Thank God it's Friday

25th June 2004 at 01:00
Monday Warm, fuzzy feelings about today's training day rapidly evaporate as I swing into the school car park and see what can only be described as a large lake covering a third of the school field. Worse still, the caretaker is waiting on the doorstep armed with a dangerous-looking plunger. The staff toilets are bubbling like cauldrons and the course facilitators don't like the look of the junior boys' loo.

Tuesday I get a bill from Yorkshire Water in the morning post and need a glass of the stuff to recover from the shock. A less than sympathetic clerk tells me to check the water meter - which happens to be underneath half a ton of iron. The admin officer and I decide to sign up for a body-building course with a David Beckham lookalike personal trainer.

Wednesday A torrential downpour at home-time heralds a demand from the caretaker for my presence in key stage 1. A raging torrent is pouring through the roof, creating a mini-Niagara Falls down the window and forming a flood around the filing cabinet. I suggest a large bucket and mop and beat a hasty retreat.

Thursday "My coat's wet," says a small child, thrusting a filthy, sodden garment at me and leaving dirty, wet marks on my new jacket. She pulls me towards the infant cloakroom. My heart sinks as water cascades over the step. The caretaker's not on duty so I spend 40 minutes mopping up the flood from a broken pipe beneath a running tap. I arrive for an important meeting later in the morning with damp trouser-legs flapping around my ankles.

Friday I hide behind the office door as a harassed teacher approaches bearing a glass of water (I don't notice the paracetamol in his other hand). The day stays dry, with no hint of a drip or drizzle. As I leave school with a mental picture of the local wine bar, a disembodied voice calls out: "Can you come and look at the boys' toilet? The urinal's blocked; there's a bit of a flood."

Sue Monkman is head of Wilberfoss CE primary, York

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