The End of the Tether

Yesterday, I hit a wall at work. Everyone has those days: the days where you go and have a little cry in the bathroom or need to take 10 minutes to breathe deep until you have to get back on the horse. Unfortunately, working with children and young peeps, you can't always take that 10 minutes to decompress. And eventually, that is when you hit "The End of the Tether".


Think of this post like "The Tether", a piece of string. Every day, you reset, but unfortunately you don't always start your day at the beginning of the string - it all depends on how your day before was, your quality of sleep, how early you have to wake up. It's naive to say you start fresh every day - we are not goldfish.


|8AM - I wake up. I'm on a late start - I have to start work at 12:30PM and I will work 10 hours. |That's fine, I can have a chill morning. I bought some new gear for my fish tank, so I pimp my tank |and my fish is living the dream, but also I'm thinking "will he die because I've changed all the |water??? I am a bad fish Mum help".

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|11AM - bath time yay! I love a bath. Oh the water's all tepid and not enjoyable, and I can't get |the bath water right... oh well it's only a bath. Get out the bath, check on fish, still alive. I'm going |to do my make up cos I have time and I feel great. Well I don't feel great because it's that time of |the month and I am cranky and chubby and my skin feels awful. But oh well, that's life, I'll put on |my favourite suit. But the hem of one of my trousers has come undone... but oh well, I ask my |Work Mum if she can help and she says she will bring my some hemming tape tomorrow, |buzzing.

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|12:30PM - lunch time yay! Oooh yay it's spaghetti! Oh no, it's chicken korma, and it tastes of |absolutely nothing. Oh well, eat the vegetables you will feel nourished. Or, you will feel nothing. I |don't even feel more full... but oh well, I'll just have a snack later, I bought myself a cookie at the |weekend and I will eat it later I will be fine.

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|13:00PM - estates man that I just know hates my guts, comes to me asking about a chair that's in |my boarding house corridor "all the slats have been taken off, what's happened??" Because |naturally, I have sixth sense and hidden cameras everywhere and I know what is happening all |the time. "Well, honestly I haven't been down there yet today but I will investigate when my boys |come back tonight!" (In my head I have an idea of who it is of course because I know my kids).

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|13:30PM - we need more paperwork to be printed, but I can't find it online. I guess I'll just have |to redo the whole document and reprint it. That's fine I just about have time.

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|14:00PM - I realise that I have had to use 3 printers today, and every single one has required me |to add more paper. Only a small inconvenience, no worries, at least it's not a paper jam, what a |nightmare that would be. Get an email from medical centre; one of my boys had an appointment |booked and decided not to go. Obviously that's my fault...not.

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|14:30PM - 6 big heavy bags of laundry arrive from House Keeping. They all need sorting and |laying out for the boys to collect. It's all personal laundry - the worst type because most of it isn't |named. I pull the bags into the boarding house, in my big fancy heels I naively chose to wear |today of all days, and I pull my back out in the process. I had a massage at the weekend, that |was a waste of time. But oh well, just an excuse to get another one...!

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|14:50PM - I have to print and do a few jobs around the school site so I'm off out. But someone |has locked the main door to my building, and I don't have a key... Oh well, I will do the |responsible thing, as I am A Responsible Adult, and I will call Security to get the door unlocked. I |am great. While I wait for them, I'll go and print out that stuff, get a job ticked, I am great at |multitasking... Oh, I forgot to actually send it to print... Oh well, I'll just go back up to my office, |reprint the sheet, and then I'll go out.

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|15:30PM - I realise I haven't seen my boyfriend in a day because we're both so busy actually |doing our jobs. Caught between feeling lost and feeling super productive.

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|16:30PM - I chat with my suspects for the chair, noone owns up but they all look at each other slyly. There's nothing I can do. Estates will probably come down on me tomorrow. I'll just explain it'll be fine... they look to cocky though. I hate that.

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X <-- I am starting to snap.

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|17:00PM - Yay it is dinner time. I explain to my coworker I am starving so he let's me go first, and |as a bargain I say I will do the dinner supervision duty - I am a good egg. Except I get down there |and no-one has come for the first supervision duty session. Oh well, people forget sometimes, I bet |they will be down any minute. I'll just start the duty for them so it isn't carnage.

