There is a pumpkin patch field trip coming up at E’s school, and I want to chaperone. I am told I need to fill out this form and then go get finger printed.
The form clearly says you must bring ID and $50 as a cashier check/money order. *
So, I go to the bank. I get the money order. I go to the downtown FUSD office.
They are perplexed.
Apparently I don’t need to pay anything. **
Also? They didn’t know there was a kinder at Wawona. ***
They have to call and verify.
Ok, they have confirmed that there is a Kinder at Wawona… but I have the wrong form. I need to fill out the following three forms. ****
I do so.
On one of the forms, it asks for my alias.
I don’t have an alias. I do have previous names, but they aren’t my aliases.
I leave the “Alias” part blank and turn in my forms.
I get called back up and asked if I am married.
Ok, then they need my maiden name /gesture to the “alias” line on the form.
I’m feeling particularly punchy so I kindly explain the difference between “alias” and “previous.”
They are not amused.
/SIGH/ We want your prior legal name:
I ask how far back I need to go. (I have had multiple previous legal names.)
They say just list my maiden name.
I take pity and list my previous last names. Yes, more than one.
I also include my prior first name.
I get called back up.
They are confused and rude:
Not your nickname /eyeroll and finger jab to the “alias” blank where I have helpfully written my previous first name/, just your LEGAL name.
Yes, I say. It was legal.
Eventually, I am sent to have my fingers pushed onto the computer screen. (No more ink!)
Of course the machine is finicky and of course, my fingers refuse to create perfect prints. We have to do several of them several times.
Most annoying is my mutant short thumb. It simply will not work.
The lady is exasperated.
Does this happen often, I ask, trying to make it less awkward
Maybe the machine hates me, I joke, ha-ha-ha…?
No, she informs me, there is nothing wrong with her machine.
She looks pointedly at my thumb.
Eventually, she overrode the computer’s depressive “REJECTED” stance and I was assured that I was done and they would let me know in five days.
It was then that I noticed they had entered my name incorrectly.
My last name is “Metcalfe-Armstrong” Yeah, it’s a lot of letters, but it is my name.
They had dropped the “-Armstrong” part off.
EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS ROOM FOR AT LEAST HALF OF IT
Metcalfe-Armstr is closer to my legal last name than Metcalfe. I’m just saying.
I asked about this… won’t it cause a problem?
No, I am told, besides they just don’t have the ability for hyphen names. *****
I asked around, apparently, the district staff are known for being rude. But holy smokes this was a colossal cluster of crap.
…. Hopefully, the damn pumpkin patch is worth it!
* Most people don’t have a spare $50 laying around. The fact that only those with decently sized nest eggs even get the opportunity to chaperone seems like systemic classist BS to me….
** Yay! Anyone can do this! But unless you KNOW that they gave you the wrong form, how would you know that you don’t have to pay? Meaning that there is still a self-selecting group of people who will even get to this point int he process. Again, I am calling BS on the whole thing.
*** It is a new program. So.. maybe I should cut them some slack. But this is the Human Resource department for the district, I feel like they should know. Also, how often do people ask to chaperone things at nonexistent schools? Yeah, gonna stick with my BS assertion.
**** Of course after all this I told Wawona that we have been given the incorrect form. Of course, they were sorry. But days have gone by and there has not been a corrected form or instruction set sent home. Meaning that unless the parents were close enough to hear my longwinded vent about this whole process, they still think the green form is the right form and that they are required to pay the fifty bucks. B!S!
***** Fresno. Public School In Fresno. Almost 70% of the population in the district is Hispanic. Only 10% is white. I am willing to bet large sums of money, LOTS of kids have hyphenated last names. But your system isn’t built to handle hyphens? Say it with me now…