I often think that I am the sort of guy that attracts disaster. I’m the sort of person who laughs outwardly at those unfortunate stars of ‘You’ve Been Framed’ who run into the closed glass doors at full pelt or slip on black ice, whereas inside I am secretly remembering the moment when it was my face hitting the solid glass or nursing the bruise on my arse after yet another frosty morning. That’s me; I really shouldn’t be let out alone. Ever.
Now it might come as a surprise to you that as I am 'that sort of person' I should make my career by imparting my limited knowledge on the youth of today. Noble you say? Unlikely! I view the workplace as merely a larger venue in which to stage the comedy of errors that is my daily life. A captive audience of thirty of the harshest critics you are ever like to encounter; let the games begin!
So after arriving at work at the usual ungodly hour I went about my business prepping for another busy day, checking off the various things on the obligatory ‘to do’ list and after seeing how many Post-It notes I can cover my desk with, I paid my daily visit to the store cupboard.
My recent mission has been to inflict some of my organisational skills on those around me and in doing so I have discovered the benefits of many plastic wallets, and most recently coloured plastic wallets.
So on my way back from said store room with a replenished supply of wallets balanced precariously I was ambushed by a small step that sprung out and attacked my foot. But that could have happened to anyone right? Of course! And the subsequent dropping on the wallets is again completely plausible. It was not until I reached down to gather up those escaping wallets that I felt the twang and heard the ripping of material.
Realising that I am now in a situation that no amount of plastic wallets can save me from, I decide it’s time to check for damage. Sneakily reaching to the back of my trousers, I feel the frayed material and start to establish the severity of my current situation. Realising that my underwear is suddenly on display in a considerably hostile environment, I am hit with one further piece of crucial information; today was laundry day. This could mean only one thing; those unsightly cartoon strip boxers that had remained hidden in my draw since the dawn of time were now the only thing concealing my decency. Whilst I’m sure that the educational content of the plot line that was developing on my left cheek would ultimately result in some sort of thrilling climax by the time the cartoon strip reached my right one, this was not the type of literature I was used to working with!
Think Jack, think!
There was only one thing for it. I had to get help and this would mean leaving my classroom and facing the growing crowds now culminating in the corridors. So with my arse pressed against the wall to conceal the final remnants of my decency, my perilous journey to the staff office began.
It was on my arrival here, and feeling a miniscule amount of smugness that my arse sliding plan had worked a treat, that I then had to sheepishly knock on the deputy-head’s door.
“Are you feeling unwell?” was her first response as I entered the room looking decidedly flushed.
“If only!” I thought as I turned a deeper shade of mortified after seeing her puzzled yet slightly critical look.
For some unknown reason, as I began to recount the trouser rippage incident, the hilarity of this situation hit me at full force, and I was left not only with my underwear on display, but now completely bereft of the power of logical though or speech. Needless to say I was sent home to rectify my situation and told to return once I had regained composure.
It was not until last week that this incident reared its ugly head for one final blow. When marking one of my student’s books, I found this anecdote;
“As a teacher I thought that buying a pair of substandard trousers from a certain high street chain was a good idea. It was not. Not only did I embarrass myself, I lost the respect of all colleagues and students.”
A footnote followed;
“It’s ok Sir, we like that you’re an idiot”
In a final blow to an already traumatic event, my life has been turned into an anecdote about failure by a thirteen year old.
But at least my idiocy is valued.