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|17:35PM - Still on the duty, someone comes to relieve me but I've got to do the duty from 17:45 |anyway so see no point. I have just taken on 3 young students who have been misbehaving in |another house. One of their old staff comes to me to gloat about how shit they are (they honestly |aren't that bad), and then proceeds to give me tasks, like I don't have enough to do.

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X

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|18:00 - Most students have left. A few have come through without masks and given me dirty looks |when I ask for them to put them on. It's only been a year of the pandemic, it's not like I am asking |for anything crazy....

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|18:20PM - I am finally out of the undercroft after 2 students decided to come in late and then take |a full half hour to lazily eat their spaghetti carbonara. The catering staff try talking to me about |how hard their lives are. I am deadpan the whole time, I don't really want to hear it.

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|18:35PM - I've collected our Ramadan meal, I'm carrying more printing for the house, I am |walking back to house. I see in the distance some of my boys playing outside. I think oh how |lovely they are making the most of the sun... oh no wait. They are kicking their ball, and trying to |get it into the open door/ window I have in my flat. I had opened it earlier to get some fresh air |flowing through to the office. They see me coming and scatter. I go and find them when I get in |and give them a giant bollocking. I go to my room and have a little weep. This is supposed to be |my home, and these boys are the ones that I thought had the most respect for me. Evidently, not.

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X

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|19:30PM - laundry is still not done, and those new students I took on have to fill in a damage |statement for something that happened in their last house. They're young, and it takes half an hour |to fill in a page that usually takes 10 minutes. I muster all the patience I have left and get them |through it. I give them instructions for the next hour: electronics hand in, shower, pyjamas, get |ready for the next day, get in bed by the time I see them at 20:30PM. Easy, simple, they'll |definitely do everything, or at least some of what I asked.

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|19:45PM - Year 10 want to go to the sports hall. And they can...except the ones that were trying |to kick their ball into my room. Obviously, I am now the devil. I hate being the devil.

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X

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|20:30PM - I go and check on the new students, and instead of doing what I asked, they have |decided to throw water everywhere, soaking their carpet, their walls, their wardrobes. They've |also not go changed into pyjamas, or got ready for the next day. And they're laughing as I am |trying to tell them off. Nothing pisses me off more. I muster the last ounce of calm that I have, sort |them out, and leave. There's an hour and a half left of my shift, I don't know what else I can give.

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X

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|21:00PM - Year 8 and 9 electronic hand in runs smoothly, but they seem to have forgotten that |they have to go back to their own rooms and stay there after they have handed in their electronics. |If it is one or two, or an emergency, I usually let it slide. But quite frankly tonight, they're taking the |piss. I shepherd them to their rooms as I go to my next task - only one of my year 10s has to hand |in his electronics every night, and every night he acts surprised, even though it was his mother that |requested it. Tonight, he's downloading a game. I stand at the door waiting, in silence, for his |game to finish downloading, then for him to pack up his belongings... this takes 8 minutes.

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X

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|21:30PM - We're still doing the laundry, it never ends. We have no laundry cupboard so we lay |the laundry out on the sofa in the corridor. It looks messy, this makes me tense. The year 10s are |still giving me the cold shoulder, so I offer to keep doing laundry while my amazing co-worker |does the next stage of routine. I am very thankful for this. So I spend my time folding the pants of the students who evidently don't respect me, or my job. Am I too good for folding underpants? Surely...?!

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X

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|22:10PM - YESSS THE LAUNDRY IS DONE!!! And my boyfriend and I finally can make some |time to catch up. I can't wait to tell him about my day it was not good. But when we get to the |staff area, someone else is already there, and they've also had a bad day, and because we are |"managers", we have to listen and give advice rather than be able to decompress together from |the day. Guess I'll just have to see him tomorrow.... I get back to house, discharge my co-worker |because he's done an amazing job this week, and I go to bed. I am done.


I've never needed my bed before. And now I get to do it all again today.



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