yourselves and one another. I am writing this morning because I had to vent for a few minutes about a situation that has admittedly taken a hold of me a little more than usual lately. I feel bad writing about it because there are a lot of great, wonderful things about my friend. But my problem is that I have this friend, in fact I consider her to be one of my closest friends these days, and I used to work with her at the school I had worked at up until this current school year. We worked together for a little more than a year, she helped me out tremendously when we both had to teach the same course (but different segments/classrooms), and we continued to stay in contact ever since. We talk very frequently, almost every day, and our phone calls are long, often lasting more than an hour in duration. She has vented to me about all her job woes, and I've definitely vented to her about all of the stress that I've had from this teaching job and also my personal life. I really appreciate having someone I can finally vent to in confidence like her. However, she keeps asking me to hang out. It's not that I'm entirely opposed to it, but I've been SO BUSY! My job was crap last year for me, and this job at a different school is at least 3x WORSE. This school sucks. I have full classes packed beyond capacity, we're talking 40 kids and more on roster in a classroom with only 36 desks, in a union job where we aren't supposed to have classes with more than 34 kids tops. (And even 34 is a lot!) The paperwork load is immense, even worse than last year, and it always takes me longer than average to do because I am so meticulous and I do not want to get myself in more hot water if I make a clerical mistake. Speaking of paperwork, or paper I should say, we have to buy our own paper because they only allot us 2 reams of paper per MONTH. I went through more than that just printing out 3 days worth of emergency lesson plans with accompanying worksheet materials. The kids are terribly disrespectful, and I can never teach anything because they constantly talk over me. The workload associated with having to document every misbehavior and write-up, making and logging parent phone calls, then having to search out alternate phone numbers or emails if the parent doesn't answer the phone calls, adds a lot of time to my daily afterschool workload as well. I never have a free minute to breathe!! And now interims are due this week. In the past, all we had to do was make sure grades are uploaded to the online grade system. Now this year they expect us to also email and mail out the reports to each parent/guardian of all the students in our homeroom...compounding my workload. My friend, who I consider to be my closest friend these days, keeps saying I need to take a break, go out to the bar with her, meet new "better" (her words) guys than the "duds" (again, her words) R and K that I dated earlier this year, etc. I'd love to do that but I know work comes first, and I absolutely cannot afford to get written up or fired from this job! I feel that because I suck at managing a class, and haven't been able to get kids to master any part of the curriculum because all they do is talk over me, the least I can do to try to salvage my job is to show up on time, and complete the stuff I DO have full control over, such as the paperwork, documentation, post grades on time, etc.

However, my friend has started making comments that are slightly passive aggressive or snarky. She's been saying things that indicate that she thinks I don't care to hang out with her, that I'm choosing to be an antisocial hermit, etc. She has also told me that she has no other friends to hang out with currently (she has other friends but they've been busy lately with various things, she told me) and that when I don't ever hang out with her, it's not just hurting me and my own self care, but it's hurting hers too. She used to be a teacher and she used to stay late after school and feel very overworked all the time, like I did and still do, although she never stayed as late as I did. I know she's had her own share of personal life problems, such as what seems to be some rifts with her husband and some possible/probable infidelity on his end (not sure which extent, an emotional affair, physical affair, or what it is). I get the impression that part of why she wants to go to bars with me on weekends is to not just get me to meet new guys but for her to meet new guys too, maybe as a sort of revenge affair or at least a revenge encounter (for example, collecting a phone number from a guy to prove to herself she's still hot) or something. That has me feeling a bit uncomfortable in addition to being busy all the time with work, too busy to hang out anyway. She made a comment last week about how I must not be that good of a friend to her then. I was like, "RA (her name)! No, it's not that at all! I wish you understood how busy my work situation is!"

What should I do? I definitely do not want to lose her as a friend. We've had a few very short, brief rifts recently over a faux paus I made concerning sending her a phone text meant for someone else, but never had any type of falling out or fight. What should I say for her to know that I'm not in fact hanging out with anyone right now, nor have time to think about that or dating, because of my crazy busy work life?

38 comments posted: Wednesday, October 12th, 2022

So happy to be dating a new man!

Hello, and I hope all of you have had wonderful summers so far. I wanted to give an update because I was on here more frequently earlier in the summer and then wasn't online much at all the last couple of weeks. I am happy to say that I've started dating someone. He is not technically a new guy, but someone who I met and went on a date with a few summers ago. He is local to me lives only about 5 minutes down the road, and I met him a few years ago when I was out for a jog near the park and he happened to be driving by. He stopped to say hi, we got talking, we exchanged numbers, and we went out. Major chemistry for me because he is VERY handsome! I wanted to keep in contact with him because he seemed amazing, but I was unable to do that because when work started a week later, I became so busy and overconsumed (each year the teacher workload seems to grow more and more for me! It never ends until June!). He probably lost interest because I didn't have any free time to see him again. We did chat on the phone a few times after that, but then he fell out of contact. (again, understandably so. If I was a guy, I would think someone like me was disinterested or too busy too) Thankfully, I had my second chance when he happened to be driving by while I was out jogging AGAIN! He remembered me and stopped to talk, like he did before. This led to him taking me out that same week to a wonderfully amazing little Italian restaurant! But before we went out, haha he actually showed up at my house unexpected the next morning shortly before lunch, to visit, and well...we ended up getting intimate with each other.

