Thursday, October 1, 2015

Guest Password

On Monday of this week, I subbed at the high school. Based on past experiences, when I had nothing to do but read a book or twiddle my thumbs, I thought I'd bring my laptop with me. Maybe I could work on some novel revisions, write up a blog post, or make up an exam for my own classes. But when I got to the classroom, I realized that the school's wi-fi needed a password and some of the things I wanted to do required the internet.

I walked to the unit office to ask about a password. I didn't really think they'd give it to me, but I thought maybe they'd have a guest password for me to use.

"Head to the Century 21 classroom down the hall," the secretary told me. "You can ask about it there."

So I did.

The moment I walked into that room, I knew I'd met my adversary. A tall blond woman with thin pursed lips looked at me. She looked familiar, but I couldn't remember where I'd seen her. As it turns out, she reminds me of a blond, unsmiling Park Overall.

Found this image here. (The lady I met wasn't nearly as funny as Park Overall is.)
"Hi," I said, forgetting to introduce myself. However, I had a guest teacher tag on, so I was easily identified as a guest in the building. "I brought my lap top today and wondered if I could get access to the wi-fi. Sometimes, I have time on my hands, and I thought I'd try to be productive."

Without a single moment of hesitation, Park Overall II said, "We don't do that here." 

I wasn't sure what to say. I guess I'd expected something more informative than the five words she uttered."Uh, okay..."

"And who are you?" she asked. As I said, I'd forgotten to tell her, but the large blue tag hanging against my chest told her exactly who I was. Maybe she was too lazy to look down.

"I'm subbing today..."

Her eyebrows furrowed. "The teacher didn't leave a password for the computer?"


"Well, we don't give out the password."

I knew then, by the way she held herself, that she was done talking to me. And actually, I had no desire to be in that room anymore. So I said, "Okay, thanks." Thanking her like she'd done anything for me. As if.

I realized once I'd gotten back to the classroom that I'd forgotten to ask about a guest network. I hunted for one and found nothing. So I went about my business, taught a few things about coordinates and points, and when I returned home that night, I contacted a technology coach for the schools, asking about the possibility of a guest network at the school.

"No guest network," he said. "But let me check into this for you." Later that same day, he wrote, "They did indeed turn off the guest wi-fi and you simply need to take your device to a tech leader in the school and they will log you into the staff wi-fi. They will not give you the password, but they will log your device in and then your computer will remember it for future times."

Hot diggity! I marched into the school yesterday with a spring in my step. Perhaps, in between vocabulary and theater, I'd be able to do a little research for a book, or access the images I wanted to load for my class. With a smile on my face, I asked the front office secretary who the technology leader was. 


Yep, the secretary informed me that one of them was the lady, Park Overall II. I should have known not to go back to her. My first instinct was to run, but I didn't. Instead, I strapped my laptop onto my shoulder and headed down the hall.

As I poked my head into her room, her face spoke before she did. It said, "Crap, she's back." 

I told her about the emails between the technology coach and me the day before and that since there was no guest network, he'd found out that I could give them my device and they could log me in. While I was talking, her face never changed expressions: Park Overall II continued to scowl.

"Well that man you spoke with isn't my boss."

I wanted to ask her who peed in her Cheerios, but I didn't. "Okay. Well, then...could I speak with your boss?"

"No, that's inappropriate to go above me." 

Of course, that wasn't my intention--to go above her. I simply wanted to get an answer and I knew I wasn't going to get one from her. She was right...she should be the one to speak to her boss, not me. But she could have offered that solution two days before. Furthermore, she didn't have to be so rude. 


She continued. "I can talk to him. But we don't give out passwords. We don't load passwords. That's not our policy. What's your name?"

She didn't write my name down. I'm betting she forgot it, or, she went back to her office and labeled her favorite voodoo doll with my moniker. All I know is that I won't be hearing from her. I'm sure of it.

In the end, I managed to find plenty of things to do. The teacher had left a vocabulary exercise for part of one class, and for the classes where I simply had to watch the kids write, I revised some paragraphs of one of my books. But later in the day, when I was in the middle of cleaning things up in the empty room, the teacher I subbed for stopped in.

"I'm sorry she was so rude," he said. "I had to leave, that conversation made me so uncomfortable."

I was glad to know that I wasn't crazy, and that I hadn't misinterpreted her rudeness. I'm seriously thinking about going in on Friday, when I'm back there subbing again, and peeking into her classroom, just to bother her. It would serve her right you know.

**In all seriousness, the school needs to make sure they have a policy for usage of wi-fi by subs and by guests. What happens when they invite teachers from other schools for a conference? How do those teachers login to the system? And I have to wonder what she thought I was going to do with access to their system. Come over after hours and help myself?


T said...

I wouldn't sub there again. This got me in a fighting mood. Omg. My lack of tact would have me fighting. Rewrite this as if it was me LOL

Christina said...

I told Tim about this, and he was so perturbed. He spent the better part of a 30-minute slot trying to find out who she is. I like the school, but I think I'm going to go tell her just how rude she was, and stop in and see the principal. People like her reflect badly on the school.

Barbara Halabi said...

seriously? who is she kidding? she needs to loosen up and share the wifi! This is not helpful to visitors in the school. Why is she so rude? What is her problem?

sandra doninger said...

I'd go back. I'd tell her that your children are in the dustruct and that you are good friends with people on the board and in the school, including the SI. I'd definitely go back in that room and tell her that while it may be inappropriate, you will for sure be going to her boss. Because, "as far as she knows it's one of your children's teachers and you'd like to be sure she won't ever be one of their teachers." This made me so mad!! You should have just logged in as one if your students.

Tanstaafl said...

Too nice! Need to kill. Cull from the herd. Make sure she doesn't procreate.