I had a 5th grade assignment October 31 (Halloween). It was an easy if somewhat amped up, tiring kind of day. It helped that it was a minimum day and the kids were going home right after lunch.
I had already listed myself as "unavailable" in the sub system for the post-Halloween Friday, anticipating a quiet three-day weekend instead of enduring the chaos awaiting me if I braved any classroom.
I got back late from a Halloween party that night knowing I could sleep in and relax without dealing with dozens of kids recovering last night's sugar high. I was surprised by the late morning call.
L: "Hello? Mr. Perry? This is Lisa at xyz school.
Me: Hi, Lisa
L: Uhh, where are you?
Me: I'm here at home.
(...and knowing what comes next, I'm ready to decline the assignment request. I was up late. I'm still tired from the party. I'm still nice and warm in my jammies anticipating a relaxing afternoon off)
L: Are you on your way?
Me: (??) ..uh, no. I don't have an assignment today...do I?
L: You are supposed to be here for Ms. L's class. Remember a few weeks ago when I asked you about it and you said yes?
Me: (visualize: dropped jaw and panicked memory recall...)
I totally forgot to log it in the calendar and I didn't check the sub system as I was planning to take today off!
L: Are you still coming in?
Me: Yea, but I need 30min if that's ok. I totally understand if you have someone else to get there sooner. I'm really sorry that I screwed up.
L: No, that's fine. We'll have someone covering until you get here.
Thirty minutes (...or less), I'm at the school office, offering repeated apologies for not showing up today. I'm sure I'm not the first that's totally flaked on an assignment, but it's the first time for me.
As I quick-step out the door and over to my class already in session, I'm greeted by my "sub for the sub".
It's the principal of the school!
Can you remember back when you were still in school and got called down to the principal's office for something you knew you were in trouble for? Yea, that's how I felt.
Offering repeated apologies, she was nice enough to let me off the hook with a "no problem, it happens" kind of response.
In my defense, it would have been handy if the SmartFindExpress system had flagged a warning that I was already listed for an assignment for the same day I was trying to make myself "unavailable".
Good enough for an excuse?.....No, I didn't think so either.