Wednesday, September 28, 2005


One of my tasks, lately, is getting the paperwork filled out to apply for my teaching credential in Oregon. This has involved a number of Forms.
  1. Ordering transcripts for all post-secondary education.
  2. C-2, Program Completion Report - filled out at teacher education institution (for me, Mills College).
  3. Professional Experience Report (PEER) - filled out by Human Resources "Superintendent" at the school district where I am currently employed.
  4. Fingerprints (on a card, w/verification form from the print-roller).
  5. Actual application - to be filled out by me.
All of these except (5) need to be Filled Out, Signed, and Sealed In Their Own Official Envelopes with a Signature across the Seal, to be included in my now-quite-bulky application packet.

I have control over almost all of these items - The transcripts are no problem (and I always order 2 or 3 at a time, I know I'm going to need more in the future). I paid $20 last Saturday to have my fingerprints rolled by the same gentleman who rolled them last year when I was getting my name changed on my credential (and for that one I had to have the California-required Live Scan, which costs a lot more). I knew that the PEER one wasn't going to be too much trouble, because the people at Mills take care of business and are friendly and competent.


The Form for the district HR to complete. That one scared me.

Our district has a reputation for inefficiency, insolvency, and bloat. Amongst the school personnel in our district, the District Administration (referred to as "The District" or "Downtown") has a reputation for inefficiency, bloat, confusion, incompetence, neanderthalism, stupidity and cover-your-assedness as well as Pass the Buck, What Buck, We Don't Got No Buck, We Don't Got To Show You No Steeenkin Buck.

Oh, and since Dr. Randolph "I Don't Give A Damn About My Reputation" Ward took over as State Fuhrer, whoops, Administrator, they've been shuffling organization and departments and staffing downtownl like a poker deck, and every office is full of packing boxes, and I was really unsure about who the Head of HR du jour was going to be. Turns out that person is on vacation anyway.

So I was really worried about getting this Form back in time to mail it in with the rest of my packet. This is the District where one of the first things I learned was to photocopy ahead of time any Form you had to take Downtown, and to have whoever took your form time-stamp your copy as "received." So at least, when (not if) your Form was lost, you had copies of it, and you had Evidence for whoever it was that the Form was for that you had, in fact, dropped it off, and that it disappearing had nothing to do with you.

So I had my photocopies ready, as well as a cover letter to drop off with the Form with instructions to contact me when the Form was completed. And not a whole lot of hope that I would ever get my Form back. I left our staff meeting today early in order to get Downtown before closing (they close at 4pm and most schools don't get out until 3:15, what's the sense in that anyway? We have minimum days on Wednesdays, so it's actually possible to get there then). I found the right room (HR has moved, surprise, surprise) and by the sheerest STROKE OF GOOD LUCK, there was a friendly and somewhat weary man behind the front desk who apparently HAD THE AUTHORITY TO FILL OUT MY FORM ON THE SPOT!

But I'm jumping ahead, and I just gave away the end of the story. Damn that enthusiasm.

I signed in and got to listen to the concerns of the person who was in front of me in the queue. This was a young Former Teacher at the District who had not, apparently, learned the all-important lesson about the photocopies and the time stamps. He sounded quite irate that his Form had disappeared several times before and so now he was trying to get his Form in on a tight deadline. He commented several times about how Hard He Had Worked and how Badly He Had Been Treated and, incidentally, that's why he is teaching in Vallejo, now. And if he didn't get his Form in to them by October 1, they were going to put him lower on the pay scale than his experience warranted. The weary man took his Form and said he would do what he could. What was really good was that every time the Young Former Teacher said that Weary Man's office had LOST HIS FORM, Weary Man said a vague sort of, "Oh?" Eventually their business was completed, and YFT left the office (without his form).

My turn next. I've got this habit that I think I must have picked up from my mother where when I really want to get my way, I get all sweet and chatty. I was sweet and chatty with Weary Man, and I said, well I have this Form to be filled out, it's for my Oregon Credential, and I think it's a fairly simple Form - (At this point he looks up my data on the computer and finds my seniority date) - And I've been at the same school the entire time teaching the same subjects - (He starts filling out my Form) - And Oh! I would be ever so happy to be able to take it with me today, you see, it has to be sent in with the rest of my packet to be official.

Since I already gave it away, you know that I did, in fact, leave with my Form, Sealed in an Envelope and with a Signature Across the Seal. I LEFT WITH MY FORM. I HAVE IT. THE ONE THAT WAS GOING TO BE THE HEADACHE/ULCER CAUSING ONE, THAT I THOUGHT I WOULD NEVER GET BACK.

I'm a little excited about that. And smiling still, and my packet is almost complete.