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This is what I get for doing repairs!

JanF | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

You might remember that a while ago I had a rant about finally deciding that repairs/alterations aren’t always worth it.
It was confirmed today in school!
One – (shall we say challenging)young man of 14 came into my room just before afternoon bell and asked one of my co-workers for a needle and cotton to mend his split trousers.
I thought “by the time I go and get it for her to give to him its as easy for me to just whip it back up on the machine- I’ll do him a favour!”
So I went to my storeroom – told him to get in and hand me his trousers through the gap in the door and I’d do it for him quickly – at the time thinking “poo – he has got a flatulence problem!”
I did the quick repair, put the trousers through a small gap in the doorway(mustn’t go in or open it too far in case of any chance of seeing anything etc etc. )
He didn’t/wouldn’t come out!
I was thinking – come on – I need the loo before lessons!
Would he come out?
Finally a male member of staff was summoned only to find he’d gone to the toilet on my storeroom floor!
Accident or deliberate? – we’ll find out tommorrow!
I couldn’t cope with a class waiting to come into my next lesson as well- House Head was contacted!!
I’ve now finally decided that I’m never, never, never going to spend my spare time doing f”’f”’ing repairs!!
If anyone still wants to spend time repairing – I could probably get you a job!!!
Jan(on the old wine to feel better!)


  1. stitchintime | | #1

    My husband's colleague has a saying - "no good turn goes unpunished".  Poor you. The child either needs a gastroenterologist or a psychiatrist.

    May we all learn from this. Next time someone asks for a needle and thread - hand it to them.

    Have another drink. Cheers.



    1. JanF | | #7

      How right you are!
      of course now my head of faculty has said to me - just dont do any repairs!!(after laughing his socks off!) Typical male response - so easy for them to divorce themselves from feeling sorry for a kid! - Which is what I was doing!
      Whereas -me - being a Mum just thinks practically - get the job done - hope someone would do the same for my child in school!
      Ah well - you live and learn I suppose - but it seems the "accident" needs further investigation now - thankfully Head of House can do it - not me!
      I await an outcome!!

  2. jatman | | #2

    Oh my GOD!  I'm laughing so hard, I can't stop.  That is absolutely hilarious...and very gross.  Thank you for sharing!


    P.S.  If it's any consolation - that kid won't EVER live that down.  He'll have to go away to a college where he knows NO ONE in order to escape that story!


    Edited 1/11/2007 3:10 pm ET by jatman

    1. JanF | | #8

      Youre not the only one to laugh!
      My Head of Faculty - and a few other staff think its a brill. story - and I'm sure it will be dined out on for a few faculty p...ups!
      However, the plot thickens as Head of House goes "digging" for reasons why he did it!!
      I'll let you know if this "accident" has a funny ending!!
      Ah well - I'll continue to brighten everyones day with whatever funny goings on materialise next week - the offending "depositor" wasn't in school today!

  3. Teaf5 | | #3

    Maybe he was too embarrassed to sprint to the bathroom bare-bottomed? Most boys around here sag their pants so low that they're always bare-bottomed anyway, but it's possible that boy had two conflicting needs and his body decided for him.

    1. JanF | | #9

      Actually - he apparently had taken off his underpants before the accident too - stranger and stranger!!
      Mind u - I didn't see this - the male member of staff filled me in on this little titbit!
      Teaching is never a dull occupation!

  4. Ralphetta | | #4

    You win today!  No one can possibly top that story.

    For the rest of my life..any time someone mentions mending pants I will think of your experience.  (You've given me an excuse to decline mending pants forever.)

    1. JanF | | #10

      I agree - let them do their own repairs!
      Mind u I'm going to find it difficult to say to any kid who comes to my room now that I cant do them- heres the needle - do it yourself, without feeling a bit of a cow!
      You would be surprised how many members of staff send things to me - "can u just do something quickly for me?" and I never have been good at "just saying no!"
      At last Ive decided thatI can quote Health and Safety and send them to the school office....but I know I'm going to find this tricky to do!!

  5. adelinarose | | #5

    Golly JanF! Now, I am afraid to do ANY favours at all. I wo'n't even make any suggestions. Thanks for the laugh. Sorry!


    1. JanF | | #11

      Well u know what they say about people trying to "spread a little sunshine everyday"
      I've done my quota for quite a lot of people actually - fellow colleagues have had a field day at my expense 2day!
      I've lost count of the number of times Ive been asked "veiled" questions about repairs!!
      Mind u - it makes the day go faster!

