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View Full Version : Opinions please - topic may be unsuitable for some sensibilities



Perks
12-04-2008, 01:10 AM
Okay, so here's another happening at the school that I don't get. I'm just gonna be frank here, so if normal biological functions zing you the wrong way, stop here and retain your good (I hope) opinion of me.



My oldest daughter is in the fourth grade. One of her classmates stuck her head out of the restroom stall and waved my daughter inside to tee-hee and oh-gross about a used sanitary napkin that was behind the toilet. Now this pad falling to the floor behind the toilet would have either been a) an accident or b) perhaps a kid who was too embarrassed to dispose of it properly. (Am sure there's a 'c' option of someone just being weird, but whatever.)

So the girls tell a female teacher who comes in and, instead of getting a nice cushioning wad of toilet paper and grabbing the thing by the corner and throwing it out, calls for back up. The school custodian rolls in with a sign to close the ladies' room, wearing basically a HAZMAT suit complete with plastic gloves and a mask.

For a little bit of menstrual blood on a pad.

Alert the SWAT team and go to DEFCON 4!

For the love of Pete. Way to demonstrate some coping mechanisms. And these girls will all be getting their periods in the next few years and now it seems it's some sort of biohazardous emergency.

DeleyanLee
12-04-2008, 01:15 AM
Speaking as someone employed by a hospital, what happened was the approved safe way of handling the situation whenever dealing with body fluids, regardless of origin. Even kids can have HIV and other diseases that are transmitted through bodily fluids.

That aside, I agree they could've done more to make sure the girls didn't get the wrong idea (ie: escort the kids out, THEN call the janitor to properly deal with the mess). Unfortunately, that's an example of procedure over thinking, IMHO.

quickWit
12-04-2008, 01:15 AM
I agree the sign was a bit over the top. :D

Angie
12-04-2008, 01:16 AM
Why didn't they call in Homeland Security while they were at it?

Perks
12-04-2008, 01:22 AM
I think they did. I'm sure we'll have a town hall meeting about it later this week.

I do understand precautions. I'm even hip to wearing gloves (which is runner up to all-time best invention after air-conditioning.) But a face mask and apron? A yellow sign to shut down entry into the bathroom? My god, I'll never be able to pee in peace again.

MoonWriter
12-04-2008, 01:26 AM
Ah, pads in one piece would be a dream come true. I'm responsible for our dogs and my wife is responsible for the cats. Chester, our Australian Shepard protests our leaving by going to the bathroom and ripping to shreds as many pads as he can find. As soon as I get to the front door, it's obvious whenever I forget to put him in his kennel. Gloves? Forget about it. I pick up the bigger pieces and sweep up the rest. Could be the janitor didn't grow up with five sisters as I did.

Williebee
12-04-2008, 01:45 AM
Maybe the janitor knows something about that third option you mentioned....

Maybe he wasn't a janitor at all....

Maybe I should go now.

Plot Device
12-04-2008, 01:50 AM
I used to teach school. I was told to NEVER touch the blood of a student. And as you can imagine, kids get bloody noses and cuts and scraps all the time. But since around the year 1990, the CDC determined that ALL blood is to be treated as a toxic/harmful substance. So all medical personel, all educational personel, etc etc, must haul out the latex gloves and make a huge deal out of it.

joyce
12-04-2008, 01:52 AM
I wonder what would have happened if it had been a used tampon?

Plot Device
12-04-2008, 01:54 AM
Ah, pads in one piece would be a dream come true. I'm responsible for our dogs and my wife is responsible for the cats. Chester, our Australian Shepard protests our leaving by going to the bathroom and ripping to shreds as many pads as he can find. As soon as I get to the front door, it's obvious whenever I forget to put him in his kennel. Gloves? Forget about it. I pick up the bigger pieces and sweep up the rest. Could be the janitor didn't grow up with five sisters as I did.


I wonder what would have happened if it had been a used tampon?


THE FOLLOWING POST IS EXTRA EXTRA DISGUSTING! Highlight it and read at your own risk.



A few years ago, the dog went through the bathroom trash can and fished out a used tampon that had been bundled up in a wad of toilet paper. I guess the smell of the blood drew him to it. He ate it.

Later that day he vomited it up onto the kitchen floor. It was covered with the gelatinous goo of digestive juices.


Yes. This is easily the most horrible post I have ever made in my entire life.




::ETA::

A few more gruesome details.

When he vomited it up, I thought it was a dead mouse. It was a dark brown color --from the blood, of course-- and it had this long thing that looked like a mouse tail. A closer examination revealed that the "mouse's tail" was actually the tampon's pull-string.





.

Perks
12-04-2008, 01:58 AM
I fainted, but have recovered now. Lol!

DamaNegra
12-04-2008, 02:57 AM
Yeah, my dog used to fish out my used pads out of the trash can and shred them all over the living room. Not a pretty sight...... what is it with dogs and those things, anyway?

Plot Device
12-04-2008, 03:01 AM
Yeah, my dog used to fish out my used pads out of the trash can and shred them all over the living room. Not a pretty sight...... what is it with dogs and those things, anyway?


Blood. They can smell the blood. If yours is from a breed of hunting dogs then he's drawn to it like a cat to catnip.

Perks
12-04-2008, 03:05 AM
One more reason I'm never getting a dog.

Beach Bunny
12-04-2008, 03:15 AM
At this point, it might be a good idea to talk to your daughter and her friend. Without going into unnecessary details tell her why the custodian acted they way he did. Just that there are bloodborne diseases and he would have done the same thing if it had been a bandage from a bloody nose.

:)

Ciera_
12-04-2008, 03:18 AM
Ew. My dog is no better. But we've grown wise to his disgusting tastes and he no longer gets the opportunity. You will find no garbage cans lower than six feet off the ground, in my house. Unless they're guarded by complex apparatus (a stick through the cupboard handles, say.)

And, back on topic; I think they overreacted. The girls, too, even. In my school, they had us well informed in grade four, and we might snicker a little if we found a pad in the bathroom, but we wouldn't call a teacher in or make a big deal of it. But that's just my school, I don't really think it was necessary for us to be that educated at that age. -shrug-
The teacher probably could have just taken care of it. But better safe than sorry, right?

TerzaRima
12-04-2008, 04:01 AM
It would actually shock me if some school personnel were not insane in the membrane about girls and their bodies. That is, if things had actually gotten better in the last 25 years.

Plot, you weren't kidding about that post either.

Plot Device
12-04-2008, 04:45 AM
It would actually shock me if some school personnel were not insane in the membrane about girls and their bodies. That is, if things had actually gotten better in the last 25 years.

Plot, you weren't kidding about that post either.


I have just been inspired to go back and re-edit it to iclude a few more gruesome details.

(Yes. I am evil. :D)

benbradley
12-04-2008, 05:02 AM
Hey, Perks, how's hubby's job situation since "that Friday?" Or is it something you shouldn't talk about?

Speaking as someone employed by a hospital, what happened was the approved safe way of handling the situation whenever dealing with body fluids, regardless of origin. Even kids can have HIV and other diseases that are transmitted through bodily fluids.
Someome else said something about the year 1990 - I was working for a large, self-insured company back then, and they had a little 'seminar' having to do with AIDS, saying it's becoming statistically certain that some employee will have AIDS. The gist had to do with cleanup of some accident or injury where someone is bleeding, basically "don't touch the blood, stay away, this is for your own safety."

That aside, I agree they could've done more to make sure the girls didn't get the wrong idea (ie: escort the kids out, THEN call the janitor to properly deal with the mess). Unfortunately, that's an example of procedure over thinking, IMHO.
"Procedure over thinking" - that a great description of every public government school outrage I've ever heard of.

It would actually shock me if some school personnel were not insane in the membrane about girls and their bodies. That is, if things had actually gotten better in the last 25 years.

Plot, you weren't kidding about that post either.
I selected-the-invisible-text and read it, and I didn't think it was that bad. But perhaps I'm not easily grossed out (must be the Frank Zappa influence).

ETA: Cute addition to the story.

Maybe give these girls copies of "Carrie" to read - maybe don't GIVE copies to them, just leave them out where the girls can find it and read it on their own, as if they 'discovered' it themselves.

Silver King
12-04-2008, 05:11 AM
I have just been inspired to go back and re-edit it to iclude a few more gruesome details.

(Yes. I am evil. :D)
If anyone ever suggests that our Plot Device doesn't possess an uncanny ability for descriptive writing, I'll point them to this thread and prove them wrong.

My immediate, and I fear long-lasting, response is one of EWE! and AWE! culminating in a sublime reaction of utter revulsion combined with an acute respect for the power of the written word and the images they evoke.

In other words, I'm squirming and smiling at the same time. :)

Plot Device
12-04-2008, 05:34 AM
If anyone ever suggests that our Plot Device doesn't possess an uncanny ability for descriptive writing, I'll point them to this thread and prove them wrong.

My immediate, and I fear long-lasting, response is one of EWE! and AWE! culminating in a sublime reaction of utter revulsion combined with an acute respect for the power of the written word and the images they evoke.