I will admit I'm not usually the type of girl to move so quickly like that. However, I couldn't resist because I hadn't been touched in a long time (R has had E.D. issues following some prostate problems). Also, this was the first guy outside of R that I'd hooked up with in over twenty years, since the time I first started dating R. Even when R and I had our breakups in the past, or summers when R would dump me like he's seemed to have done this summer, I never had sex with anybody. There have been times I secretly questioned to myself if maybe R had sex with other women, particularly the blonde woman I caught him making out with 16 summers ago. I'll also admit that during some of our breakup periods, I did meet some men at the dance club I used to go to and I would fool around in cars with some of them. But I never went all the way or anything close (it was usually just steamy make-up sessions in their cars). I will admit this felt GREAT! It really opened the floodgates for me by showing me everything I've been missing. He is really good looking and REALLY good in bed. It definitely opened my eyes.

I've been seeing K very frequently now over the last few weeks. I would say probably several times a week. I saw him Monday night, and the night before that too. It helps that he is a retired labor union worker. He has told me so many things about himself, including some of the darker aspects of his past life, and I've shared some of my story with him too. I haven't felt this way about someone in a really long time.

I know what some of you might be, R hasn't tried to call or come back. Maybe it's for the best. It's about time that I have my share of fun for once.

Anyway, just wanted to share the great news! I am bummed that I have to return to work in about a week, but happy that I am finally having some fun this summer and have found a way to move on from R!

110 comments posted: Friday, August 19th, 2022

Feeling so worthless right now

So last month was the end of the school year, and the last that I worked at my school before being involuntarily transferred to currently who-knows-where elsewhere in the school district. After more than 20 years, the principal cut my position due to "budget issues" and a need for a teacher who is certified in more science areas than I am (even though I'm already certified in 2 very high need academic areas, science and math, which is more than most teachers are). Despite the principal claiming it was due to factors outside my control, a lot of teachers over the months kept coming up and expressing sympathy and pity for my situation, saying how the principal screwed me over, that I'm way too nice and hard working to deserve her getting rid of me. Yes, screwed over and ripped off are the phrases they used. She's also done this to multiple other teachers too--cut their positions (again, claiming a dubious budget) or driving other teachers to decide on their own to quit or transfer. I went through the school district's site selection portal for employees, which is an internal online listing of teacher position vacancies at various schools, for internal employees only, and allows you to send your resume and cover letter so that you are considered for other positions. I also attended several interviews at various schools, even though they were all at schools I did not want to work at. I have been attending jobsearch workshops and webinars as well in the meantime, but I know I absolutely do not want to leave my school district because I need, I NEED, my retirement pension since I have literally nobody to support me (no kids, unmarried, and my parents are deceased). I am waiting to pick a school from the list, which I heard got bumped up to this week or next week instead of having to wait until August like usual, which helps, but I'm nervous about that.

Despite teachers giving me sympathy, last month I felt like complete garbage, like nobody cared that I was leaving, and that my 20+ years at this school were all for nothing. Nobody knew much about the circumstances surrounding why my position was cut, or that the principal now wants the biology teacher to teach chemistry too (the latter which I'm not certified in). All they knew was that the principal had cut me, and that rumors had circulated for months that the principal had it out to get me and had listened to the viciously gossipy chemistry teacher Mr. Trout, aka her little principal's pet, to get rid of me. Mr. Trout is a known bully who loves to pick on all the other teachers. Nobody really likes him and he's even gossiped a lot of nasty stuff about the principal too behind her back, yet he then goes and kisses up to the principal, spending hours after school each day in her office gossiping and also sweet talking her. She actually called him out on his bs a few years ago at one of our staff meetings, snapping at him to keep his constant negativity to himself--which actually caused some staff members to applaud, but then a few months later, Mr. Trout was back to schmoozing with her for hours after school. So all the students and some of the teachers heard was that I was "getting the axe". Well, in the last week of the school year, all those teachers who had come up to me previously expressing their sympathy and well wishes for me weren't really around much to help me when I needed it. One woman teacher who I thought was my friend, who is always so cheerful and helpful to everyone, had made empty promises to help me pack up all my stuff and clean out my classroom and the behemoth walk-in lab closet, but then that same chemistry teacher Mr. Trout butted in and started talking up a storm to her, stealing her time. When he was finally done, she looked at her watch and said to me, "oh look at the time, I gotta go, I have somewhere I promised to be to pick up my teenage sons". This happened a few times and then I gave up on her helping me.

At the end of every school year on staffs' last day, we always culminate with a big meeting for all staff members. The principal gives her round of "shout-outs" and honorable mentions, and always mentions the teachers who are leaving so we can applaud them and wish them well. This year she mentioned a few who were retiring but didn't mention me leaving. Go figure. She also did her shout-outs for staff members with perfect attendance, but had neglected to mention the perfect attendance staff a few years back in the year when I'd had perfect attendance. I feel sad that I never got my recognition. Oh but she and the janitor told me off about not having everything completely cleared out of my classroom. She even made the remark "you knew since the beginning of May you weren't able to stay here" even though she had told me in May that I wasn't to pack up anything early because students still needed to be taught with all the materials and lab activities as usual. Unlike the 2 other teachers who also got cut and therefore decided to slack off since they felt "it doesn't matter if she's kicking us out anyway", I still put my all into the job and taught and gave assignments up until the very last day of final exams. One of the teachers who got cut literally stopped teaching as soon as he found out he was losing his job. Even the regular teachers stopped giving work by June for the most part, and let kids watch movies in class instead. I was the only one still doing my job to the fullest, and this is the thanks I get. I never felt more unappreciated in my job ever than I did on that last day, which should have been a laidback and happy day for me. When everyone else left at noon that day, I was stuck staying until past dinner time just deep cleaning everything in my room. At least the bully teacher Mr. Trout was long gone, I thought. Then as I walked out to my car, who drives by in his big Cadillac Escalade and comes right up to me, but bully Mr. Trout himself. At first I thought maybe he was offering to carry one of my boxes to my car for me, so perhaps I should be polite just for that. Instead, he tells me that I shouldn't bother trying to find another teaching job, that I'll get "eaten alive" at any other school, that I should instead get a min wage job at a nursing home because at least a nursing home might pay me benefits. What! Keep in mind I changed my college major away from nursing because I was too squeamish to deal with body fluids and other essential tasks of nursing, just to end up being mandated by my late parents to play full-time nurse and caregiver to them when they were both in their last elder years, in critical care. Although I did it because my parents needed my help, it was very all-consuming for me, zapped many years away from me being able to live my own life, and I swore I would only do it for my parents and never for anyone else ever again. Why would I want to change ambivalent strangers' bedpans now? And likely end up working alongside some of the very same allied health program students who always acted up in my class when they were still in school and had my class a few years ago, right. He then said that no retail job will hire me because I'm too old. He said all this mean stuff but I felt obligated to at least listen and be polite. I ended up walking to my car feeling so defeated and awful.

