She on the Mode

She on the Mode




When I was in High School, my Mom was an Elementary School rule’s secretary. One of Mom’s responsibilities was to take telephone calls from that school’s schoolteachers when they called in sick. It happened nearly every school day. My Mom would then have to offer a permanent contract to someone on a list of qualified substitute teachers. One morning, while our family was at the breakfast table, Mom called a substitute, and one of the woman’s children answered her call this way, “She on the Mode.”

This was too much information, the wrong information, and it went both ways. Probably, the woman in the bathroom needed that job, and she never knew that she had received a job offer. How did this happen? My Mom simply asked to speak to the other woman, and she gave no hint that she was calling to offer a job. Also, Mom did not indicate an urgency. After my family laughed about what had happened, my Mom continued calling other substitutes until she found one who accepted the offer. The first woman might have instructed her children to ask the person calling, “Is this a job offer?”

My Mom simply performed a task (one that she loathed to do), and she put little thought into how to do it. This event took place in the early 1970s (no internet, no computers, no cell phones, no conference calls, and no commercially obtainable telephone answering machines), so she was technology limited. But, she could have reduced her effort by anticipating the task and planning to sustain it more efficiently. Mom told me that most of the teachers had a prepared lesson plan in their classrooms, ready for a substitute just in case. She said that the teachers got upset if a substitute failed to follow the plan or if the students said the substitute permitted them to have a “goof off” day.

Over time, Mom should have known which substitutes pleased which teachers. She might have gotten the rule to make a policy change in regard to finding substitutes, something like this: Teachers who would call in sick, must attempt to find their preferred substitutes (top one, or top two or more) and will be provided with those particular substitutes phone numbers. Once arranged (or if attempted and not arranged) then, call the secretary (my Mom) and tell her who will replace you or who you called that could not substitute. The secretary will then manager the matter from a shortened list.

A simple, but wise saying, “You know what you know,” might be better said as, “You find out what you want to know,” by asking detailed questions or by providing details that might create a detailed question.” Web search Matthew 7:7-8. You have read a quote from Jesus, the Christ, who taught others about how God looks at them. Read more, Matthew 7: 9-29 in order to acquire more context about how God will interact with you by prayer.




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