I know that most people have at least one co-worker who drives them crazy. This is not abnormal. You have your co-worker who asks stupid questions, who doesn't listen well, who gives you back-handed compliments, who's always talking about their latest diet, whatever. Those people are lame. In the twelve years since I joined the American work force, I have encountered (and ridiculed!) many an annoying co-worker.
I also know that teachers are supposed to be better than that. At least, I never considered, when I was in school, the fact that some of my teachers might hate each other. (Actually, I think I got an inkling senior year when Mrs. Keyes came into Ms. Farrington's room and said, "Can you help me with my computer? It keeps giving me a message that says 'quit or resume'"-- only she pronounced it "reh-zoo-MAY," like the thing you submit with a job application. I said, "I think it means 'quit or resume,' Mrs. Keyes." After she left, Ms. Farrington rolled her eyes so hard she almost fell out of her chair, and I couldn't stop giggling.)
I know that only teachers with the blackest of hearts must hate their colleagues, and so I must admit (somewhere at the top of the list of black hearts), that I. Hate. My. Colleague. HATE. After a year and a half, I have come to hate him so much that whenever he starts talking, all my muscles tense to run away, thus proving that the fight or flight is only an annoying co-worker away.
Why I want to rip out his voice box:
1. "All the students are complaining that your class is boring. Why are you making them read that boring book (The Giver)? Why can't they read something that's actually interesting, like The Old Man and the Sea?"
2. "Why don't you ever do something fun in your classroom? Why don't you let students make a game? I've talked to them, and they really want to make a game."
3. "What are you teaching right now?"
-- figurative language.
"What the hell is that? Who needs to know that? I'm 60 and I've never needed to know that! Why are you wasting their time teaching them that? What is it?"
-- It's like metaphors, similes, analogies, personification, hyperbole...
"I don't know what those words are. Give me an example. Give me an example!"
-- Life is a bowl of cherries...
"That's not important! Why are you teaching that?"
-- State standards....
"So what? Do you do everything the state tells you to? If the state told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?"
4. "You need to stop talking about your personal life so much! The students tell me EVERYTHING, and I know everything about you! I know that you're doing improv and that you're probably going to be mad about the staff meeting. Those kids tell me EVERYTHING. I'm the eyes and the ears of this school!"
-- The fact that I do improv is hardly a secret, considering I coach the school's improv team and a bunch of the 8th graders met one of my teammates when he came out to do a workshop with them last year....
"The kids tell me everything! I know everything about you! I wouldn't talk so much about yourself if I were you! I don't tell them anything!"
Another teacher (to me): ...and so I got the call saying I can adopt!
Me: Wow, that's great --
The Hated One: HEY YOU GUYS! DO YOU WATCH AMERICAN IDOL????
AT: No, I hate that show.
Me: I don't watch TV.
THO: HATE? Hate?? That's a strong word!
AT: I hate the idea of people who are actually giving their all being publicly ridiculed and humiliated.
Me: I know. It's gross. (turning to AT) Anyway...
THO: Oh man, did you guys see it last night?
AT: Chaz, we don't watch that show.
THO: What's wrong with you? Are you too liberal for American Idol?
Me: I don't watch TV. And anyway, I agree with Beth, I think it's lame that so many people get off on watching other people being publicly humiliated.
THO: WhatEVER, Backes! Those people know what they're getting into! They just want their 15 minutes of fame! They don't even try to be talented! Did you see it last night??
Me: I think those people have been told their whole lives they're talented, and it's sad to see them taken down....
THO: Simon told this guy who had bulgy eyes that he looked like a BUSH BABY! That's a monkey! An AFRICAN MONKEY!!
Me: Well, that goes against your previous argument that these people are justified in being mocked for lack of talent; that's just a personal attack --
THO: A BUSH BABY! DID YOU GUYS SEE THAT? IT WAS SO FUNNY!
Him: (apropos of NOTHING) I bet Molly LOVES Hillary, don't you!
Him: She has anger problems!
Him: You put her in a room with that Osama guy, and they'll tear each other's eyes out!
Him: Whatever!! Hillary and Osama will tear each other up, and Richardson will come out smelling like a rose!
Me: Where are you getting this opinion?
Him: Everyone knows Hillary has anger management problems! She was always so MOUTHY!
Me: Yes, because when a woman speaks her mind in public, she's called a bitch, and when a man does, he's considered strong.
Him: SEE? I KNEW YOU LOVED HILLARY!!
Him: Look at these quizzes! I taught my students how to conjugate verbs in 30 minutes!
History teacher: How'd you do that?
Him: 90%... 88%... I taught them in a half hour!
History teacher: HOW did you do it?
Him: They don't even know what a pronoun is! Nobody has ever taught them grammar! Why don't you want to teach grammar, Molly? These kids need to know grammar!
Me: We're in the middle of a unit on parts of speech right now....
Him: I LOVE grammar! You should teach them grammar, Molly! You're really cheating them by not teaching them about grammar! That's why I'm going to be the new after-school language arts tutor! SOMEONE has to TEACH these kids something meaningful, instead of just having them write little STORIES all the time!!