Then there is R, the man I've been with for 22 years. I really enjoyed spending 4th of July weekend with him at his shore house by the beach, but recently he has gone back to not calling or being there for me. It seems that he likes to tell me I have no "free time", but as soon as I'm free to have an actual life, he's no longer around. Oh but he did show up impromptu once in the last two weeks, visiting me at home right before I was planning to go swim at the gym, and he parked behind me in my driveway, blocking in my car AGAIN. He claimed he was there to "help" me, as I was already there organizing stuff and bringing in some of the boxes from school that had sat in my car's trunk for almost a month, but instead he only helped me carry in 2 boxes from my car during the hour he was there, and they were some of the lightest boxes of the bunch too. Even worse, when he took a phone call from this woman tenant who's renting one of his rental units, he mentioned he was at his "friend's house"! After all these years, he refers to me to other people as his "friend". I wanted so badly to say to him while he was on the phone, "Gee, have you had sex with ALL of your 'friends' too??" Which speaking of, I haven't even gotten that anymore from him anymore, or hardly ever. Ever since he started having trouble with his prostate, he can never seem to keep it up. Whenever we try and he shows impotence, he keeps claiming it's his prostate yet he won't take viagra for it. I'm not sure why. He won't even bother to get it rechecked out at the doctor, like it's not a concern. But now he's not even coming at all. In a wicked kind of way, I'm a little glad because it means I can leave for the gym or shopping whenever I want without worrying about him coming by impromptu, but I also feel distraught that he would just up and leave me again. I mean, I've been with him for over 20 YEARS! I never slept with any other man during that time, even during the other temporary breakups or breaks that R and I had. My friend has brought up several times now, questioning the possibility that maybe R hasn't been quite as loyal to me. (I mean, I've already caught him kissing that woman in the parking lot after club closing time years ago. And I found other things that aren't nearly as red-handed as catching him with someone, but things that seem very suspicious.) But if he has been, I know I'd be devastated, truthfully.

I just feel like such discarded garbage, like nobody values any of the loyalty I've given for the past 20+ years.

49 comments posted: Sunday, July 17th, 2022

Friend teasing me about being a "chicken"

Hello, and I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July with their families, loved ones, and significant others. Mine was okay, could be better, could be worse, but I am happy to report that I was able to finally get to the shore for the first time in nearly 2 years. I went with R and while he was his usual grumpy farty old self at times, haha, I still enjoyed myself and the beach, so I am glad I went. I've spent this week mostly by myself, which is fine, because it's given me time getting caught up on cleaning and increasing my time taking runs and swimming at the gym.

Lol this isn't a big deal, just a funny little side note, but lately it seems like my friend likes to tease me and call me chicken when I do not meet up with her for the many invites she's given me to go with her to bars, outings, events to meet people, etc. She will make a joke about it with a funny face emoji and then if I explain myself and why I can't see myself going there, she'll simply text a picture of a chicken like this one 🐔 followed by "lol". The chicken texts are becoming more frequent. It is kind of funny and the 🐔 emoji is cute, but why does she keep sending it to me? Do you think she's just playing around with me, or do you think she's actually angry with me but hiding her anger behind funny emojis? At one point she got snippy with me and told me "fine, don't accept my invite, but nothing in your life will get better if you don't make some changes". She also posted some quote about insanity being "doing the same thing again and again but expecting something better to happen" or something like that. Am I being unreasonable by not going out? I feel shy and like I don't look my best these days, which has me feeling a bit intimidated honestly at the idea of going somewhere where there's going to be single men. Also, I still feel a bit uncomfortable with the idea of going somewhere when I just went to the shore with R (although this friend has been trying to take me out for months now, before R and I went to his shore house last weekend), and knowing she's married (although she says she's moreso looking to go to be my "wingwoman" to help me). Meanwhile, three other friends of mine (also females I met at work, recently or in past years) haven't bothered to text me recently. I had gone out a few times to clubs with them too, as I had with my "chicken sender" friend last fall. I'm assuming they're probably on vacation or just busy with their families. Do you think my friend is secretly mad at me, or should I not worry about it and continue on the way I've been doing?

7 comments posted: Friday, July 8th, 2022

Friend keeps getting disappointed when I don't go out with her

Good evening everyone, and I hope you all are enjoying the starts to your summer. I am trying to get through the recent warmup in temperatures and getting caught up on lost sleep!

