An Inch Away from a Throwdown at Staples

Back to school means back to school supplies. Back to school supplies for students…..and teachers. I accepted this early on as part of my job–especially working in the private school sector. There are things I purchase with my own money for my classroom. Theoretically, that means if I choose to leave a classroom, I would take my personally purchased supplies with me. I don’t know what I would do with a bulletin board border or a pocket calendar at my house, but I’m sure MAM could come up with something.

ANYWAY. Today was a bit of a cluster at Staples. I ran in with the kids in tow to get supplies from MAM’s list, and some things I knew I needed for my room. At the register, our school’s tax exempt number wasn’t popping up. At 7% sales tax, I wasn’t about to make the purchase without that exemption, so I bought $22 worth of our personal supplies, and got on the phone with the school office.

After a little sluething, our rock star office manager had it set up for me to go back and by my goods. I dropped MAM off at her “bounce camp” activity, and took Jr. back to Staples with me. Of course, by this time he had fallen asleep, but no matter–I had everything behind the counter, and it would be quick.

Not quick enough to get me out of there without wanting to start spouting my State of Education Today speech while in line.

Parent 1: “Wow. That’s a lot of school supplies”

Parent 2: ” Yes–look at these list–this is first grade, this is third grade.”

Parent 1: “My first grader had a big list too–they actually had cleaning supplies on the supply list. I’m all like, Um, No. You can clean your own classroom.”

Um, sweetheart, your child’s teacher probably does to some extent. Does it kill you to send in some Clorox wipes to help the cause? She doesn’t put her hands her mouth, but your son probably does. I didn’t say that outloud. I shifted Jr’s weight to my other shoulder and walked up to the counter.

“Hi, I’m back. Did you get a phone call from my school? I’m glad my items are still right here!”

I bought a monster pencil sharpener, and the cashier told me about the replacement policy and I bought it as well, while saying, ” My students do sharpen a lot of pencils during the school year” as I was shifting poor Junior who was so desperately trying to stay asleep. The cashier then rang up the bulletin board, paper sorter and other odds and ends.

I looked at Parent 1. She looked at me. I didn’t need to say anything more, as I stood there, a teacher. On my “summer off”. Balancing a napping child, signing a personal credit card slip for $144, and buying a monster pencil sharpener for my students. One that may very well have been purchased by her son’s teacher too.

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