Ms. Wendy might actually be superwoman
BY ALICE REED SEPTEMBER 20, 2013
“Good afternoon, J.H. Rose High School, how may I help you?”
Ms. Wendy says this about five hundred times a day. Except this summer, it wasn’t Ms. Wendy answering phones. Little known fact: Ms. Wendy actually takes the summer off. Picture that: the front office without Mrs. Wendy…shocking, right? So, if Mrs. Wendy wasn’t there, who was answering the phones? For a couple of weeks in August, it was me -- and it wasn’t pretty.
I thought it was going to be a breeze -- what could be so hard about answering phones? The average call I got consisted of “I NEED TO SPEAK TO THE COACH!!!” or “WHEN DO SCHEDULES COME OUT?!?” About a quarter of the callers had accents so thick that they were nearly unintelligible. And have you ever tried to give directions to Rose to someone who can’t tell you where they are? Here’s a pro-tip for calling Rose: speak at a normal volume. You don’t have to yell. They can hear you if you use your inside voice, I promise. My favorite one of these conversations was the one in which I was cursed at, held personally responsible for all issues in scheduling and registration and sports, and then told to “have a blessed day.” Many of these conversations ended in a big “CLICK.” No “thank you,” no goodbye. While all of this was going on, I also had to deal with the always lovely and never-ever grumpy visitors to the front office, most of whom were parents who seemed to think that their very lives depended on speaking to Ms. Bradley right that second. By the end of an hour, I knew I had been wrong about Ms. Wendy -- she is not a human being, she is a SAINT. How she keeps her composure while answering the phones is truly mysterious to me.
I also helped Ms. Pam in Student Services for a few days, which made my sense of inadequacy complete. What she handles on a daily basis gave me a new respect for that tiny office that does so much. Everyone who enrolls, withdraws, requests a transcript, or requests to see a counselor must come through her. Yet she still manages to zip around Student Services like a white-haired Energizer bunny.
Trust me, I understand the frustration surrounding Student Services and the front office. My schedule came out totally screwed up. I waited in a ridiculously long line at open house for my parking pass, and when I finally did get the pass, all of my trouble resulted in a less-than-optimal parking spot. I am currently waiting to get a copy of my transcript. My “how-am-I-supposed-to-pick-a-college-when-I-can’t-even-decide-what-to-wear-to-convocation” stress is through the roof too. But keep in mind that whatever trouble you are having with parking passes or schedules or transcripts or college applications, Ms. Pam is dealing with that times the other 1,500 Rose students trying to do the exact same thing as you.
My advice to you? Be as kind and as helpful as you can to the wonderful women in Student Services and the front office. A little bit of kindness goes a long way...it might even get you into Ms. Pam’s candy stash.