The Herdmans Part 5-1
Billy was not having a good start to the day. When he exited the bus it was obvious that he was not in the right frame of mind to go to class. The intervention worker (IW) walked with him to the conference room. She would sit with him and talk and, hopefully, get him to calm down. That was the plan, anyway.
Bits and pieces of Billy’s earlier years were coming to light. He had some unsettling experiences growing up – he was more to be pitied than blamed. When he was in the zone, he was in desperate need to be in control of his circumstances. Respect for authority just got in the way.
That particular morning I was conducting a workshop for parents in the church hall next door. Lori, the IW, assured me she was okay. Off I went.
After an hour with the parents we took a coffee break. I returned to the school to find Lori and Billy still in the conference room. I entered and suggested she take a break. I would sit with Billy K for a while.
From the moment I entered the room it was obvious that he was still wound up. His body language and facial expressions told us he was in no mood to cooperate. The game was on – him against us, and I represented new and fresh prey.
The conference room had two doors. The one that entered the main corridor opened inward. Billy was seated on a conference table that blocked the door. I sat in front of the second door which had a window. If the school secretary were to look at the window she would see the top of my head.
Rather than talk to Billy, I decided to take another approach. “Billy, I have lots of paperwork to get done and a workshop to attend. I am simply going to sit here and work.” I showed him a form I needed to complete. “Until Mrs. T. returns, I ask that you just sit there and contemplate life. I am not going to chat. I am simply going to work.”
My peripheral vision told me that he was staring at me. After several moments he started making chirping sounds. He received zero response from me. He decided to up the ante.
He rotated around on the table and attempted to open the door. Because it was blocked by the table he was only able to open it about an inch. He put his mouth up to the opening and yelled, “The principal’s an idiot.”
He closed the door then turned to see my reaction. There was no reaction. I continued to work away on my paperwork
He opened the door a second time, “The principal’s an ass-hole!” No reaction from me.
“The principal’s playing with himself!”,was the next statement to be shouted into the corridor.
At this point I put my pen and paperwork down on my lap and held my two hands above my head, thereby giving the secretary a view of both hands. I could hear her and another staff member laughing at the site of my two hands in the window.
Billy opened the door again and yelled, “The principal has three hands!”
He had me there. The secretary will tell you that she only ever saw two.
To be continued . . . . . . . . . . .
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