The New Social Control of 2019

Mar 12, 2019 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy –

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Interesting things happen as we enter a new year- people ( invariably administrators) learn new tactics, techniques and strategies for coercion and to work people harder and harder – and to get them to do more and more work in less and less time.

A teacher wrote to me about a principal who sent a follow up e-mail that went something like this:

” Have you had a chance to follow up on those tasks I asked you to follow up on LAST MONTH??”

Now, the only thing wrong with this picture is that the previous e-mail was sent Feb 28, and the follow up e-mail was sent March 2nd. Now, I don’t know the tasks or the teacher’s duties obligations and responsibilities- but I found this of interest.

Another teacher wrote in a similar vein. ” My principal asked me to do something on a Friday afternoon, then approached me Monday morning to see if this task had been completed”. The message here- is that either the teacher is expected to work miracles or to work over the weekend completing whatever tasks are assigned.

The good thing about e-mail is that it keeps track of messages sent and when, and the other good thing is that people can send ” Out of Office ” messages. Teachers should use these “Out of Office” messages to clearly indicate when they may be hospitalized, or at a funeral or undergoing day surgery, or perhaps having ROOT CANAL procedures ( they are much shorter than in previous decades- but are still painful)

By capitalizing ROOT CANAL, one is able to send the message that ” Hey I am going to be in a lot of pain, and will be recuperating for a certain length of time- so cut me some slack here”.

Recently, I had my five year colonoscopy. As some of you know, this involves fasting, and then sitting on the toilet after you drink this stuff– that even makes the pharmacist cringe when they sell it to you- and wish you the best of luck. 

Then of course there are the sign in procedures. Somewhat akin to purchasing a house – make sure you know your astrological sign and bring ALL your medicines with you in the original bottles- you know the drill.  So, this takes about two days to prepare, and one day for the procedure, and typically another day or two before you are able to manage a class of 20 or 30 kids or less.

So, welcome to our Brave New World. If anyone knows of any other administrative tactics conducted by the commando paper pushers, let me know !

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