by Jeanne Hambleton ©

I am fed up with this weather – not great for a fibromite – wet and cold today were I am in the UK and I hate it and feel SAD. So I decided to brighten my day and look at some funny emails. I must thank Linda for the rude ones and this one – it made me laugh out loud…… I wonder if there is any truth in it?

And they say schooldays are the best days in your life…somehow I do not remember any of this. I think I must have had a sickie that day or been standing outside the classroom for some misdemeanour. But it does make you think.

I enjoyed reading this missive – whether it is true or not… but between ourselves I would not want to be a teacher these days … not for all the tea in China …and as a fibromite I would be lost without my cup of tea. It helps my get-up-and-go and I have enough trouble with that without being deprived of my cuppa.

Having been a news reporter for many years I always had a cup of tea on the desk when I was writing …albeit hot or cold. Nothing changes except they say caffeine is not good for fibromites… but who cares.

Subject: You will love this one!!! But it is alleged and without prejudice


This is the message that apparently a Secondary School staff in the Midlands voted unanimously to record on their school telephone answering machine.

This is the actual answering machine message for the school. It came about because they implemented a policy requiring students and parents to be responsible for their children’s absences and missing homework.

The school and teachers are now being threatened with legal action by some parents who want their children’s failing marks changed to passing marks – even though those children were absent 15-30 times during the term and did not complete enough schoolwork to pass their various key stages.

(I have not read about this in the newspapers, have you?)

The outgoing message:

‘Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right member of staff, please listen to all the options before making a selection:

• * To lie about why your child is absent – Press 1

• * To make excuses for why your child did not do his/her work- Press 2

• * To complain about what we do – Press 3

• * To swear at staff members – Press 4

• * To ask why you didn’t get information that was already enclosed in your
Newsletter and several other letters posted to you – Press 5

• * If you want us to bring up your child – Press 6

• * If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone – Press 7

• * To request another teacher, for the third time this year -Press 8

• * To complain about bus transport – Press 9

• * To complain about school lunches – Press 0

• LASTLY: If you realize this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behaviour, class work, homework and that it is not the teachers’ fault for your child’s lack of effort: Hang up and have a really wonderful day! If you want this in other languages, you must be in the wrong country. This is England.’

What can I say? In my day you got three strokes of the cane for bad behaviour and all that stuff. Believe me after that you would not have been able to sit on any ‘naughty spot’…. if you now what I mean. Do you think this is unreasonable behaviour by teachers even if it is not true? Would love to see your comments? Jeanne


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