We walked into the Palmer House, navigated our way through the maze that was set up through the hotel, and found our way to where our meeting was being held. As soon as we hit the last step, we could tell we had found the CPS event!! By now, my regular reader know that my favorite phrase regarding CPS is cluster fuck. It's the ONLY word that fits!! There had to be 2,000 teacher swarming all over the place. We were told there would be a reception starting at 10:15. In CPS lingo, that means coffee, juice and sweet rolls. Well, every table was covered in crumbs, with no food to be found. On one end of the hall, there was a table set up for us to check in, and there were hundreds of people fighting their way toward the table. For reasons only known by CPS, we had to swipe in when we got there, and the THREE swipe machines were located on this table. How the hell do you have THREE swipe machines for 2,000 teachers?! Cluster fuck!! There were no lines, no order, no organization, just people pushing and shoving, stepping on each other. When we swiped in, we were given a packet of junk. (Quite frankly, I still haven't even opened it to see what was in it)
Dori and I made our way down another hallway, where there was actually a table that still had a few sweet rolls. We managed to grab one each, as well as a mini bottle of Diet Coke and a plastic cup of ice. Dori went to try and call her boyfriend again to tell him about her car, and I camped out in the hall to wait for her to come back. I found a great spot against the wall, where I could watch the utter chaos around me. All I could do was shake my head. Not in amazement, because it was exactly what I expected for a CPS event, but just because the whole thing was ludicrous. All the money that was put into this cluster fuck could have been spent in so many other, useful ways. They didn't have to pay for all of us to park, they didn't have to supply food, they didn't have to print up all the papers that were shoved into the envelopes we were all handed, they didn't have to rent out the Palmer House. What they should be doing is making sure we have books in our classrooms, that we have copy paper, hell, toilet paper!! What a waste of money! Oh, but wait, there's more!
First, let me tell you how all this bitching equates with a good day. After Dori came back from calling her boyfriend, we fought our way into the room where the event was being held, only to see that the 2,000 seats were already filled, and there was no place to sit. We did the obligatory walk down the aisle, looking for empty seats, then made our way back to the back of the room, and right out the door! We then proceeded right out of the hotel, and went next door to the Corner Bakery, where we ordered lunch. We enjoyed our leisurely lunch, chatting, laughing and just relaxing. It was wonderful!
Before we left, we went back to the check-in table to find out how to get our parking validated. We were told that we had to wait until the event ended at 1:00, when they would have a table set up by the elevators to validate tickets. Crap! We had to come back. Oh, well. That meant we had an hour and a half to sit and chat. While we were eating, we decided to go back about 12:30, just in case they set up early.
Sure enough, when we were walking back into the hotel, we noticed a few people from the meeting leaving. Good sign! As we reached the top of the stairs, some girl in a green CPS T-shirt handed us a "goodie bag." There were people scattered all over in these green shirts, handing out these bags. We could have taken one from each person, since they weren't at all paying attention to who they were handing them to. We make our way over to the elevators, get our free parking ticket, and head back out. And, it's only 12:40!!
Oh, wait, there was a bonus! The Palmer House is playing host to a hotel full of boxers who are here in Chicago for the International Boxing Conference (I think that's what it's called) this weekend. If I would have known about all the Eye Candy, maybe I wouldn't have left the hotel ;-)
We walked the four blocks back to the parking garage, and dealt with Dori's car. I'm proud to say that the two of us handled jumping Dori's car with mine. OK, Dori actually did it, but I had the jumper cables! Still, two women, NO men. Yay for us!! We sat and talked a little more in the garage while we let Dori's car charge up, and by 1:15 we were on our way home. The drive home wasn't even as bad as I thought it would, mostly because I took side streets and avoided the highway, which is chronically under construction (God, I LOVE Chicago!) I put my car in park, in my driveway, at 2:01. I can't tell you what a wonderful feeling that was.
Oo, I forgot to tell you about the "goodie bag!" Brace yourself now...in the bag was....a fucking green CPS T-shirt!!!! I can't even believe it! Imagine the money spent for thousands of T-shirts, custom printed with the CPS logo!!!!! And who the HELL is going to wear this ugly shirt?! I would have preferred a couple of reams of paper that I could use in my classroom for copies! OK, stay positive...
Another friend of mine, who also works with me, was also at the meeting, but she actually stayed. She's such a good girl!! And, on top of that, she held two seats for Dori and me, but we never saw her. Anyway, I called her on my way home to see if she had left yet, and how her day went. She told me that she actually filled out the evaluation form given out after the meeting, and she cracked me up with what she wrote. In a nutshell, she said the event was disorganized, and that it was a waste of time and money. She commented on how it's the seventh week of school, and she still doesn't have textbooks for her students, yet they wasted all this money. Then she said something about how the money could have been better spent on toilet paper for our students and she ended with something like, "I'm sure Arne has some when he needs it!" [Arne Duncan is the CEO of Chicago Public Schools. In my humble opinion - complete moron!! But, I digress...] Good for her! Too bad the comments will probably never be read. I'm sure they throw all those evaluations straight in the circular file!
OK, so let's see...no work, got to see our GORGEOUS city, free apple danish and Diet Coke, wonderful lunch with my Dori, yummy 'eye candy', and home early. What's to complain about? (yeah, yeah, I know I already complained, but now it's out of my system.) Overall, great day! Have a wonderful weekend!
It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. ---Winston Churchill