I had downloaded form after form, decimating at least two rainforests in the process. I was surrounded by tables, data, pie charts and graphs. The jargon was mind-blowing, the tables indecipherable and the helpful examples anything but.
Mr Wilkinson from "The Department" Statistics Section was coming to analyse my APS, my CVA and my PCRs. Good for him. What were they? Would he do my BP, PMT and my IQ as well, I wondered?
I poured a gin as I prepared to tackle the easy-to-read guide. I had hoped for some help from Himself, but he was unavoidably detained at a leaving do for a much esteemed colleague. So high was the esteem in which the colleague had been held, that Himself couldn't remember her name, rank or number, as he fell through the door at an ungodly hour.
I decided on Divine intervention. Divine is a nice wee boutique just off the High Street, and I had bought some rather provocative stuff there for last year's Christmas party. Power dressing with the emphasis on POW.
Jessie, the cleaner, was impressed as I swanned in. The pencil skirt, the fishnets, the stiletto heels, the black choker and the Celtic earrings.
"Wha's deid?" she asked in all innocence. Note - drop the choker, Bridget.
Cometh the hour, cometh the geek. Razor-sharp Wilkinson he was not. Small, untidy, insecure, fidgety, twitchy. Tie askew, stubble unshaved in patches, seeds from the early morning raspberry smoothie on the unevenly polished dentures. He told me he loved statistics. I looked for the lobotomy scar.
The stitches had almost healed.
People like Razor are the very reason I want to stay in teaching. God save the profession if we had more like him. His teaching career had lasted all of two sessions. He was to shadow me, putting "flesh on the bone", as it were. My flesh started to crawl at the very thought. We were to walk the job, and he would record "episodic interactions" for my SIP. That's Statistical Interaction Profile to you.
It was a day like no other. That's a lie. It was a day like yesterday. And the day before that. Two teachers off and both phoned in at 8.35am. Kirsty and Jean had spring vomiting syndrome. I'll bet they will have summer vomiting syndrome - and autumn vomiting syndrome. The Vivaldi Award for the Four Seasons of Sickness.
Razor was pestering me for my CVA - you know, Contextual Value Added.
Next was a blocked cistern in the girls' loo. Not another Dynorod job surely? Razor was losing it - big style. He pushed me to reveal my APS. You know - Average Points Score.
There was a fight in the lines between Jimmy McFadzean and Gerry McGroarty, which assorted waifs and strays told me had started the night before in Luigi's chipper, when Mrs McFadzean had accused Mrs McGroarty of not washing the stairs when it had been her turn. Blood and snotters everywhere. Razor was ticking boxes, pushing buttons and going into overdrive.
Moira the cook came running up the corridor, shouting: "Fire! Fire!"
Apparently Aggie had dropped her fag into the wastepaper bin - again. It was quickly put out.
Razor wanted to know about our Ethnicity Quotient, our Average Weighted Pupil Units Analysis. My head was spinning. My teeth were gritting. I was going close to the edge. "But Mrs McElroy, I asked you for the stats on Inward Mobility and Gender Variation. Where are they?"
I looked at the wee soul's clipboard, and I wondered how long it would take to insert it - sideways - into Razor's bahookie. With pen, of course.
He was by now a serial stalker. Everywhere I went, Razor was sure to go.
How long do you get for murder these days?
Finally, we reached the sanctuary of the staffroom. Anne-Marie, our student, was huddled in a corner, shrouded in a blanket. She apologised profusely for throwing up all over Razor's laptop. I hope it didn't affect the analysis of our Levels Deprivation Factors. He was not a happy man.
Even less, when a head popped round the door. It was our new priest - Father Murphy.
I took a deep breath. Razor, my boy, here it comes. Average Points Score - 18, Contextual Value Added Indicators - 21, Ethnicity Attainment Cohort - 24, Percentage Conversion to Level Ratio - 33, Percentile Rank - 37 and Inward Mobility Factor - 42.
He purred with delight. His wee fingers went into overdrive. He thanked me profusely and left in orgasmic mode.
Anne-Marie stirred. "Bridget, how did you remember all that?"
"Easy. These are my lottery numbers."