Wednesday, February 06, 2008


From 5:25 to 7:10 am I laid in bed pushing buttons on my cell phone. Seven buttons to call the system. Six to enter my personal identification number.

The light from the screen hurt my eyes and the voice of the automated substitute system screamed in my ear.
'To hear jobs that are available for you to select press 3.'
'To hear another job press 7.'
I must have pressed 7 two hundred times.

Finally I gave up. I gave in. I took a job at a middle school.

Ralph Bunche International Studies Middle School shares a building with Central Visual and Performing Arts High School. Last year I subbed at Central pretty regularly. I’ve only subbed at Bunche once before. It was an ok day during my first year of subbing.

I got to school five minutes after the ringing of the first bell. I told the security guard at the front door that I was a sub and asked her to point me towards the main office. Her directions were to Central’s main office. I clarified that today, I was subbing at Bunche, not Central.

“If you’re subbing at Bunche, you’re in the wrong school.”

Apparently Bunche moved to a different building over the summer. The guard had no idea where it had moved to. Neither did I. She suggested that I go to Central’s main office and see if they knew where I could find Ralph Bunche.

As soon as I walked into the office, the woman behind the desk who I deal with whenever I sub at Central said, “Thank goodness you’re here. Who are you subbing for?”

I told here that I was subbing for a middle school science teacher whose name I couldn’t remember who worked at a school that was no longer located in the building.

“But we really need you today,” she said.

“No problem, I’ll sub here.”

“What about Bunche?”

“I don’t even know where Bunche is.”

And just like that I avoided a day in middle school. I ended up with a job in the sewing room. It was nothing but small groups of well mannered highschool girls all day long.

What number do I need press to get another job like that?


Blogger colin loughlin said...

Looks like the magic number is 7, you just need to press it two hundred times, if you don't believe me reference the second paragraph of your story.

11:31 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home