Big Ron's last laugh

7th September 2007 at 01:00
They have known about the heidie at Kirk Primary for years. Hints, suspicions, anonymous letters, rumours, but to no effect. He was still there, cocking the proverbial snook at the directorate, inspectorate and the rest of the guardians of the best service in the best possible wee country.

Big Ron was a survivor. He had seen it all come round at least twice. He was a stereotypical male primary head circa 1960 and should have been in the National Museum, in the Prehis-toric Specimens section. He was rarely in the school, yet nobody noticed. He was a serial committee and club member. But now the Director had had his collar felt by his new masters. Big Ron was going to have to go.

The directorate meeting had seen a new resolve. Our Leader was in bullish mood, although I would have suggested another word, also starting with bull. Enough was enough. The gloves were off. The Director gave another of his Gettysburg Addresses. "We cannot condone under-performance. Standards are slipping. Each child is special. You only get one chance. We need quality everywhere. Deprivation is not an excuse."

The Great One ended his performance with an unforgettable sentence. "And so, we will not have this man ruining our reputation as a progressive, forward looking service. Quality counts. I am not afraid of facing hard decisions. Bridget get rid of him."

I looked at him, open-mouthed. He made his excuses and left, citing "budget problems". What a creep! He didn't have the bottle to face up to his own inabilities. Why me? He hated women. He hated me. He hated anyone tainted by association with the directorate.

Cometh the day, cometh the inspiration. I drove into Kirk Primary car park. Big Ron was in. The chancer greeted me like a long-lost friend, offering coffee and a scone. I had rehearsed this speech for hours. Start with pleasantries, soften up and then ask about "career planning". What "further challenges" lay ahead?

Big Ron was grinning like a Chesh-ire cat. Why? What did he know that I didn't? I was on track, building up nicely to my first cut. "Bridget, can I tell you something in confidence?" he asked, beaming from ear to ear. Taken aback, I consented to hear his words.

At the next directorate meeting, I reported that Big Ron was resigning at the end of the term. I, Bridget the Butcher, had succeeded where the Director had failed. I got the most prized autograph in the authority Big Ron on the bottom of a resignation form. I was cheered, applauded, wined, dined, congratulated and was surely a potential Director replacement.

Big Ron was telling everyone he had won a massive amount on the Lottery and didn't need to ever work again. Only he and I knew the truth. He had.

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