Man, it's so loud in here. The highest stress part of my workday has got to be carpool. When the parents don't display their numbers or for some other reason they slip by the system, Ms. Helen calls the kids out via the intercom. And Ms. Helen, while easy on the eyes, has the loudest, screechiest, most nasal, diamond-bit-drill of a voice you have ever heard. Her impatient, hectoring shrieking when the kids miss their cues to go to the cars makes everyone cringe, and it makes me very anxious. And that stress gets transferred from me to the kids, as I try in the chaos to get them out the door with all they should be carrying and which most of them would forget every day if not reminded.
I think every carpool, like each cigarette, takes eleven minutes off my life. Actually I feel like smoking to calm down afterwards. I don't, though. I go for alcohol.