I'm Going To The Media And Getting A Lawyer!
The Battle-Cry Of Parents Upset With Their Kid's School
CHAPTER I - THE EARLY DAYS
It Had To Start Somewhere - Welcome to My New World
It was 4:45PM, a Friday, and I was busy at my desk trying to get oriented to my new two-day old "real job." This was defined as a salaried, albeit low-paying position, instead of working for a commission or a consultancy fee, as I had done rather successfully for the previous 12 years. I was jarred when the phone rang loudly. I, of course, answered.
The female voice on the line, at a very loud and rather strident level said, "I want to know who to talk to about how to get a principal fired and NOW!" I thought, "Ok, here was another instance of a friend who had gotten a female acquaintance of theirs to call and harass me on my new job, and pretend to be a parent making up a complaint about our school district." This had been going on for two days. These attempts were to get a rise out of me for another practical joke. (This position, unique for a school district, had been featured, extensively, in the newspaper and other media).
I had fallen for this several times. However, a few times I had recognized a badly disguised voice or poorly done accent. At those times, I was successful in cutting the person off and nipping the call in the bud. I decided to do this now and said, "Oh, I'm sorry, the department for getting rid of principals closed today at 4:30, but call again on Monday." I was quite pleased with myself, for a brief moment, at my instantaneous ad-lib response. After all, I was then and still am a card-carrying member of three actor's unions. However, the voice, now even more loudly and rasping with a sort of a feral-like growl mixed in, said, "What the hell did you say? Who the (blank) are you?" What did I say about that famous sense of humor of mine?
Thus, began my career as a school district's Ombudsman. As I always told folks, who either didn't know without a reference dictionary handy or, in later years, Google access, that Ombudsman stood for a fancy word meaning:
THE COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT!