Saturday, March 24, 2007

Either pour a drink or move on

Tipsy blogging. Never a good idea. So here I go!

Best thing about starting your period? Damn straight. Drinking. On the bar tonight? A lovely bottle of 2004 Estate, Sonoma County, Pinot Noir by Nicholson Ranch. Yummmy. I have had one glass and I'm hitting the delete button at least half as much as the letters I am typing.

And yet I continue. Brilliant.

I hate selling my house. We have now changed everything down to the paint colors of my most beloved kitchen. And the realtor says, "It just looks perfect now." Great. I liked it before. So not the point, I know. But still. It was perfect before dammit.

That was a tangent, by the way. Here is the real blogging now.

In 2005, I was fired from one of my jobs. Luckily, it was the job I hated, so in the end, I was much better off. But still, for those of you who have been fired, it sucks.

"Hello, you suck ass. Leave now and give us your key."


The double ouch was that they called me in for a noon meeting, fired me, and then I had to dash off to a 2:00 funeral of one of my students. She was 6 years old, the most beautiful and bubbly student I had, and she was killed in a car accident. Her father accidentally ran a stop sign on a country highway and that was it. He survived. Physically that is. If you think about it, pray for that family on May 30. I do at least once a week, but that day in particular.

Anyway, the women who fired me accused me of trying to take over the school. My confusion was that the head woman had asked me to take over. She had asked for advice and help on making the school a more viable business.

Lesson #1: When your boss asks for help on a helpless situation, either shut the hell up or stroke their ego and tell them how awesome of a job they are doing. Look for other work in the meantime.

Lesson #2: When co-head woman milks the school for all the money she can all the while farming out 90% of her responsibilities to the other teachers and paying them a generous $10 per hour for work that she is already being, you shouldn't tell her that you prefer to teach her how to do her job once instead of you doing it month after month.

Lesson #3: When you know you are being screwed out of your mind, and you know your students are being screwed out of their hard earned cash, make the decision to leave yourself. Don't wait around out of some twisted loyalty for things to get better. They won't.

Lesson #4: Even though you work for a nonprofit organization, that doesn't mean that they are aware that their tax returns are public record. If they tell you they are in financial trouble and can't afford to give the teachers but a $0.25 per hour raise, don't expect them to know that you can download their financial records off the internet and present them. In complete oblivion that they were lying in the first place. As in, "Someon is giving you wrong information. You have plenty of money. See?" I can be so dumb.

So I've learned a lot. A lot of stuff I probably already knew but wasn't in a mental or emotional state to realize.

Now, two years later, the head and co-head have imploded upon each other. No surprise to me or T, but apparently a surprise to the rest of this area. And today, I took a look at the new websites for the school I used to work for and the school that the former co-head started (hence the implosion).

I cannot believe how many resemblances there are to my studio website. My studio name. My studio logo.

And yet, I am my own studio. I am not in competition with their schools. Not really. I am not soliciting students because I already have a waiting list. Plus, I don't have an overhead to meet really. I'm finally teaching for the love of teaching. That, and to pay for the fantabulous piano sitting in the other room.

What I want to know is this. If I had been trying to take over (which I wasn't), then did you really think it was that bad of a plan? I mean, if you are going to model yourselves after what works for me, can you really expect me to believe that I had bad ideas?

Not really. Just bad presentation.

Lesson #5: Presentation is everything.