Witness Protection Program

As is common in our lives, there is always more than one major issue going on at any given point in time. I don’t know why, but Shantel’s one-on-one assistant at school, the lovely woman who had been with her since kindergarten, and who I counted among our friends, became obsessed with knowing what mom and I did all day while Shantel was in school and Bill was at work. She would ask Shantel several times a day what our daily activities were and quiz her on what our family did in the evenings.She would ask Shantel things like, did  mom and I got along, if mom got along with Bill, if mom tried to tell Shantel what to do and what we all did on the weekends etc. Shantel was thirteen now, and grew tired of constantly being asked questions and felt pressured into providing the answers. She would come home almost in tears because she just wanted her assistant to help her with her school work and not ask about our family life all the time, especially in front of other classmates. At first, I just thought the assistant was curious as to how mom was settling into our home, but as time passed, I realized it was becoming somewhat of an obsession with the assistant, and creating unnecessary stress on Shantel.

One day, Shantel come home so upset with her assistant, and all the questioning that continued, despite Shantel’s repeated attempts to politely get her to stop, I knew I had to intervene and help Shantel. So, I, in my infamous wisdom, came up with what I thought was nice, humorous, way to get the assistant to stop asking Shantel questions about our family without really hurting her feelings by just telling her to leave Shantel alone. I told Shantel that the next time her assistant asked her a question about our family, she was to tell the assistant that I said we were in the Witness Protection Program and we are not allowed to give out any information about our lives.

The next day, when the questioning began, Shantel told her assistant exactly what I told her to say. I really thought the assistant would get the hint and just stop with the questions, wouldn’t you? Well, think again! The assistant called her son, who is a Phoenix police officer, and told him we were in the Witness Protection Program and she was now scared to let Shantel out of her sight because she thought someone was going to kidnap her. Then, as if that weren’t enough, the assistant went to the Principal and told her the same thing and the whole school got in an uproar. The Principal called me asking me to come immediately to the school because she had concerns about things Shantel was saying about our family. Now, I’m thinking holy crap, these are college educated people who I thought would know better than to really believe we got into the Witness Protection Program overnight, but it became very clear to me real quick, that apparently, they had absolutely no common sense at all.

I went to the school and was met by the Principal, Assistant Principal, Shantel and her assistant. Shantel looked like she was scared to death so I reassured her, and them, that this was all just a misunderstanding and I could explain the whole thing. Then, I directed my attention to the assistant and asked her why she had become so obsessed with what was going on in my home. I told her if she really felt the need to know she should have called me instead of grilling Shantel everyday. She of course denied the whole thing and started questioning me about the Witness Protection Program issues. I finally told her, and everyone in the room, that I told Shantel to say that to get the assistant to get the hint that her constant questioning was out of line, in appropriate and needed to stop. I told her I thought she would realize it was a joke, and see it as a way to get her to stop with all the questions. I told her I couldn’t believe a grown woman, she was the same age as me, would really think we were in the Witness Protection Program in the first place, and that even if we were, didn’t she think I would have notified the school of such an important thing myself? I told the assistant, this should be a lesson learned to her, to keep her nose out of other people’s business. I told her that she made the whole matter worse by bringing the police and school administration into it when she could have just called me since we were suppose to be friends.

The assistant got up and stormed out of the room. The Principal and Assistant Principal appeared to be in total shock about the whole thing and apologized for their part in making the matter more than it needed to be. I apologized for trying to use humor to settle the problem and we ended the meeting. But…things got much worse from here.

Next Post: Lessons Learned!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gotham Girl
    Mar 05, 2012 @ 18:20:34

    I had forgotten all about the WPP story!!


  2. Megs
    Mar 05, 2012 @ 19:18:15

    I don’t ever recall hearing this story. How horrible for you all.


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