Not in My Job Description

NaBloPoMo Day 5: What’s something you’ve done for your work that wasn’t exactly in the job description?

Considering this prompt, my gut instinct was, Everything. But as a Secretary on a large High school campus my job description included: create and maintain student disciplinary files; answer phones, assisting Parents as needed; assist Assistant/Associate Principal(s) as needed; enter/extract/analyze data; support Teachers/Staff members as needed. Basic support staff, office-y stuff.

Here’s what I routinely did outside my job description:

Provide spontaneous rhymes for Students creating last-minute Promposals;

Provide small chocolates in place of Xanax for Teachers about to go off on 7th period class whose antics would test the patience of Jesus Christ himself;

Stock Cup O’Noodles and Goldfish crackers for Students not poor enough to qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch, but whose lunch account ran dry 3 days prior to Momma’s payday;

Provide hiding place for weeping/about to lose it/exhausted colleague; hold said colleague as she weeps;

Teach frustrated Student how to work through a VRU to get an actual person on the phone so PSAT scores can be delivered to her college of choice, pronto;

Assure Student who scored poorly on PSAT test it is not the end of the world, find upcoming dates for Tutorials and to retest, hold Student as she weeps;

Assist Student first-in-her-family-to-earn-Academic Letterman jacket in filling out overly-complicated order form;

Confidentially alert Teachers of Students currently having a bad life episode, such as parent losing job/hospitalized or incarcerated/sibling/girlfriend/boyfriend crisis, best friend betrayal;

Provide listening ear to parent of child going dangerously off the rails; hold parent while she weeps;

Provide listening ear to child going dangerously off the rails/with parent off the rails/being bullied/just broken up with/about to get into a fight. Hold said child as she/he weeps;

Remind Parent of Student who has pulled bone-headed maneuver the Law frowns upon murder, even when said Student needs murdering. Assure Parent that This Too Shall Pass, and It Will Be Okay – I know, I survived, and So Will You.

Pray for Students, Faculty, School – Every. Day.

This is by no means a comprehensive list and I am not special or unique – Teachers and Staff are doing all these things and more, every day, in under-funded, under-staffed schools all over our country.

Keep them in your prayers? Please.

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