  6. user-51823 | | #6

    i'm with teafs. that's probably why he wanted to do it himself at first anyway. but it is a puzzler as to why he priorited mending before toilet. i guess it was the embarrassment factor.
    hate to bring in a somber note, but i hope bullying was not involved. accident in the pants and the pants torn sounds suspicious. can you talk to the boy?

    Edited 1/12/2007 12:02 pm ET by msm-s

    1. JanF | | #12

      Actually - Head of House is following things up - but the "offender" is a bit of a weird kid anyway - which is why fellow members of staff are having a field day at my expense with the odd "store-room jokes !"
      Iv'e decided its just me - I attract weirdos!

      1. user-51823 | | #13

        still, weird kids are the ones who attract bullies. i am not without a sense of humor, but this story leaves me sad for the poor kid. either way, he has problems.on a brighter note, i know how you can stem your repair "business" and still say yes with a bright sweet smile. monday, mount a file pocket on your door with a big label "Work Orders", with an IN and an Out folder. get on your computer and create a detailed work request form, preferably 2 pages or more. when someone approaches you, smile "sure!" and have them fill out the form. name, adress, phone #s, date of birth, ss#, emergency contacts, etc. Boxes to check for health conditions that might affect clothing, such as incontinence, hyperactive sweat glands, etc. A whole section to fill out with their height, weight, estimated measurements (insert a disclaimer that if in the course of your work you find these measurements incorrect, it voids the work order and they must fill out a completely new form with correct data which you will NOT help them obtain). detailed description of garment to be repaired. detailed description of repair requested. detailed description of how it came to need repair. estimated age of garment.state in bold at bottom of form that all work orders are guaranteed in, but not necessarily before, 2 weeks. have a line for their signature and a short line for their superior's initials.
        you might also insert a boxed section boldly labelled: "To be filled out by bookkeeping ONLY". inside the box create a timesheet. be sure to make note of hourly rate (BTW, what does a pro seamstress in your area charge?) Hope this helps!

        Edited 1/12/2007 3:54 pm ET by msm-s

        1. fabricholic | | #14

          HEALTH CONDITIONS. You are too much. I am getting stares because I am laughing at my desk.Marcy

          1. user-51823 | | #16

            speaking of health conditions, be sure to have 5 lines devoted to "Other:"

          2. fabricholic | | #17

            I wonder what kind of weird is he; could he be weird and very quiet or weird and on the edge kind of mean? What do you think? Maybe with a weird home life.Marcy

          3. user-51823 | | #18

            don't know, and IMO that's why the situation calls for quiet tact and caring investigation. no reason sounds particularly lightweight or laughable to me: prank, bullying or even accident. if it was a simple accident, it could have a more harmful after-effect than whatever caused it, given the age of the boy (14, just about the worst time in all "weird kids" lives, and not any bed of roses for the normal ones), and how it all happened. if i had accidentally messed my pants and pooped in a school closet at that age, i can tell you i would have been too embarrassed to live, let alone return to school or even leave the house.
            i love eccentrics and support kids marching to their own drummer and not trying to be a clone of the popular kids. but these days weird can equal dangerous to self and others. weird can come back to school armed and wipe out everyone who laughed at them. the scene described here reminds me of stephen king's Carrie, when she got her first period in the school shower and was laughed at by the girls and even, reluctantly at first, her teacher. carrie's particular kind of vengeance couldn't happen in the real world, but her anger and violence can and does. so just be gentle, janokeydoke- back to more details to add to that work order form...

            Edited 1/12/2007 11:21 pm ET by msm-s

          4. JanF | | #21

            Joking aside - and this is only between me - other posters and my immediate superiors at school (others in the department had to know circumstances to put a sequence of solutions in place) I might be making a joke of it on here but believe me I do have sensitivity at school!
            The event is under investigation through the proper caring House system we operate at school!
            My problem - if u want to call it that is how to approach it when i come across him in school corridor or if he comes to a lesson with me (which might happen)further this year.
            I can forgive and forget - I do it all the time as a teacher - ones who play u up 1 year - can be perfectly lovely another year and i dont hold a grudge, so rest assured the matter is confidential.