I have this friend who I used to work with at the high school I was working at up until the end of this school year. She herself went through the force transfer process herself several years back, and never really found a good fit again after that, so she decided to leave teaching to do a different career. She is probably one of my closest friends these days and has done so much for me this year in terms of not only listening to me vent and giving me advice while telling me jokes, but she has also helped me revamp my resume very recently, and even volunteered on her own to help me with some curriculum materials and lesson notes to help my students. She has been a great friend and I am so glad we stayed in touch after she transferred to a different school. We talk frequently on the phone, near daily, and we hung out twice earlier this school year, once at my house and once at a dance club I would frequent. Sadly, I just found out that club closed down for renovations! I am sad because I waited all school year looking forward to going back there again, and now it's not even available. It was a dance club I'd been going to for over 25 years, and a lot of the regulars stuck around too, so it has been mostly an older crowd (40s-50s) in recent years, which I appreciate, being a woman in my 50s. But anyway, so the club is no more. But my friend keeps wanting to take me out. She keeps telling me I can do better than my boyfriend R, and has funny little nicknames for him too, such as calling him a certain slang word for a male's genitals that also happens to be a nickname for his name haha. (I guess it is kind of funny, haha) She says "we gotta get you away from R and show you all the better guys out there". I am not so sure I'm up for that, but I do appreciate her effort?

One thing about this friend: she just had another baby a little over a year ago, is married with two kids, but doesn't seem happy in her marriage at all. In fact, she's hinted or alluded to stuff this year that has me thinking her husband might have cheated or is cheating. She seems to think it's okay to gawk and flirt with guys then. She keeps wanting to go to a male strip club within an hour away, and keeps asking me and her best friend to go with her. I mentioned the strip club to R last week. He said, "what, you're going to watch other women strip?" I said no, of course not, that would be weird to watch women, it's a club with male dancers. He immediately said "You're not going to any male strip club" and that was end of story. It turns out my friend was very disappointed I didn't go. I gave her excuses about already planning to go to the gym that night because while her jokes about R are at times funny, sometimes I get tired of hearing them.

It seems she went last week anyway, by herself, and had a great time, in fact probably too good of a time to the point I wonder if something more happened with one of the guys. She phoned me at one point while she was there, and she sounded really happy and having fun. I admitted at the time of the call I was a bit jealous of her haha. So now she keeps asking me to go with her. When I told her the gym reason again, she told me "you can go to the gym any ol time, this is SPECIAL" then teased me that I was chicken. She sent me a little chicken emoji and an emoji with its tongue hanging out. Maybe I am. I'm just not sure if it's right to go when it is clearly not okay with R. Wouldn't it be a betrayal to engage in such a situation? She says it would be a great eye widening opportunity for me, but I'm still not sure. I'm also trying to keep the peace so I can have a good summer with R and finally get to go to the shore for a week with him, a trip that I didn't get to do last year or the year before. How should I respond if this friend keeps asking?

16 comments posted: Sunday, June 26th, 2022

End of school year has ravaged and defeated me

Hello, I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend and a lovely start to your summer. Make sure you spend lots of quality time with family and friends during the warm weather. I apologize for not updating sooner. Unfortunately for me, my summer has not been off to such a great start. I need advice because I feel like I have nowhere to turn lately.

As some of you already know, I’ve had quite the bad year at my teaching job. This year has probably been the worst one yet. I’ve been employed as a teacher for a total of 30 years with the district, 23 as a full-time teacher (it took me 7 years of substitute teaching for the district before I was offered a full-time position as a permanent teacher). They did not renew my position for next year. I was told it is because they do not have enough positions for science teachers due to projected student enrollment, and they need the existing biology teacher to also teach chemistry too. I am certified in biology and math, not chemistry. Thus, I am still technically employed with the district but currently do not know where I will be sent to teach next fall, and must go through a process called site selection to find a school with a vacant position for a teacher in my certification area. I’ve been interviewing at various schools, all schools that I would not choose to work at, just to have something. So far not one school has offered me a position. This means I will now have to wait until almost the end of summer to be called down to the school district office to pick a school with remaining teacher vacancies from a list. The district calls teachers down in order of seniority, so at least that works to my advantage since I have 30 years seniority. But I fear the only vacancies left will be at less desirable schools. Already the only schools with openings are mostly faraway or undesirable schools. I liked where I worked before because it was only a 5 minute drive from my house. I’ve worked and befriended teachers who went through this nightmare process before. Usually being force transferred and going through the site selection process results in getting transferred to a worse, not better, school than before. I’ve had a hard enough year…what’s next??!

I am hoping to get transferred to this one school, we’ll call it XYZ High School, which is further away than this last school but still a relatively short drive, 15-20 minutes. It is still in the same part of the city where I live. It is the least bad of the places remaining with science teacher vacancies. I keep checking the updated vacancy list on the school district’s site selection portal. A lot of positions keep disappearing, which means they’ve already filled spots with teachers. Only the less desirable schools are left, and then there’s XYZ High School.

When staff and students caught word that I was not coming back next year, they became very disrespectful and dismissive to me. Students started telling me they were refusing to do my work or the projects I assigned because "whatever, what can you do about it, you’re not going to be here much longer anyway" or they’d say "we don’t have to listen to you, you’re already getting fired I heard". Even though I was not actually fired (although at times it sure felt like it). The dean started ignoring my detention slips that I would submit to him for students to serve after school detention. The principal started being more curt with me. It was almost like people figured they didn’t have to pretend to be nice to me anymore because it didn’t matter since I was leaving anyway. And then there’s my workplace bully, Mr. Trout, who I suspect might be behind me getting force transferred out, if in fact there was any ulterior reason for my forced transfer. He spends at least 2 HOURS after school each day hanging around the building, chit chatting and hanging out in the (female) principal’s office, playing principal’s pet. For a while he stopped doing that after the principal called him on his BS in front of the entire school staff at a full staff meeting last year, but then in recent months he started hanging out in her office again. He would also hang around the copy room and ridicule me, falsely accuse me of helping my students "cheat" on the citywide test, etc. He said the only reason my students didn’t score well on the citywide test was because I put wrong answers on the cheat sheet I made for them because he thinks I don’t know the subject I teach. He has said so many defaming, hurtful things to me. He got ruder than ever after word got out that I was transferred out.

