I can’t believe I’ve been at work for eighteen months now. I’ve become part of the furniture, so to speak. But there are still kids at school whose names I don’t know. Somehow they’ve managed, both last year and this, to have their library day on my day off, so I don’t see them.
Still, I think I have the names of most of the children I do see (over a hundred), even if I annoy a few of them by accidentally using their sister’s or brother’s name. That’s something that used to annoy the heck out of me when I was at school, too, so I can understand if it riles them.
On the other hand, I still have children who don’t know my name. They look at me in huge consternation when they come to ask me something, because they get the ‘Mrs’ out and then can’t think of the rest. Or they call me the name of the other library assistant or, even better, the name of the library teacher – who’s a man.
The funniest though, was at the end of last year when a teacher lined up her class of 12 year olds in front of me and said, ‘Now, let’s say good morning.’ Dutifully the children began, ‘Good mooooorrrrning, Mrs…’ Then 30 faces looked at me, at their teacher and back again, turning redder by the second. Not one of them knew my name. I wasn’t normally there on their library day. The teacher’s solution (apart from delighting in calling me Mrs Um for the next week) was to get me to do an illustrator talk. Instant fame and recognition.
At the moment, I’m impatiently awaiting the arrival of this wonderful ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ cd from America and when I get it I’m thinking of putting it in a cd player on my desk at work. Then when kids can’t remember my name, I’ll turn it on at this song and look miserable...
I guess when the staff at work start to forget my name, then I’ll worry. Or, with the way my mind has been working (or not) lately – I’ll worry when I forget my own name.