Friday, March 28, 2008

Tatiana was marked absent today.

"Hi. I'm calling from Alderwood Middle School. The reason I'm calling is Tatiana was marked absent today. If you could give us a call back at 425-431-7579 and let us know what is going on that'd be great. Tatiana will be marked unexcused until we hear back from you. Thank you."

What are the odds that an attendance secretary from Alderwood Middle School would call my home and report that my daughter Tatiana was marked absent. Of course, if I was her parent, I would want to know that my daughter didn't make it to school.

As a dedicated member of the community and an advocate for district efficiency, I immediately called back to report that the wrong number had been dialed. Unfortunately, I kept getting a machine.

I suppose it wasn't enough that my voicemail greeting includes the names of everyone in my house, along with the telephone number that was just dialed. Perhaps I should add that we do not have any children.

What was scheduled to happen while the school waited for me to return their call? What if I never called them back? What if a search party was needed and precious hours passed while I casually ignored their message? What if Tatiana had been hit by a school bus speeding by Alderwood Middle School and nobody noticed she was injured and laying in a ditch?

I hope everything turned out all right. No one called me back to provide closure.


Anonymous said...

...yet another post assuming that children matter to the Edmonds School District. I hope you get over that idea soon.

Anonymous said...

Did a real person call you or was it a Robo call from the school?

Anonymous said...

Isn't automation wonderful? One would think that when calling a public school, one would get a live body to answer the phone. I do know from experience, that the schools are understaffed and the big-wigs at the top figured that if they went to automation, they could eliminate personnel in buildings, therefore, giving themselves a huge raise in pay. In this case, with the student being reported absent from school, there could have been a real issue if the child had been kidnapped or worse. Just another example of mis-management of tax dollars. said...

The message didn't sound automated, but the decision to ignore my returned calls seemed automatic.