          5. samsmomma | | #34

            I totally agree. When I was 12 I wore one of my only skirts to school, a wrap skirt. I didn't own a slip, and my mum could have cared less about providing me one. I was running cos I was late, and my books somehow untied the wrap front. When I reached up to put my books in my locker, my skirt fell off. This happened 42 yrs ago but I still get beet red when I think how my homeroom teacher called ALL the other teachers out in the hall to laugh at me. I hated her for that. The one teacher who came to my aid and covered me up got my undying gratitude.  Until that point school had been my refuge from a bad homelife. My revenge was actually learning to sew so I'd never find myself in a predicament like that again. And to laugh at myself before someone else did.

            So I can see where that boy may have had some problems.. he certainly didn't deserve anyone's mirth. how sad. when I was a school nurse his problem would have been taken care of as quietly as possible and no one but he and the janitor and I would have been involved, except maybe if he needed to call home for clean clothing.

            Not meaning to sound scolding to the folks on the forum.. I just remember how it feels to be laughed at.. especially since "a wizard should know better"

          6. JanF | | #35

            Hey up there - please note that at no time have I or any of my fellow members of staff laughed at the poor boy who fouled my store-room!!
            He might be a pain - which he is!
            He might have been in pain - which he wasn't, apparently!
            but he was talked to and dealt with in a most professional way and none of it was in front of any other pupil!
            The people that have had a laugh and joke about the situation are fellow members of staff, taking the p..s out of me for having it happen in my room.(This is only between my co-workers in our own staff room - the majority of the school staff know nothing of my little "happening!")
            this "p..s-taking" is what I was sharing with others on "gatherings".
            I think you must have a very poor opinion of teachers if u imagine we were standing laughing at him!
            Please take my posts in the way in which they were intended - some of you are way, way too serious!

          7. user-51823 | | #36

            no offense meant :-)
            i did take your comments in the way intended. it's just that even in the privacy of this chat on the internet, this sort of predicament just dosn't strike me as funny at all. none of the teachers i know would be joking about it on the premises even in private, and i feel pretty sure they'd be too mortified to laugh about it anywhere. gossip about it, yes; joke, no.
            even if the boy was in control and thought he was being baaaad, or funny, he's sick and it doesn't amuse me.
            bear in mind that here in america, we do have reason to be extremely sensitive to the situation of kids who are weird, nerds, outsiders, etc. i wish it wasn't so, but over here when humiliated they often lash out in horrible ways. failing that, even the mortification he might feel about it in the future could create "qieter" problems for him emotionally. it's part of our culture now to be on the lookout, aware, sensitive to the point of oversensitivity. (which is why i tried to counterbalance my concerns with some humor.
            in defense of samsmomma and myself, in the hilarious tone if the early posts, it really wasn't clear to us that the adults involved, aside from you, were being sensitive to this child. (not saying the faculty actively humiliated this child, but the child did something humiliating and the faculty can do just as much harm by not seeing the seriousness in it). and it felt worse when the defense for finding it humorous was that the kid was "weird", "anti-social" and "anti-authority". over here, those are not excuses to dismiss it, they all the more rfason to be alarmed.
            sorry for putting a damper on the mood, but concern is certainly as legitimate a reaction as humor in this case. no hard feelings i hope.so- did you set up your work order file yet?

            Edited 1/16/2007 4:21 pm ET by msm-s

          8. JanF | | #39

            Non taken really - just bear in mind though that what seems funny to adults - between adults, is just that - between the adults. of course u could argue that we are not adult, but the joke was against me not the boy!!
            I do often wonder that the men in my department seem to be just boys at heart too!
            i can see the funny side to joke extensions which are coming thick and fast my way - but perhaps the humour might not survive the translation "across the pond" so i'd better not tell anyone of them!
            Hope this tries to explain our possibly "sick" but usually "dry" sense of humour!

          9. Ralphetta | | #40

            You needn't explain to me.  I understood from the outset that you were merely letting off steam, in what you felt was a safe place.  Humor is a way of coping with uncomfortable situations and  you were in almost as awkward a situation as the boy. Seeing the humor in a situation is my method of retaining my sanity.

          10. JanF | | #41

            Thanks for ur comment - letting offsteam with humour does help to diffuse a situation too. Life gets back to normal too soon - tough day with 1 class today for various reasons - so went to see Casino Royale - the new James Bond film tonight -we haven't been able to go due to husband's "man - flu" and husband a great fan of 007.
            If u haven't seen it - go -I've decided Daniel Craig would lighten my load quite easily - lovely!
            Off to dreamland now!

          11. samsmomma | | #37

             sorry if I came across that way.. It was an awful experience for all concerned. Hope the boy gets some sort of help. I guess my own experience colored what I wrote.

            I think the work order idea is excellent. People so often devalue it when someone else can sew or cook.. they might be surprised to know how much is involved. And it adds a bit of humor to the situation too.. so you don't feel as if you're being taken for granted.

          12. fabricholic | | #38

            Hi Deb,How awful for you. I wish you had someone to talk to back then. My daughter got pregnant and one of the teacher's at her school was telling other people that she saw my daughter at the store talking with some boy, implying that she was with a lot of guys, and it was a lie. I was shocked that a teacher would act that way and then remembered that there are some good ones and some bad ones, my experiences coming to mind. I reported it to the principal, even though I had no proof she said it, it would still, hopefully, be on her record in case, something else came up about this teacher. That is all I could do.Marcy

          13. samsmomma | | #42

            LOL maybe that teacher needs some classes if she thinks a girl talking with a boy at the store constitutes promiscuity ..

            What an odd world we live in.

          14. fabricholic | | #43

            Yeah, there was more to it than that, but she was trying to spread a rumor and there were some other things that had happened with her during the year that had put me on the alert. All the things my daughter had been telling me, turned out to be true about her and I wanted something on her record, in case another girl had problems with her. She was slick, but God has a way of letting the truth out. Anyway, my daughter quit school, got her GED, had my grand daughter, and is now going to college. She is glad she doesn't have to deal with the "drama" they talk about in high school.Marcy

          15. samsmomma | | #44

            yikes. Lucky for your DD she got out of there. Schools can be so full of drama one sometimes wonders how we survive it.

            My DB is a school custodian and he split the seat of his trousers as he was bending to do some sweeping.. lucky for him he doesn't live that far from work and was able to go home and change, but he is very aware now of how precarious those seams can be, and is learning to do his own stitching now that he lives alone..

          16. JanF | | #20

            weird was perhaps not the correct terminology here - I was a little glib!
            He is not the most likeable of boys - one who is what is probably termed "challenging" in the most polite way of describing a boy who is non- stop disruptive in class - wont work, rude to staff and pupils alike and so-on. I'm afraid - "a right pain in the A.." is the way I cvould describe it!
            Please remember that here i'm only stating what happened to me - it is still not common knowledge - and wont be outside our department!

          17. fabricholic | | #22

            Hi Jan,
            I was just curious if he was one of those quiet, slow types. I know you are discussing with those of us who don't know him and won't know him, in all probability. So if he is rude to everyone, and disruptive, he could very well be doing this for meanness. I don't envy your situation.Marcy

          18. JanF | | #23

            AS you say - I'm sharing the situation with you - but not any details - no-one would or could know the young lad; but he's not particularly quiet - in fact usually a pain 'cos he won't shut up - very annoying in the middle of lessons! At the mo' school is undecided if the situation arose out of him being naughty - attention seeking - or just unfortunate!
            Whatever - it was hopefully the first - and last, time its ever likely to happen to me, so I suppose in 30 odd years of teaching I've had a good run for my money!
            I do, however, find myself feeling slightly differently about my brand new store-room! After having lovely new re-furbished rooms, badly needed and promised for years, it is slightly galling to have the pleasure tarnished! Somehow I keep thinking the smell is still there - presumeably in my head now!
            Gosh - life and people can be odd - and that includes me!

          19. fabricholic | | #24

            I know. I try to keep in my head to seek the good in people, because as you say, people are odd, including me. We just have to be patient with each other, I guess. I see this more as I get older, how important it is to find the good in people and overlook the bad. With kids, there is a whole different set of problems that can mold a person, if they are not careful. At work, I see the younger girls are more in competition and rather judgmental. I am of no threat, so I don't have any problems with them. I hope the rest of your year is wonderful and you can think of your storeroom as lovely, again.Marcy

          20. user-51823 | | #25

            glad the situation is being handled well. sorry i came off as an alarmist, but here in america we have become pretty sensitive, with good reason, to red flags for toubled kids in school. your fellow does sound like he's in need of attention, and if he's willing to defecate as a prank to get it, then i really believe he needs some professional help. have fun designing your work order forms, jan & becky! i did intend it both as funny but also to really really do. it is based on the work orders that had to be filled out when i was art director at a small PBS station. i was like you, really helpful and always willing to go to any length to please people, so i could easily slip into the habit of "favors". the work orders helped keep things on track. seriously, they were pretty detailed. about all that was different was the SS# and medical conditions LOL. be sure to include a disclaimer: "complete entire form. incomplete forms will be considered void."Edited 1/13/2007 4:20 pm ET by msm-s