Even the janitor got rude with me. She started yelling at me in the last year for staying late. She claimed I was a burden to her because she would have to wait to lock up the building because I was still there. As if she knows the stress I go through with this job or the mountain of paperwork I’d have each day. In the last few weeks, she started scolding me and talking really nasty to me in general, and told me I was responsible for cleaning out my classroom and the large walk-in lab closet. She said she had already reported me to the principal for not cleaning out my room. I had plenty of paperwork deadlines to work on that prevented me from fully cleaning it out. Even my friend/former colleague questioned the irony of the janitor telling me I have to clean, said cleaning is the janitor’s job. Then the principal approached me and confirmed that I have to clean my entire classroom because it was my classroom all these years. The janitor was very rude to me. It’s like she didn’t even remember all the times I was super nice to her when she had her cancer scare a few years back, how I’d spend some of my after school time listening to her vent and I’d comfort her amidst her scare. Now she acts like we never had that bonding experience.

I stayed until at least 8pm each day for the last week after all the grades and everything were finalized, organizing and cleaning out my room and getting other administrative tasks in order. I had a ton of extra work caused by this forced transfer. Usually the posting of final grades marked the end of teacher tasks for the year aside from the usual basic cleanup. Instead, I had more work than ever. Other teachers got to party and celebrate end of year while I was stuck staying behind each night later than ever. They also put extra tasks on me. For example, the district’s psychologist – who does the psych exams, IQ testing, and special ed reevaluations on students – sent me 6 student input forms, multiple pages each, the day after grades were finalized. I had to dig through everything to supply data on each of these students to her. Then the principal told me that I had to put together ESY (summer school) science packets for students in the school’s ESY program. Basically I’m doing half the work involved with ESY, even though I’m not teaching ESY or getting the extra pay that comes with it. My work felt like it never ended.

The last day of school a few days ago was the absolute worst for me. Everyone got to leave early at 12pm except me. I stayed the latest I ever did, until almost 8:30pm. The principal said people who had their end-of-year to-do checklist completed and signed for approval from her could leave. But everyone else had to stay until it was done. More than half the teachers left immediately. She refused to sign mine because the janitor had complained that it was too much work to clean out my classroom, said I had to be the one to clean it out. Finally after 4pm, the principal said she was leaving but to drop off my to-do list under her office door and that she would have the janitors confirm that my room was cleaned out. I stayed until I got everything done because the last thing I want is a write-up for noncompliance at a time that I’m desperately trying to get accepted into another school placement. During site selection, new schools definitely check references with former placement’s principal.

On that last day (a staff-only day) we had our usual last day of the school year staff meeting. The principal gave her usual round of shout-outs. She gave shout-outs to every other teacher who was retiring, leaving the profession, or leaving the school. Except me. She forgot to acknowledge me. I guess leaving the school involuntarily doesn’t count for a shout-out. She gave two teachers shout-outs and award certificates for perfect attendance. Yet when I had perfect attendance last year, I never got such a thing.

After school on that last day when I was in the middle of cleaning my classroom lugging some of the classroom items to my car, I encountered my bully Mr. Trout. He was in his car driving out. He pulled his car up aside me in the parking lot. He started talking to me, so I did the polite thing and conversed, hoping maybe he’d help me carry my boxes. He didn’t. Instead, he told me that he heard I was trying to get into XYZ High School and that he thinks it’s a bad idea. He said I would never survive there, that I don’t have nearly the classroom management skills to handle the kids there. He said I should just give up teaching altogether. He acted concerned at first (probably fake) then quickly turned backhandedly insulting and then more insulting. He said any school I transfer to will be harder than this one was for me. I said defeatedly, "What difference does it make, it seems you got what you wanted by ridding this school of me anyway." He then told me I should just quit teaching because I’ll never make it to my retirement or get my earned pension. (I’m eligible to retire in 5 years) He told me I should just give up and get a menial job, maybe work at a nursing home because at least that job will provide health benefits. Whatever. Why the heck would I go work for minimum wage doing the very type of work I detested doing when my elderly parents were still alive and obligated me to care for them full-time? And worse, possibly work alongside some of my graduated 18-year-old allied health pathway students who had disrespected me so badly when they were in my class? Besides, I hate nursing homes and hospitals, as I find them depressing and I cannot stand bodily fluids. That’s the whole reason I switched majors away from nursing in college, even when it meant jumping through hoops to do so. How could he suggest such a thing?

I ended up staying later than ever that night. I was literally the last person to leave, except the janitors, who thankfully were there late because the district sent in an extra crew for overnight due to the deep cleaning required for end-of-year cleanup. When I got home, I was too exhausted to even go to the gym. Then the next day I had to finish the special ed input forms the psychologist said were so urgent, and the day after that I had another site selection interview for a school I didn’t really want to work in that did not lead to an offer anyway. So my summer never really started until two days after my last day. I have spent the last couple of days sleeping in and trying to make up for the sleep debt I had from the last few weeks. I haven’t felt well. Meanwhile, my former colleague friend seems annoyed with me because I didn’t meet up with her after school the week before to celebrate her end of her unhappy teaching career (she’s changing job fields after her own bad experience working for the school district). She tells me I’m "chicken" and I need to stand up better to my boyfriend R and to my job. Maybe I do. But even though she can probably relate better to me on work stress than most, even she hasn’t had the extent of stress and extra burdens that I’ve dealt with this year.

