Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Total Waste (Of Money, And Perhaps Also Air)

As I've mentioned, Thing One is now a middle schooler, which means that he is eligible to play on his middle school's sports teams.  For what I can only assume are liability reasons, students must be examined by their own physician and cleared to play before they can try out for these teams, which seems sensible enough.  You bring a form to the exam, the doctor fills it out, you return it to the school, and Bob's your uncle.

Except he isn't.  Not quite yet, anyway.

Those forms from the kids' doctors?  Those have to go to the school's doctor (not on site; he's retained on contract for this sort of stuff and comes in periodically), and he has to look them over and rubber-stamp them before the kids can play.  Never mind that he has never laid eyes on any one of these kids in his life and wouldn't know them from Adam, and never mind that their OWN doctors cleared them to play...doesn't matter.  The school doc has to approve them too.  And since he was two days late getting back from a business trip and had no covering doc, a third of the kids who wanted to try out for soccer had to sit on the sideline for the first two days of tryouts.  Charming.  Apparently state law requires this nonsense.  (Is it only my state???)

On the third day of tryouts, I called the assistant principal (who is also in charge of middle school sports) and told him very nicely that if Thing One was going to be sitting on the sideline for the third day straight, I would be collecting him right after school and taking him to his piano lesson instead.  Fortunately, that day the doc had finally gotten his ass to school and signed all the forms, so the kid was able to participate for the rest of the week and it wasn't an issue.

So, you may well be asking yourself, why is she bellyaching about this now, when previous posts have already indicated that the kid did make the team (despite missing two of the five tryout days) and is doing well on it?  Good question.

This morning, Thing One dug into his backpack and handed me a pile of sadly crumpled papers, one of which was a form letter from the school doctor confirming that my son is eligible to participate in middle school sports through the 14/15 school year.   This is the second sentence, bold text and all:

"Please be advised that this letter reflects the recommendation of the examining physician, who completed and signed the blahblahblahblah forms submitted to the school on behalf of your son."  So...what this dude is saying is that, although he HAD to review the form before my kid could play, and got paid for it, he's going to pawn the blame for any problems off on the doc who actually examined my kid, since he knows nothing about my kid.  Can somebody please tell me what value this jackass added to the process?

My tax dollars at work.


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