Monday, March 9, 2009

You can't judge a book by it's cover

Right before Mr. Strong and I got married, we were looking for a new stove to replace the aging one that came with the house we were buying. There was one department store where an obnoxious eager salesman was hoping to land a sale.

As soon as we walked in the store, he came running up to see if he could assist us. When we told him we were looking for a new stove, he proudly pointed to his name tag and pronounced he was the "Appliance Expert."

Sure enough, we looked at the name tag. And it, in fact, said he was the "Appliance Expert."

Honestly, I don't remember much of what the "Appliance Expert" said that day. I was a bit distracted by what one must do in order to become an "Appliance Expert."

Do you have to study the different breeds of appliances? Do you have to go live in the wild while simultaneously learning to coexist with appliances? And is data collected on what kinds of people order a particular color of appliance? I mean, it could be a well known fact that educators usually go for last year's "it" color since the pitiful size of their wallets help with that life altering decision.

And on a different note, why would someone want to become an "Appliance Expert?" I've met many children who have wanted to grow up to be a fireman, a nurse, a teacher, and even a principal. I've never met a future "Appliance Expert."

There are a lot of unanswered questions here and I'd appreciate some wisdom.

About a year after marrying Mr. Strong, I moved up to the position of "Principal." Even if it was never my goal, I do; however, take my job seriously. Why else would I dedicate my life to a mere 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night?

Today, a parent came in and demanded to see the principal (This surprises you? Well, it shouldn't because it happens several times a week.). She was UPSET and stamping her foot about blah, blah, blah and something that happened on the bus. When I walked out of my office, the parent was unable to hide her look of surprise. And I often get that look when someone doesn't know who I am. Many, many parents think I am a teacher. Or maybe even the counselor. But no one EVER walks right up to me and says, "Ah. You must be the principal."

And day after day, I find myself pointing to my name tag to let them know I am the "Principal." And it always takes me right back to that moment with the "Appliance Expert."

So, really. What does a principal look like?

This Tuesday (or Monday evening), the tribute is to my name tag. Without you, I might never be taken seriously.

19 comments:

only a movie said...

People are always surprised at me too (as a teacher). They are expecting someone different.

Although I think it's worse for me as a parent. I rarely get taken seriously until the meeting (and with my kid, there's always a meeting). I sort of feel sorry for my kid's teachers...

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

Oh God I hope you dont have blond hair or big boobs. LOL

Jan said...

So, does this mean if you look up "principal" in the dictionary, your picture isn't there?

(I hope you have blond hair AND big boobs!)

Anonymous said...

Odd enough the bestest by where the appliance expert worked did not sell appliances ,which makes it much easier to become expert.More importantly the principal has blond hair and the rest is just perfect.Mr Strong

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

My principal so looks like the Principal.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I always remember that you're the principal. I left an award for you at my site.

Jane said...

Principals are supposed to be gray-haired. They wear navy blue suits and walk up and down the halls tapping a ruler against their palm. When they visit a classroom, they sit in the back and scowl at the teacher and then invite her into the hall for a "talk". When kids smile at them, they smile back with this plastic smile. They never eat in the lunchroom or the teacher's lounge, and it's a mystery where they are for those 30 minutes until one day you play hooky and see them puffing away on a cigarette while driving up and down some deserted road.

I'm glad I could help. :-)

Candice said...

All of my principles had penises. If you want one so that you could help ease any confusion, I'm sure you could head on over to Eden's fantasies and they could "hook" you up. ;)

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth said...

Only a Movie - As an administrator, I hate going to parent-teacher conferences about my sons. My title makes teachers uncomfortable and therefore, they always bring in waaaay more people than necessary. And they are defensive. And I'm rarely upset.

Sarah - I do have blonde hair. Not so much on the chest though.

Jan - Maybe I should submit a photo to Websters. Great idea!

Anonymous (Mr. Strong) - You are the sweetest! I'll give you extra kisses tonight.

Psuedo - Male or female? Smiling face or no smiling face? I need a visual, please.

Smart Mouth Broad - Thank you for the compliment! And I always remember that I'll get smart mouth comments from you. :)

Jane - Sounds like a principal I had in elementary school. He was terrifying. Note to self: Bring extra perfume to hide smoke scent (kidding).

Candice - Honestly, I think if I had something between my legs, I wouldn't hear some of the things a few parents say. But the big wigs at the Board of Education have something down there. And when parents go to them, those said parents seem to understand that is where the buck stops. Sad but true. Especially when dealing with upset dads.

Gaston Studio said...

Okay, go out and buy some horned rimmed glasses and wear them on a broken shoestring. Then, get a hounds tooth checked suit in very dark colors; always wear the jacket buttoned up. Make sure you have on a half slip that shows under your skirt's hem in the back. Buy a pair of black thick heeled shoes and wear them with support stockings that has little runs on the back of your knees. wear your dirty blonde hair up in a bun, held tight to your head with thousands of pins. And, for the piece de resistance, drench yourself in stale gardenia eau de parfum. Never smile at anyone, when walking down the halls with your ruler in hand, and always respond with a deep throated "hummph" when spoken to.

That's my picture and I'm stickin' to it.

Deb said...

You should make a T shirt that says PRINCIPAL on it and wear it with your tag.

I would love to see their faces!!

Michel said...

HA!! I get the same thing when people find out I am a diplomat. Usually accompanied by a "Oh, I must have been thinking of someone else. I thought diplomats were more....umm...excuse me."

You should give the parents who complain detention and/or homework. They will never do so again.

Crazy Charm said...

@Deb-Ha, that is too funny. You also conjured the image of a tuxedo t-shirt! ha

When I think of a stereotypical principal, memories of Mr. Belding from Saved by the Bell come to mind!

Beth said...

Gaston Studios - Oh. I see. Sounds kind of like the headmaster from the movie Matilda. Scary!

Deb - I would get a "Principal" shirt but that might mean never being able to hide. Ever. And that scares me.

Michel - Now that you mention it, I had a picture of diplomats as being male. And stuffy. And lacking in the sense of humor department. You aren't any of those.

Crazy Charm - Mr. Belding always seemed so clueless. In that regard, we could be a lot alike. :)

Gaston Studio said...

EXACTLY like Matilda's headmaster... and my 3rd grade principal who scared the crap out of me!

Deb said...

i don't know... i am sure part of it is the looks (you are probably way too beautiful to pass as a mean ol' principal. i wonder why librarians get the whole sexy thing, but not the principals??).... however, i think mostly, parents think YOU work for THEM and have no problem being rude, obnoxious and stupid to ANY principal, woman or man. i have seen it with my very own eyes.

anymommy said...

Kind of a nice thing to be able to catch people off guard like that. I'm not sure what my name tag should say. Mess expert? Minivan loading trainee?

Sunny said...

Amen.