At my son’s school they have recently changed the system for paying for snacks. They provide toast, juice and milk for the children. Previously, we as parents would place the order at the beginning of the week or even at the start of the term or half term if preferred. The snack would be delivered to the children in the classroom and all seemed to work well from the perspective of parents and children.
Apparently, it was proving to be a bit of a headache on an administrative basis. The school introduced a new system which involved the children paying for the snacks and drinks themselves on a daily basis. Children from the age of 5 and up. So now we have to make sure we remember to give the cash to the children every day or every week. We’ve had to buy a little purse. It’s been a pain in the neck, but I guess it might be teaching some valuable skills: dealing with money, shopping, etc.
The trouble is that the system is not working. On a fairly regular basis there is not enough toast to go round. Children are going back to their classrooms hungry. Now I know they won’t starve as lunch isn’t that far away, but it can’t help their concentration.
I don’t even understand why it is happening and happening repeatedly. We can never run out of toast in this house because we keep a spare loaf in the freezer. I just can’t get my head round why the school aren’t doing the same. It seems the easiest thing in the world to keep a few loaves in the freezer or just make a bit more toast. They could even nip out to the shops to get some bread, after all the school is in an urban area.
Have you ever got yourself in a conversational hole through no fault of your own? Once in, do you ‘fess’ up or do you just go along with it? I find it easier if I can understand how the person made the mistake and I’m happy to go back to correct it. What I find more difficult is the inexplicable assumptions or mistakes that are made by another person, especially if they have a forceful personality or it happens to be a public place.
My most noted conversational hole was on a train trip to Edinburgh. I was sat next to a man, with a four pack of Special Brew,and a broad accent from that city, who somehow (I have no idea how) formed the belief that I was an Edinburgh native. He was the kind of man who was too difficult to dispersuade of an idea once he got hold of it, but my knowledge of Edinburgh was sketchy at best. Luckily, the Special Brew saved me because he fell asleep after having a few and then someone moved him out of the seat as they’d reserved it. It was quite a relief not to have to pretend to be a Scot for 4 hours when I’m clearly not one.
Last night I had a dream when I found myself in another conversational hole. I was at the supermarket and the checkout man was the chatty type. He was also the sort of man that doesn’t like to admit he was wrong or misremembered something – all this is clear in my dream. We have a conversation about if I am working in the same place, before it turns out that he thinks that my place of work is a tattoo parlour. Now what I know about tattoos and working in a tattoo parlour could be written on a postage stamp. But, despite my lack of knowledge, I find myself trying to answer his questions (badly) about what it’s like to work in a tattoo parlour, what age you need to be, etc. Even in my dreams I can’t get myself out of a conversational hole.