That is the end of my long vent. How can I enjoy my summer when I don’t even know if my employment is guaranteed in the fall? How can I really have a summer when I have to schedule all these seemingly go-nowhere interviews? What can I do for stress relief? Also, am I really all that wrong to turn down my friend’s requests to go out and "meet people"?

26 comments posted: Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Resume vent

Hello, I hope you all are doing well and have had a lovely Memorial Day weekend with your families or friends. I hope you do not mind but I need advice on something so this is kind of a vent but I am also open to ideas. Recently I wrote about the growing problems I've been having at my public high school teaching job, mainly that after more than 20 years working at this particular high school, they have decided not to retain me for the following school year, which has left me scrambling to find another teaching position at a different school in the district through what our district calls a site selection process. I am extremely overwhelmed and intimidated by this, because I have not had to jobsearch in well over 20 years. I know a lot has changed since then! I went ahead and located one of my old resumes from the 1990s so I could use it as a starting point to modify and update, but that is just overwhelming because it's been so long and I have heard that resumes change formats over the years.

So far a few friends, mostly former colleagues I still talk to, have somewhat agreed to help me here and there. Sometimes when I try to approach them, such as my one really friendly colleague Ms. W, one of our colleagues will sideline her into a conversation and then when she is done talking to them, she has to rush out the door to pick up her kids after school, with no time left to help me. Another colleague--well, former colleague--Ms. L has been so helpful to me this school year (she's the one who typed up my cursive notes earlier this year, so I wouldn't have to use my overhead slides handwritten in cursive in class again), even despite her own jobsearch issues right now. She's gone through quite a heck of school transfers in the past, and she's younger than me, so she's been offering resume help to me. However, my vent is about my boyfriend R. R has been trying to help, and I should probably be more appreciative of him doing this, but every time he tries to help, I am so frustrated and more confused than ever! For example, yesterday. He came over to visit and use the Wifi since he has no home Internet at his condo, while I was working on updating my resume. He kept giving me all this criticism about how my resume is written, and it led to this big back and forth argument for nearly 3 hours about how to write a resume. I was really looking forward to having the free time to work on grading papers that are piling up, but instead, over 3 hours got spent arguing and fighting. I wanted to use resume ideas I found on the Internet, but R kept telling me that I'm not writing my resume the right way. I feel like to R, I can never do anything right.

I told my friend Ms. L about this and she kind of, somewhat but nicely, blasted me about ever listening to anything R says about resumes. She was a bit snarky and funny, saying "what does R know about resumes when he's a bum who hasn't worked since 2010". Lol maybe she is right. But I feel like I can't just shut R out when he's willing to help. I know he's just trying to help me improve my resume since the one I've used so far to apply for teacher vacancies on the school district's online site selection portal has gotten snubbed (I've received no callbacks yet to schedule interviews). But does it always have to lead to three hours of us fighting? Am I being harsh, or is Ms. L right that I should not want R's help?

21 comments posted: Saturday, June 4th, 2022

Do I need to go to the funeral?

Hello and I hope all of you are having a wonderful day and really getting a chance to soak up the warmer weather. I hope each of you are doing well with your relationships and hoping things get better for those of you who haven't had things going well.

I have been very busy with the whole process of site selection, in which I have to re-interview for a teaching position at another school or schools in the district, plus students have been misbehaving worse than ever, which has created extra work for me and of itself. I haven't had much time to do much of anything except work! I definitely haven't had time to have much of any social life, that's for sure. I feel like it's nearly impossible to stay on top of all of the work that keeps coming in, and now this whole job interview process too. I don't know how other people do it!

On the other hand, a recent sad event occurred in one side of my brother's family. My brother's father-in-law, who was elderly and sick for a while following a stroke, passed away. I found out about it from a group email that my brother's daughter sent out. I have already responded to her to express my sorrows and condolences. I am in the process of having flowers sent to through a flower delivery service. My question is, should I be attending the funeral too?

Truthfully, I feel extremely awkward about attending. I did not know my brother's wife's father, aside from seeing him attend a few extended family events such as my brother's wedding. Recently my brother got really angry at me because he felt that I did not buy enough retirement products from his financial advisor friend a few weekends ago. To be polite I bought an annuity, but according to my brother, it wasn't nearly enough. He said I was cheap and had wasted his friends time, and that someone without kids like me should have extra money to invest. Nevermind the fact that my brother was the one who pushed me to have this friend come over to give his finance sales presentation in the first place. Since that time, he has continued to avoid contact with me except this past weekend, when he called to tell me yet again that I am so selfish. He also rehashed a few petty things from the past. To be honest, I feel really anxious facing him at any event soon, and I also worry that I will be unwelcome.

To add to it, I feel very very behind with work. That nearly day long visit from his Finance friend really did screw me over in terms of getting me be home with my work. I am still playing catch up, and the work keeps compounding and building up, especially now that I have to revise my resume and attend all of these After School interviews for another position in the district. I am wondering if maybe I should just skip the funeral. Would it be wrong if I did? Or would it be proper etiquette to attend, since I am the sister of the deceased son-in-law? What is the normal protocol and etiquette for who should attend funerals?

Thank you in advance for any input you can provide. I have not talked to my brother yet. To be honest, I feel nervous reaching out to him after everything that has happened between us in recent weeks. I've texted his wife as I mentioned before, to express my condolences, but not yet my brother. Should I reach out? Or should I wait for him to contact me first? If I contact him, should I make a phone call or just send an e-card again expressing my condolences? Thank you again to all of you for all of your kind help.