In other words, I'm squirming and smiling at the same time. :)


I recently explained (to a non-writer on a totally different message board that is not geared toward writers) what the correct formulation is for that unique genre of motion picture called the "black comedy."



2) Why Fargo is one of the all-time greatest black comedies in the world.

As a screenwriter, I sometimes find the need to explain what the correct formula is for a black comedy. Two of the very best black comedies of all time are Pulp Fiction and Fargo, so I frequently point to those two films as prime specimens of this very precise genre.

First, ALL black comedies involve at least one death, usually a homicide. (If nobody dies, it's only a "dark comedy." But the presense of a corpse or two is what makes it a "black comedy.")

Second, pretty much all the characters with few exceptions are somehow stupid, or selfish, or grossly inept, or are caught up in a severe life situation whereby they are somehow violating their own scruples. Rarely is any ONE character 100% good and likeable. And even if there is a likeable character, he or she will have some sort of flaw preventing him or her from being a perfect saint.

Third, (and this is the most important part) the audience reaction to a black comedy should be EXACTLY as follows. This reaction I am about to illustrate embodies two hyper-extremes of two incredibly dissimilar states of mind, and yet achieving these two states of mind in the audience is EXACTLY what a black comedy is all about. And this crazy swing from one emotional reaction to the other will repeat itself throughout the course of the film easilly a dozen times before the ending credits roll:




Ha ha! Hahahahahahahaha!

Ha ha!

Hahahaha!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

*GASP!*

*Hand clapped over mouth*

*horrified silence*

*can't even breathe*

Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!

*more horrified silence*

*pause*

Ha ha!

Ha!

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!

Hahahahahahahahaha!

[rinse, lather, repeat]




And so, I am flattered by your reply. :cool:

JustJess
12-04-2008, 06:49 AM
Warning TMI: I attend births. I cannot tell you how many times I've had amniotic fluid, blood, mucus and other stuff smeared, sprayed and even spilled on me. That said, I do wear gloves to clean up a bit but am always conscientous of the actual woman involved. So while I understand some precautions, I think it's really important not to inflict a sense of shame in young girls-so yeah, the sign and the mask with the girls present seem like a bad idea.

True story:

In 8th grade my bestfriend was sitting on the floor to get books out from under her desk. SHe was going home early. When she got up and left, she left a large smear of blood on the floor. Our teacher (God bless her) saw it, deliberately spilled coffee over it and used a wet paper towel and her shoe to clean it up. No one but me and one friend ever knew what happend.

Silver King
12-04-2008, 07:12 AM
...And so, I am flattered by your reply. :cool:
It was definitely intended as a compliment. After reading untold thousands of posts over time, a select few stand out, and that one will stay with me forever. Love the description a great deal while being simultaneously horrified.

Maybe I haven't lived long enough, but that ain't easy to do where I come from, so it's appreciated.

Plot Device
12-04-2008, 07:23 AM
True story:

In 8th grade my bestfriend was sitting on the floor to get books out from under her desk. SHe was going home early. When she got up and left, she left a large smear of blood on the floor. Our teacher (God bless her) saw it, deliberately spilled coffee over it and used a wet paper towel and her shoe to clean it up. No one but me and one friend ever knew what happend.


Now that is a cool teacher.

(Meanwhile, I guess we know why your best friend needed to go home early that day.)

Plot Device
12-04-2008, 07:24 AM
It was definitely intended as a compliment. After reading untold thousands of posts over time, a select few stand out, and that one will stay with me forever. Love the description a great deal while being simultaneously horrified.

Maybe I haven't lived long enough, but that ain't easy to do where I come from, so it's appreciated.


:D

Serenity
12-04-2008, 09:45 AM
It does seem like-- and quite frankly is-- overkill, but the procedures aren't set by the school, they're set by OSHA's standards and practices. Basically, if the custodian hadn't taken all those precautions and something (however unlikely) had come about as a result of contact and contamination, he wouldn't have been covered for treatment. It would have been deemed an unnecessary risk that he took upon himself rather than following the guidelines set up. Kind of like using a chair as a stepladder and falling off wouldn't be covered at most work places, because that's not the standard of practice to be used. Trust me, workman's comp is very serious about this when claims are filed. I've seen claims denied because people forgot one simple step from a set safety precaution list.

The girls should have been told to just go back to class and then the teacher could have called for a clean up, however. I'd simply explain that adults have to follow weird rules sometimes and it would have happened the same way had someone had a nose bleed in the same place.