Monday, 8 December 2008

Parents' Evening

Don’t you just love them? The Daily Scatter story today is based on my experience last week. And I’m also thinking of using it for the five minute assessment piece on my course. (Thinks: Events, inciting incident, characters, conflict, crisis, more conflict, conclusion, and oh, some more conflict, just for luck.) It’s perfectly true that they hadn’t stated which school it was in and that the poor cleaner was being interrupted constantly (but was very nice and didn’t abuse anyone really) and that they’d put half the teachers in some other hall, out of sight from the main one with no signs. And whilst there weren’t really any fisticuffs, I was mightily tempted!

Picture, if you will, a table, in a corner of the hall, with the Head of Sixth Form sat behind it. A couple are sitting with her, I follow another couple across the hall, who stand in the space just behind, to wait. Other teachers are either side of her, each with their own queues. I await my moment and as the seen couple get up to leave and are replaced, I, along with Matt, glide smoothly into the empty space. No one else is nearby. Ten minutes pass.

So far, so good. There’s movement to my left. A couple I noticed follow me over have moseyed on in next to me; she, by my side; he slides behind the teacher, opposite. I gird my loins, ready for action. The seen couple stand up - and blow me down if that bloke opposite didn’t just dive straight into my seat!

Me: Er - excuse me?

Him: We were here first.

Me: I think not, actually.

Him: We were over there (Points); you walked straight past us.

Me: Did I? Into this empty gap here, you mean.

Him: We were before you but we were just over there.

Me: Behind those people waiting for that teacher over there? (points)

Sixth Form Head (diffusing situation): I know them, we’ll be very quick, I promise.

Matt: I need the toilet! (mum rolls eyes)

Me: Right, I’m taking him to the loo - don’t you dare start talking to anyone else. (Wags finger)

Matt and I arrive back to our empty space and …some other woman starts creeping her way forward.

Me: You do know I’m next, right?

Her: Well, actually, I’ve been here since 5pm (Pan camera to show clockface set at 6pm)

Me: Not here you weren’t. Because I’m here. Before them, in fact.

Six more women edge forward: We were here first.

Me: Where? Not here, it was empty - I followed the previous couple to them over here.

Woman 1: I’ve been sat there since 5pm

Me: You want to pay attention then, loads of people have gone in front of you.

Woman 2: I’ve been queuing there since 5pm.

Me: Should’ve tried queuing in the right place then.

Woman 3: We were all sat over there, queuing.

Me: So where’s the signpost?

Woman 4: But that’s where we were queuing.

Me: What am I, psychic? I’ve been here fifteen minutes and you’ve only just noticed.

Woman 5: But we were all here before you.

Me: Over there, in front of that teacher. I.e. in the wrong place - your tough luck I’m afraid. I’m going next, I’ve got him (indicates child) to get home and give tea to.

Happily, they backed off. Bloody cheek. I was furious, probably not helped from the lack of organisation and because I was stressing over the car, which had begun to play up on the way - I was pretty convinced I was going to break down halfway home. It made it and is booked back into the garage again on Wednesday morning. They really did see me coming.

If there is anyone reading this, feedback on the dialogue would be gratefully received! This is the first draft, though - be gentle :)

No comments: