Superpaige's Pad

The Trials of a Busy Mom

I guess I’d be grouchy, too.

I got a call from Cole this morning from the middle school at about 8:30. Now you know how I feel about calling before 9:00, right? So, of course I knew that nothing good could come from this phone call. On the other end of the line is Cole, and I can barely hear him. “Mom, they won’t let me have my yearbook because I have a fine.” Great. I try to ask him how much of a fine, and did wasn’t there some kind of note he should have given me, and what is the fine for, etc. He’s just getting more and more upset, and he sounds like he’s about in tears. He doesn’t know any of those things, so I ask him to go over and ask how much of a fine it is, and then to call me back.

Maybe I can just take care of this myself, I thought to myself, as I called the school office.
“Hi, my son says he has a fine, and I’d like to find out how much that is so we can get that take care of.”

“I can’t transfer you to the financial secretary because she’s got a line of about 40 kids all trying to figure out the same thing,” the secretary said to me in a very snippy voice. She was obviously not going to be any help at all.

“Well, is there any way…” I started asking.

“If you’d like to come here and stand in line with these kids, I’m sure she can tell you how much the fine is,” she said. Yeah, that’s REALLY what I want to do. That’s why I was calling. To avoid standing in line with about 40 kids. 40 kids just like Cole, who didn’t bother to let their parents know that they had a fine, and are now all upset because they can’t get their yearbooks. Please, can I stand in line with them? Please?

I thanked the rude secretary and hung up. I was feeling really irritated that she was so rude to me and was obviously NOT going to help me.

But as I got ready for my day (hair, makeup, find John’s shoes, etc.), I realized that that poor secretary is probably just barely hanging on to her sanity. It’s the last full day of school, for heaven’s sake. She’s made it through the other 178 days and she’s probably really REALLY tired of all those kids. Kids just like my kid. Instead of being irritated with her because she couldn’t help me, I should have taken her a diet coke when I went over to pay the silly fine. (Cole called back about 20 minutes later and said it was $13, so I asked him to meet me at the front of the school in 15 more minutes so he could pay his fine and pick up his yearbook. We’ll discuss what in the world this fine was for and who will be paying for it later.) But, not knowing the secretaries at that school at all, I didn’t do that. But I hope they survive their last few days of school, and, like all the teachers out there and people who work at the schools, I hope they enjoy their summer break.


  1. You are right but sometimes when I call the school, I think, “Come on, we are just trying to be good, on top of it parents, can’t you at least be civil with me? I’m not asking you to do anything that is above your job description. Just be nice.” Maybe I will try dropping off a Diet Coke every once in while next year and see if that helps.

  2. What a great perspective. Maybe the secretaries should also bring the parents a diet coke 🙂 !!

  3. The school charges you fines? Did you figure out what the heck that was for?

  4. On Friday, I emailed the financial secretary, trying to be as nice and polite as possible, considering the horible day she must have had the day before, and asked what the fine was for. She emailed me back and said that his fine was for band music that he hadn’t turned in. Great, kid. So, yes, he’ll be paying me back for that one.

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