Recently, during break duty, I politely asked a group of assistants if they could disperse and ensure that pupils in quiet corners were not doing anything wrong.
I simply asked them to do the job that was required, yet I might as well have been asking them to anoint my feet and worship me. Their disgruntled faces gave them away: Who does she think she is? How dare she?
The thing is, I couldn't have been nicer about it. Generally, I think I am quite a nice, respectful person. But if that tone isn't reciprocated, I'm not beyond being a stern old witch - whatever it takes to get the job done properly.
I would prefer to be nice. I would prefer to have staff think of me fondly and smile; but a lesson I am learning is that I'm not paid to be liked. Not to say that I won't try, but sometimes it seems like a battle that just can't be won.
Some people will moan about the boss regardless of what they do and how they do it. It goes with the territory. I could be the fairest manager in the world and yet I am sure that someone would find or invent a reason to resent me.
That said, I don't want "Us and Them" to be the anthem of my working life. In my head, at least, I shall start humming happy songs about unity. How about The Farm's "All Together Now" or Sir Paul McCartney's "We All Stand Together"?
Louisa Leaman, Behaviour co-ordinator at a London school.