I had a brush with greatness last Wednesday, February 25.
I was in the same room with His Holiness, Michael Mulgrew. The goosebumps are still with me.
He blessed the teachers of the Bronx with an audience at the Bronx UFT that day.
According to the flyer you see under His Holiness, light refreshments were to be had.
So that is why I must have believed that this was going to be a somewhat informal event, like a kaffeeklatsch or tea time with His Holiness.
Now full disclosure first, I had to run home get son and take him to baseball workouts at the local high school so I arrived about 4:40 PM. I was just in the nick of time for His Holiness was just wrapping up his monologue.
I had never seen the banquet room at the Bronx UFT before but in sharing this with The Crack Team we all are in agreement that that room can be used for weddings and bar mitzvahs.
There must have been about 300 people in that room, maybe a little less, to hear pontifications from His Holiness.
The light refreshments turned out to be the typical steam table type of food. Some pasta, some potatoes, some chicken. It was nice to see my union dues going to feed the masses. Coffee and cake, or just a bunch of pizzas would have sufficed. But why spend as little money as possible when no one accounts for the spending.
So due to the "light refreshments" notice I was under the assumption that the conversation with His Holiness was to be somewhat informal. Oh no, it was not.
When you have 300 people, 300 people want to ask questions and 300 people want to be heard. As soon has His Holiness opened the room to questions hands shot up.
There were two little dweebs with cordless microphones running around picking people to ask a question to His Holiness and to await to be blessed and receive an answer. Even people that did not have their hands up were being picked. How could this be?
I had my hand up. Constantly. I had something to say. Oh, but wait, my questions would have been contradictory to the script that His Holiness was following.
Those that were blessed to address His Holiness with a question seemed to fit a pattern. All the questions were about Common Core, testing, that crazy person in Albany, APPR, stuff that was big picture and of course nothing that was going to go against His Holiness or the believe in how great he believes he is.
When reporting this to The Crack Team we all came to one conclusion. The questions and questioners were pre-screened (As if one were at a E4E rally), or worse, the questioners were plants.
I was especially concerned when I approached one of His Holiness's minions holding the mike, Roberto Hernandez, and shared with him that I have a thoughtful question and it seems that others are getting picked without raising their hands. Well, that was a mistake. He got extremely angry and ornery became quite rude with me.
This meeting was not bringing the union to the people it was about letting the people come to the union and bask in it's overrated glory.
This union and it's leadership is all smoke and mirrors. Everything is about keeping up appearances. Yeah, we are getting emails from His Holiness on how to shame Governor Andy through hashtags. But we all know that is for show. Same as it is with those UFT commercials.
All that matters is that those at 52 Broadway continue to live large and us dues paying members keep losing our pensions.