Rita was a grade four student. She was a master at manipulation. She was particularly good at playing her mother off with the school. It didn’t help that her mother took her at her word. Bottom-line: as far as mother was concerned and regardless of the issue, Rita was right and the school was wrong.
I probably should not have said it, but one day while doing a follow-up, I said to Rita, “You really know how to manipulate your mother. You know how to push her buttons.”
I wasn’t surprised when mom showed up the next day. I tried to point out how cunning her daughter was. I also brought up the, Actually, she is a liar too, issue. Mother would have none of it; in fact, she had had enough. She wanted her daughter transferred to another school. We gave her the appropriate paperwork.
The School District approved the transfer. A week later Rita was gone. Nary a tear was shed.
Not long after her departure, my phone rang. It was the vice-principal of Rita’s new school. He was fairly new to the position and was simply calling to ask if we had any background information to share.
I said, “It is best that we not have this conversation.”
“Really? Why is that?”
“Just trust me. It is best we not talk. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“Ah, I guess not. Thanks.”
A week later he called.
“I get it now. I called Rita’s mother earlier regarding an incident, and her first words were, You’ve talked to Caines, haven’t you? You’ve already made you mind up about my daughter, haven’t you? He turned you against her.”
He was able to tell the mother that he, in fact, had not spoken to me about Rita. He could honestly say that his impressions were his own.
I have no idea as to what Rita is up to these days. My guess is that she is making a lot more money than me.
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