Interviews at Lendrick are obviously somewhat unorthodox!  I remember mine vividly ! Most of my working life pre-Lendrick was spent in the very staid atmosphere of the 'legal' world, so I was rather unprepared for the informality of the occasion to say the least. On moving from the Headmaster's Study to the inner sanctum of the office, I was given all the relevant information (holiday dates, etc) and on confessing that legal offices were more familiar to me I was told that this experience would stand me in perfect stead!!

13 years on I'm still somewhat bemused as I have not been conscious of the relevance !! Nothing could have prepared me for what lay ahead. In fact on being told I was only fourth choice, I felt myself relaxing and thinking some other more suitable post is bound to come along.  Obviously the other candidates saw sense and I was offered the job !  (Their loss, my gain I think ! ) My predecessor did confess on meeting a few weeks after I started, "Its probably the worst job in the school!" from time to time on meeting she would enquire, very tentatively, "are you managing ?" I think during the first term I secretly handed in my notice about half a dozen times.

Pupils numbered 75, 60 boys and 15 girls at that time and I did not have the same contact with them as I would have liked. Any that were found lurking behind filing cabinets were soon despatched back to class with loud protestations of "I only came in for an envelope - I was coming straight back !"

Many a time I'm sure irate teachers searched the building for wayward pupils, only trying the office as a last resort. Obviously the relevance of the office teabreak at 3.00 p.m. was lost on them, but then I always thought the pupils were "above average" in so many ways !

I think from a purely secretarial point of view my ability to concentrate has improved considerably, by necessity, as in mid-dictation almost without fail, the office door would burst open dramatically and some horrendous 'happening' would be relayed to the Headmaster who would then disappear for a while, and would miraculously pick up where he left off as if nothing had happened ! Interruptions were numerous and very varied, from blocked loos to boys bunking, urgent calls from Stockbrokers !!! etc etc.

The years have flown by, but there seem to have been so many memorable events, wonderful concerts, the rehearsals for which very often took place right outside the office door (around ?? decibels) making communication with the outside world totally impossible, but which 'on the night' were so enjoyable. Seeking the pupils' sheer delight at staff making complete fools of themselves.

Over the last two years or so with a much smaller roll, I have felt more like part of a large family, no less enjoyable, and allowing me to get to know the pupils better as the restraints on office visits perhaps lessened.

I think visits from teachers have marginally increased too, but I recognise that the lure of the photocopier is VERY STRONG FOR SOME

I am not convinced that Lendrick as we know it will 'disappear'.

Whatever happens I for one will always be able to readily conjure up faces and antics of pupils in every nook and cranny of the building and I know these memories will always make me smile and be glad I was part of it.

I have benefitted [sic] enormously from the"3 R's"

Randy (sorry D.T.)

Ruthless (spelt Mul....)

and last but by no means least

Rantin rovin (What's the latest score Dave) Robin (Burns' aficionados please note !)

As for all the other staff, i.e. "the workers" I've admired and liked them a lot BUT for me the REAL EXPERIENCE has come from the pupils. They what its been about and they are the ones that have given me the most.  To the most recent leavers and those soon to leave, I wish you everything you wish yourselves, but its been good to know you all !

SHEILA E. DINGWALL

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