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Latest embarrassing moment at work

Friday, February 26, 2021

This week, I have done after(school)care every day. I am always the last person to leave, since my co-worker has to clock out at 5:30. If there are any children not picked up by then, and there nearly always are one or two, I have to do the cleaning up and locking up. Not a big deal. Normally.

Locking up has never been an issue - until today. This week, because the room we normally use for aftercare has been commandeered for the academic showcase, we are using a different room, and the parents have to come to the front of the school to pick up their kids. Which means they come in through the front door. Which means that I have to lock the front door when I leave. All pretty straightforward.

These doors are the kind that one can always open from the inside (fire safety thing) by pushing on a bar. To lock the door so no one can get in from the outside, I use an Allen wrench (hex wrench, hex key, whatever), stick the end in a hole at one end of the bar, and turn it. Easy.

So today, I stuck, twisted, everything worked just the same as usual. I put the wrench away, grabbed my stuff, and went out the door. As I usually do, I tried the door, just to make sure it was locked. It wasn't. It opened. So I went back in, got the wrench back out, and started trying everything I could think of to get the stupid door to lock. I was hindered because I didn't want to go outside and try it, while leaving my purse inside, for fear I would get locked out and not be able to get my stuff. And didn't want to leave my purse outside unprotected, either.

So I called over some kids who were outside, to come help me by trying the door for me. Nothing worked. I fiddled with the wrench over and over, the 8th grader I had asked to help was explaining how it should lock (mechanically inclined 8th grade boys put me to shame), and all of a sudden the principal came out of his nearby office (I thought he had left some time earlier) and explained that the problem was that he had unlocked the door with the actual key (forget the Allen wrench!) because there was going to be a meeting shortly, so he wanted the door open.

I was so embarrassed! I felt like such an idiot.

A small comfort is that he now is aware that I consider making sure the door is locked a very serious responsibility.
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