21 comments posted: Thursday, May 19th, 2022

I found out I'm losing my job :(

I'm devastated right now. Then again, I probably shouldn't feel devastated since I saw it coming for a while now. But my biggest worry all school year about my job has come true: they're eliminating my position, and I'm forced to find another school to work at next year.

I wrote previously about the mean male teacher colleague who has been belittling me and disrespecting me for years now. He really amped up the rudeness to me this year. He also spends nearly everyday in the principal's office after school, schmoozing and playing Teacher's Pet while probably gossiping about others. I've worried that he is trying to lose me my job here. I heard rumors that the reason he wants me gone is so he can get my classroom. My classroom is bigger than his, has a large walk-in closet for lab supplies, and an attached semi-outdoor greenhouse. He keeps insulting me for not using the greenhouse (as if it's so easy to control such large out of control classes of students with activities like that!! easier said than done). He has somewhat bragged about all the things he'd do and do differently if he had the greenhouse. I have always worried he's been out to get me.

Another person who seems out to get me has been one of my students. She was very rude and rowdy, probably my absolute worst behaved student. When the principal came impromptu to do that observation earlier this year, this girl kept acting up while literally shouting from her seat in the back of the room that she didn't get it, that I can't teach, that my class sucks, and other very negative things. Then when the principal was walking out of my room, the same girl yelled, "Nice knowing ya, Miss [my name]. I know you won't be coming back next year!" I've never felt more humiliated at this job by a student. She purposely made me look bad in front of my boss at a time that I was already having a terrific day beyond my control. Yes, the principal cited her comments and misbehavior for reasons she issued me low ratings on my evaluation. I was so angry at that girl and still angry about it.

That girl ruined my career. As a result, I vowed to never give her anything better than an unsatisfactory behavior rating on her report cards. In our district, we issue two numbers on report cards for each student: a percentage grade, and a number from 1-3 for behavior. 1 is the best, 2 is ok/satisfactory, 3 is bad/unsatisfactory. The behavior rating has no effect on GPA or retention but obviously 3s don't look good. I have given her only 3s on each report card and will never give her any better than a 3 because of what she did. Her behavior has actually improved slightly since then, but screw it, I'm still giving her a 3 this report card.

A few months ago I was using the copy machine after school in the roster office because the usual copy machine was down. I happened to notice a paper left in the copy machine from hours earlier, which indicated that they were looking to cut a few more positions at our school for next year. It indicated that next year they're looking for a biology teacher that's dual certified in biology and Chem, instead of just biology. Since then I worried I would get cut.

In my large urban district, getting cut doesn't necessarily mean fired or laid off (although mass layoffs have definitely happened before). But it does mean having to shop around for teacher vacancies at other schools in the district, and interview at each of those schools as if you're restarting a jobsearch process with a whole new employer. They call this the forced transfer process. I've witnessed people going through it before and it's never fun. It's a lot of extra work and stress. For example, the one former colleague friend I wrote about went through it three or so years ago. She complained a lot about it afterwards. She was a really good teacher here and the principal seemed to like her too, and even my mean male colleague was nicer to her than he is to most. But she ended up force transferred with 3 others when they cut positions here due to lower-than-expected student enrollment. She ended up screwed over, transferred from a school she loved 15mins from home, to a nightmare work situation at a much harder school an hour away. She got a really raw deal. I worry now I will end up like that too. Also, I haven't written a resume or attended an interview in years, decades in fact! Usually it's the newer teachers who get force transferred. I've been here over 20 years. It's mortifying.

I worried for months now that they would look to get rid of me, force transfer me. All year my mean male colleague has taunted me about it, claiming no one likes me and to expect to be force transferred. Today I received confirmation from the principal that yes, I'm being force transferred. She said it really was nothing personal but due to the need to have the biology teacher also teach chemistry. I'm certified in biology and math but not Chem. In fact, I haven't done any Chem since college, and that was over 30 years ago by now.

I am devastated because the job I've been at for most of my career will be no more. All the hard effort, all nighters, and holiday breaks spent working nonstop from home on this job's paperwork has been unappreciated I feel. Even worse, when I told my former colleague friend about it today (the one who got force transferred from this school 3 years ago to a school she hated), she had an I told you so tone while telling me "you should have taken my advice to apply for sabbatical." I don't know if that would have worked either. She claims I would have been untouchable from my position and placement for the duration of time until a year after returning from sabbatical. She claims it's a way I could have avoided the news of a force transfer if I anticipated a possible force transfer. She claims that that's why she extended her maternity leave last year, to avoid possibility of becoming force transferred if she returned to work before the end of the school year. I don't know if that would have worked for me or not. The whole idea of a sabbatical just seemed lazy anyway. I was always raised to work, and work hard, or else I'm doing wrong.

I feel humiliated because I'm worried that word about my impending forced transfer will spread like wildfire and then kids will respect me even less. I've seen and heard of that happening to other teachers who were getting force transferred. Kids stop listening to them or even doing their assignments because they know the teacher will be gone soon. Kids have done this even when it's obvious the teacher is still going to be here for the rest of the school year and isn't leaving until next fall, when these kids will no longer have that teacher's course anymore anyway. It's all about respect and rapport. I dread work tomorrow for fear they'll taunt me about leaving. I fear that same girl will say "I told you so" like my mean colleague and even my former colleague friend.

How can I get through the next month and a half, knowing I won't be back? I'm so hurt by this. On top of all the other stress and work tasks I've had to deal with, now I have to polish up a resume and attend interviews at other schools during my limited after school hours too. Why does it seem like when it rains, it pours? When will it ever get easier?

11 comments posted: Thursday, May 5th, 2022

My brother is angry and no longer speaking to me because he feels I didn't buy enough from his financial planner friend

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a terrific weekend and hopefully have some time to spend with family and loved ones. I need feedback on a situation that has come up for me. It is not related to dating relationships but one with my brother. My brother is two years younger than me. We're not super close but we usually try to communicate with each other fairly regularly. He's the only kinship I have left, as our parents are deceased and I haven't been in much contact with other family/relatives. He used to live only a few minutes away from me, where I live in our childhood home that used to belong to our parents, but about ten years ago moved an hour away to the semi-rural/suburbs because his wife wanted to move there.

Last week he told me about his friend who recently became licensed as a financial planner. He strongly urged me to listen to his friend's presentation on different life insurance and annuity products. He obliged me to host his friend at my house last weekend so his friend could give me his presentation and sales pitch. I had so much work and looming deadlines (for example, interim reports at a time that I'm falling more and more behind with grading, from having more than the maximum capacity of students in each class but one). But he insisted and told me he'd already set up something with his friend to give me the presentation last Sunday afternoon, so I obliged and even cooked lunch for my brother and this friend. His friend was there so long, almost 6 hours! In the last few hours I kept secretly internally panicking about how I was going to have time to get my grades done and other work tasks. I ended up staying up past 1am just to get the most immediate work tasks completed for the next day. Although I already have a state employee pension plan waiting for me at retirement in about 5 years, along with an IRA, I purchased an annuity from this friend mostly to be nice and show gratitude for his time. I thought I'd done my part and that everyone was happy.

Then on Monday evening, my brother phoned me and immediately started reaming me out, telling me how rude and selfish of a person I was. I was stunned. He then said I was in the wrong to buy only a small annuity after all the time his friend had spent at my house, telling me about so many other financial products. He also said I should have bought more stuff because I have less expenses than him due to having no kids and much lower house expenses. I am confused because I thought financial planners give their presentation with no obligation for people to buy anything? Also, didn't I already buy an annuity? He then told me how irresponsible I was for myself. He said I should be spending way more on my retirement because I need more in retirement since I have nobody to take care of me someday due to having no kids, no husband, and no living parents left. I feel very hurt by all the things he said. It still pains me, almost a week later, thinking about the things he said.

Am I the jerk here? Or is he? Should I have bought more products from his friend, considering his friend did spend 6 hours of his weekend talking with me? Then again, I admit a small side of me also kind of resents the fact that I was stuck tying up so much of my weekend work time listening to a presentation when I was already tight on time for getting work tasks completed for my high school teaching job. Who is in the wrong here? My brother still hasn't started talking to me again. Usually he checks in with a phone call at least once a week but this weekend he hasn't. I'm worried that I've lost the one last person from my family who is still alive and talking to me. How can I eventually mend things with him, or should I wait it out? My friend who used to be a colleague told me "f him" and that my brother is not a good person. She has thought bad about him ever since I told her about my brother's affair (it was both PA and EA) he had some years ago. Then again she's never met him or been in my shoes. I still know him and love him as he's my brother. Is she being unduly harsh or is she right, that I shouldn't talk to him?

25 comments posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2022

How should I respond to formerly wayward boyfriend's grunpiness and lack of Easter plans with me?

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a lovely Easter holiday and enjoying the sunny weather. I haven't had any free time at all in recent months it seems, and this is the first day all week I've been able to not work on my schoolwork. I've been on spring break all week from my teaching job but it's been very stressful for me because I've been spending it trying to catch up with all of the work I have and all the new requirements they've had us do recently. These paperwork tasks never seem to end! The students have also been more disruptive and disrespectful than ever it seems. There's been a rumor going around that they're trying to get rid of me, and I can't stop thinking about the possibility of losing my position here. I also don't know where the rumor is originating, but I do worry it might be from a male colleague I'll call Mr. Perch. He's the same colleague who has been really mean to me, and seemingly more meaner than ever to me this year. He literally spends hours each afternoon hanging out in the principal's office after school every day, gossiping and talking to her. I worry about what stuff he might be telling her about me, such as lies and the same false accusations he's hurled at me when I see him in the copy room after school. I really hope he's not trying to sabotage my position here. I've seen what happens when people lose their positions before. They don't necessarily get fired/laid off, but they do have to go through this whole interview process all over again for a different school in the same district that has a vacancy for a teacher with their certs. I really don't want to have to go through that. I've been at this school for 24 years now, and I haven't had to write a resume or attend an interview since! A lot has changed in 24 years! So that has been compounding my stress, hence putting my nose to work all week and really trying to catch up with all of this paperwork. I really, really cannot afford to lose my position here, financially or emotionally.

Then there's R., my sort of boyfriend. He hasn't been much of a boyfriend lately. He's been grumpy and usually we make Easter plans but this year he's been trudging his feet on it. I asked him this morning and he grumbled something about how his mom isn't feeling good so she probably won't have people over for dinner. I asked if we were still getting together but he said "I'll let you know" then never did! Why is he doing this? Do you think he's seeing another woman? I worry this because in the past when he broke up with me for a summer, I found out a year or so later that the reason he broke up with me (or more like, he just stopped calling me and making plans with me) was to chase after a new woman in his neighborhood who he was giving motorcycle rides to all summer long. I worry, and with summer approaching, I am so relieved to have a break from work but it's also a trigger for me because of how he met someone else 8 summers earlier.

At this point I've already reached out to my brother about maybe meeting up at his house for dessert following the Easter dinner he's hosting for his in-laws along with his wife and kids. How should I respond to R.? Am I wrong to feel like I'm being taken for granted? Or should I have more consideration for his report that his mother not feeling well? Should I be sending flowers and a card to his mother to show my sympathy?

42 comments posted: Tuesday, April 19th, 2022

Cookies on®® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20221122 2002-2022® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy