My Little Story about Booze and School


It took forever, but I finally got hired at a local high school. Technically, I was only hired for a term (9 weeks), but there is a line of pregnant teachers queuing up for maternity leave. So there should be plenty of vacancies for me for the rest of the year even if I’m not hired full time.

Fun Fact: Women get 3 terms paid maternity leave here, men get one day.

Regardless of how temporary my assignment at this school might turn out to be I was immediately welcomed into the fold without question. More than any place I’ve ever worked at the school administrators tried very hard to make the entire staff feel like family at the beginning of the year. They did this without resorting to those stupid ‘get to know you’ games that we all hated in middle school but have learned to pretend to enjoy because we know we’ll get in trouble if we let it show how juvenile and insulting we think they are.

This school did it the right way, with food and booze. That’s right folks, booze. Free wine, beer, wine coolers and spirits. For three days (late afternoons really) the staffroom was transmogrified from a boring meeting room into the most glorious pub you have ever been to, not the because of the decor but because the booze was free! The new teacher mentor was carrying around a bottle of scotch.

I quickly learned that there is a small disadvantage to free booze in the staff room, something that was never a concern when we all filled up tables at Chilies for the happy hour margaritas. After three satisfying drinks at Chilies you never had the Principal sit down next to you wanting to chat. For those of you that know me, three drinks is my limit. That’s it, no more. It’s my little line between happy and sick. I don’t know what mutation happened in my little gene tree to make me the most pathetic teetotaler alive, but I know what my limits are. Keeping this in mind, my drink limit for talking to principals stands firmly at zero. My life passed before my eyes when my new principal (whom I had my interview with only a day before) walked over, gave me a smile and sat down in the chair next to me, while I was finishing my third drink, of course. Oh shit. My inner dialogue went nuts, “think before you speak, think before you speak”. Somehow I still had a job at the end of our little chat, but I will forever leave the third drink in the fridge, and make sure I am never on the same side of the room as the dear principal!

The free booze did come to an end, as all good things must. After three wonderful days of glory I was told that at future staff parties we’d have to pay…the school… for booze…that the school sells…to teachers…on campus. Oh bloody hell, I love this place! It turns out the school has a liquor license, and every Friday in the staff room the second fridge (the bigger of the two) is opened and you can go crazy for $2 a beer. One of the dept. heads showed me the shelf with the most expensive beer so I can get the most of my two dollars. I thank her profusely.

I think I like it here  🙂

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2 Responses

  1. Just one more thing to add on the ‘Pros’ side of my list of why I should move to NZ, haha. Thanks for that interesting bit of information. That would never ever ever happen in the States as you know already. Just another way that the Kiwis are more laid back than us in the States. Good luck with your teaching at the new school!

  2. “Fun Fact: Women get 3 terms paid maternity leave here, men get one day.”

    *Jaw drops*

    I think I need to be a teacher! My terms of employment state that I get a year’s unpaid leave, once I’ve been working for them for a year. Full stop. I *should* get my statutory 14 weeks at $400 and something a week (or your current pay, whichever is lower), but that isn’t actually in my union negotiated agreement 😦 (not that I’m planning to have a kid yet, but I want one some day!)

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