This morning, for the first time in weeks, I received the phone call asking: "Are you available for work"?
Unfortunately, I no longer get ready for work. I was beginning to look foolish - all dressed up and nowhere to go. It's not an easy job to be available at the drop of a hat, to enter a school as an outsider, to pick up numerous lesson plans and to deal with endless new faces.
Soon, however, I am to have "second class" firmly stamped on my forehead for all and sundry to gawk. "But you're nae a real teacher." "Yes, Jimmy I am, just a second class one on half pay."
For me, the loss is so much more than financial. So am I available for work? No, I'm afraid I have crawled into a dark place, a place where nothing seems to make any sense any more and I can't see a way out. Bullied, victimised and abandoned.
"It could have been so much worse," squealed the EIS.
Yes, but they shoot horses, don't they?
Catherine Carrigan, Belmont Road, Aberdeen.