            Edited 1/13/2007 4:21 pm ET by msm-s

          21. jane4878 | | #26

            This brought a smile to my face and some memories!!  The boy may be ADHD--I have a daughter who is and when she was younger she'd have similar "accidents".  The pediatrician said she was too hyper to settle and go so we had to make sure we kept her on a routine.  She was legendary--she had this happen at Disneyland and my husband was with her (I was on a ride with my son) and he couldn't go into the ladies' washroom to check on her.  Finally he asked a woman to see if she was OK.  Well this woman deserves sainthood--she found her and even tried to clean her up.  The rest of the family hovered around her and we walked back to the hotel and snuck her into our room.  However she was 8, 14 seems rather old for that.



          22. JanF | | #27

            Hope this post of mine didn't upset you though!
            This boy isn't ADHD and to date does not have any problems noted down that would be a reason for the accident.
            Usually this sort of situation is likely to have happened before and we would be notified of it.
            However he is flagged up as disruptive and anti social in certain situations, and very anti - authority, but this so far doesnt give a reason for the action. It might just be that he was caught short, but he was only without his trousers for max 5 mins - and even if he had suddenly got stomach ache - needing the loo - surely at 14 he could have "hung on" - he couldn't suddenly go in the middle of an ordinary lesson - so truly at the mo - I cant understand it!!

          23. user-51823 | | #28

            oy, i really want to quit sounding so serious, but "anti-social / anti-authority" are characteristics common to most criminals. this boy is young enough to help, if the resources are there.
            it's not necessarily that he's going to do something horrendous in the future, but he sounds to be headed for a life of unpleasant activities if he isn't counselled effectivelyEdited 1/15/2007 12:40 am ET by msm-s

            Edited 1/15/2007 12:40 am ET by msm-s

          24. JanF | | #29

            I'm going to do this - it seems a really professional way of dealing with fellow professionals, and I don't see how they can object do you?
            I did think you meant it as both fun and serious - I think it has a lot of mileage - I wouldn't be surprised if others in the department take it on board. Its funny how other people think nothing of asking u to do these jobs, cos they cant/wont,- but dont see how really they should pay the going rate!
            the thing that pisses me off at school is the fact that whenever something wants doing they ask one of us - but we are still thought of as somehow not "academic" by the die hard historians etc! ive had the same teacher training as them!!
            At least we actually do something practical and have to work at it - other subjects just have to remember facts--- and yes I know that's playing them at their own game and a very childish comment - but I am entitled to my opinion too don't u think!

          25. fabricholic | | #30

            I agree with you. If they had to start paying, either monetary or time, to fill out forms, they would think twice about asking you to do a favor. Your time is as valuable and theirs.Marcy

          26. user-51823 | | #31

            good for you jan! yes, i did mean it as both.
            put some absurd things in for a smile, but also it can definitely serve to cut down on the requests and/or insure that you start getting appreciated and paid.

            BTW, i did not mean that the joke form indicate that the individuals should pay; far worse that it looks as though the school is paying for it and bookkeeping is just wanting to keep track of your time and who you are doing these "little" favors for. that should make them think twice about asking you :-)try the form out like this, then when your point has been made, if you want, you can make yourself a revised real form, this time indicating that it will double as a personal bill when the work is done.

          27. Ralphetta | | #32

            You reminded me that over the years I've had people rave about something my daughter or I was wearing and then  say, "Gee, I'll have to have you make ME one of those."  I just smile, and hope it stops there because I know they will pass out if I tell them how much I would charge them.  They really have NO concept of what is involved.

          28. user-51823 | | #33

            me too! and the most annoying thing is the attitude they usually have, that li'l ole you don't realize how good you are and you'll just be falling-over flattered that they think you are good enough for them. not always, but too often.

        2. User avater
          Becky-book | | #15

          Great Idea!!!!  I am going to make a form like that and when asked to do repairs or 'favors' rather than say "NO WAY" I'll just ask them to fill out my 'form' Ha!!


        3. JanF | | #19

          My God - this is brilliant - why didn't I think of this?
          I'm going to do this as of Monday!
          Let u know the first time someone complains!
          Seriously - I do think this has some mileage in it as a way for me to deal with fellow staff members who think i just sit waiting in my classroom for the odd bit of "sewing" to fill my days!
          Thanks - Janet

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