September 14, 2008
Mornings are usually quiet here in the Rubber Room. Most teachers trickle in somewhere between 8am and 8:30. Coffee is made, newpapers are read and passed around the room.
At 9:30, the "Moving Of The Cars" begins. There is great comradery in this useless ritual as we drivers politely remind each other of what time it is. "Time to move the car, do you have your car today? Time to move your car." "Oh, is it that time already?" "Nope, I don't have to move my car today...just turned the corner and there was a spot with my name on it." "Don't forget to wake up EZ, I know he has his car up the block. He'll be pissed if you don't wake him." "Should I wake Moocher?" "Do you really think that Moocher would spend the money to drive his car here? He's got his bike chained to the pole".
The "Moving of the Cars" requires half of the people in the room to use(waste) their official 15 minutes of allotted break-time to avoid the expensive threat of a parking ticket. For those who don't drive to work, this ritual is foreign, but for the rest of us it's nerve racking!...
"Car, car- do you have to move your car?" Keys are jingling, cell phone alarms are ringing, everyone's clearing their throats, stretching- gearing up for the main event. Time to perform the nonsensical task of moving our cars from the perfectly good parking spots we are in to 'double parked' status on the other side of the street. Now we all sit in our cars, waiting for the clock to strike exactly 9:30. Marley gets out to smoke a cigarette. He calls to Newbie for a light. Newbie gets out and the two converse between their cars. 3 Seater is on the phone. EZ takes orders to make a quick run to McDonald's. This is comradery in the Rubber Room.
All of this to make way for the City's Sanitation trucks that spend all of 3 minutes noisily riding up the street. Here come their revolving brushes that do nothing more than upset the dust and spread the debris over to the other side of the street. Does it ever really look any cleaner after they have passed?
We retreat back to room. At 11am, musical cars begins again.