Editor's Note Weekend Whirl

Pay to Pee

I do not care about the rented studio for the Secret Service; keeping the First Family safe is important enough that agents who do it deserve a decent, convenient place to work and pee. Kudos to the business owner who rented it to them for making a deal that was within the market price but not exploitive (I’m sure the GSA had something to do with the rent amount). While I’m very glad that family has lost the prestige and power of the White House, I do not wish violence upon them.

Part of my non-reaction to the Toilet Flush of 2021 is likely because I remember not being able to access bathrooms freely while teaching and also remember the experience I had at a curriculum training when I worked as a teacher for LA Unified. We were sent to a hotel that had meeting rooms, adult-sized chairs, and coffee but was by no means fancy. It was three full days of intensive work that made me feel respected and professional. Also I got to pee in a clean, well-lighted public restroom instead of the converted closet at the opposite end of the hallway from my classroom.

A month later the LA Times revealed that the district had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at hotels on these trainings. Every elementary school teacher in the district -had- to do them to ensure that the program was delivered properly, dozens of experts had been flown in to provide the training, and the training expenses had been included when the district chose it. Yet apparently, all of us with full-time jobs teaching were also supposed to give up nights and weekends so we could get trained when the school facilities weren’t in use.

Those who complain about public servants and professionalism might keep in mind the message sent when they also complain about the conditions under which we serve.