At the end of each school year, we have to clean out our rooms and return our non-attached technology to the school library. However, when the technology in question weighs a good 80-100 pounds, problems arise. Can that one item be kept in the room? Nope, not an option. Is there a custodian who maybe has a cart that could handle it? They're setting up for the graduation ceremony.
So, student helpers. Yay. However, when it's close to the end of the day at that point and I'm called to the office for a meeting, worry sets in. I'm on planning and won't have another class before dismissal. Fortunately I pass a group of boys lugging a similar item to the library for another teacher. I ask them if they'll go to my room and get my item and take it to the library when they're done with the one they have, and they say "sure!"
Thank goodness! It's covered.
After the meeting, I check back in my room, and sure enough, the item is gone. I call down to the library, but there's no answer. This doesn't surprise me, as (a) the librarian has also been helping out with graduation planning, and (b) given her limited time in the library, if she's there, she probably has a mob of people checking things in. So I call the teacher of the boys I talked to and ask if there were any problems. No - he'd been a little concerned about how long they were gone, but now that their story of helping me out is confirmed, he feels better about it.
I try several times that afternoon and then the next day to get the librarian to sign me off, but every time I go by the library she's not there. Eventually I try calling ahead to check, which saves me the walk, but doesn't result in any success. The day after that is our last work day, and the librarian is absent. So I go to one of our assistant principals and turn in a few smaller items that I didn't have trouble carrying by myself, and she signs off on the form we have to have filled out.
A few weeks later, I get a voicemail message. They've noticed that my large item is missing.
I email back explaining what I did, giving the time frame, thinking that perhaps there was a closet available, or a work room, for the times when the librarian was away and the library was locked up. There's no response, so I let the matter go, though it continues to gnaw at a corner of my mind.
About a month after that, well into summer break, I get an email reply (finally). They re-checked the items that were turned in (the same ones they checked before) and mine isn't among them. They also went and checked my classroom, and the neighboring ones, though why they would have thought they might find it there is beyond me. I am reminded that this was signed out to me and therefore I am financially responsible for it.
It's a day or two later before I've mustered up the psychological stamina to head down to the school with my husband. Neither the AP nor the librarian is there, but we do find a custodian who offers to unlock rooms for us so we can look. He takes me by the library first, though of course, it's not there. My next guess is one of the teacher work rooms, as that's where teachers store their materials over the summer while their classrooms are being cleaned. We go first to the one that's closest by - it makes sense to me that if the library was closed, the boys wouldn't want to lug that thing any further than they had to! It doesn't take more than a few seconds to glance around and see that unfortunately, it's not there.
We check the next two work rooms with no more luck than the first, and I'm already thinking I may have to go through and check every single room in the entire school. But as we walk up to the last work room, the door is already open and through the doorway I can see an enormous black box next to the copy machine. It's the right shape and size and when I go over to it my heart is pounding and I check the serial number and it's MINE, ALL MINE!
I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm delighted that things worked out. But it was more than a little frustrating that it had been presented to me as this huge problem; they'd spent a significant amount of time searching and come up with nothing. And then we spent five minutes checking four rooms (ten minutes and five rooms if you count the library) and found the darn thing.