Opportunity plays “ring and run”

Yesterday morning I got up and found the following e-mail, sent the night before, in my inbox:

Hello,
I received your email address from the DOE. We are looking for a social studies teacher. If interested, please contact me. We will be conducting interviews tomorrow morning starting at 9:00 am.

To be exact, it was 8:30 on Friday morning when I was reading this.

The invitation came from the principal of a high school in New York City. I can’t be sure what time he sent it, because for some strange reason (and I’ve never seen this before) there were four time stamps in the header of the e-mail, ranging from 9:30 on Thursday evening to 3:52, Friday morning.

I suppose if I were mad with ambition I could have jumped in the shower, shaved, ironed a dress shirt and pants, dressed, grabbed my resumé, plotted a course to the school using MapQuest, and raced my car down the Taconic. Even so, I could not have gotten to the school before noon.

Undoubtedly, someone living in Brooklyn, or Yonkers, or having checked their e-mail before bedtime — or having a relative working at the school — would have arrived there before me. I am willing to bet that the main office at the school hosted a capacity crowd that morning.

The principal’s e-mail perhaps served only to satisfy the legal requirement to advertise for qualified candidates. He may have had a pretty good idea of who he would hire all along. By the time I got there, a new teacher would have been hired, and the principal would have been out having lunch.

Now, reading between the lines of the e-mail, let’s have a little fun.

School started in New York City on Tuesday, September 4. The principal sent his e-mail the evening of September 6. It’s possible that at the last minute the school received extra funding and decided to spend it on another social studies teacher. After all, anything is possible. The school may have had some kind of oversight and neglected to hire a needed teacher, and in the rush of the first few days of school didn’t notice until the end of the third day of classes.

But all sarcasm aside, this being New York City, it’s far more likely that a teacher decided — after three days of living hell — that enough was enough, and either put in notice that Friday would be his or her last day, or quit on the spot.

So there you have it — an invitation of dubious sincerity for an opportunity of dubious worth.

I don’t feel bad about choosing to stay home in my pajamas.

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