Level Three. Assessment.

Level Three. Assessment.

By Michelle Lloyd.

They dreaded it. They feared it. It was not discussed. Dad’s assessment at work was not a subject for casual or idle chit chat. New One knew this and consequently everybody avoided the severely distressing topic of conversation.

As the time for assessment got closer, the tension was noticeable in his dad’s actions and reactions. He was snappy and less willing to play with New One. Instead he had worked hard on preparations for his big moment at the office.

New One had listened to the details of what his dad’s assessment meant and he had to say that he was not sure that so much emphasis should be put upon it. His dad was an extremely diligent person and he knew that because he had heard it said about him often enough. At school, New One had been told that exams were not everything and that idea he believed applied at his dad’s working environment. If he was less tense then surely he would do better.

New One set about his plan to make his dad less worked up about work. He tried out a few strategies, leaving Lana the dog’s lead laying about as a handy hint that they could take her for a lengthy and relaxing walk, but that only ended up with dad tripping up over the long walk dependant accessory and this worsened his mood.

Next, New One tried to navigate his dad’s stress by bringing him a calming and refreshing glass of water, a drink that he had been told on many an occasion was extremely good for him. Rehydrate and refresh with the H2O. He set off with the glass of water and took it to a highly paper strewn dad, who without seeing what was coming lifted up his hand and accidently knocked the drink all over his work. That needless to say, did not go down well either.

Thirdly New One thought of another idea and this time he was sure that it would not go wrong. At school he always envied others in class who had all their work organised and so New One decided that he would perform a favour for his dad. Quietly going into his study, he gathered up all the papers that he had seen him using in there that related to the assessment. These documents he clipped together in numerical order. He then steadfastly took them to his dad’s briefcase and secured them in. The only problem was that as he shut it, he knocked the key pad that required a security code and in his haste to get out of the study quickly and before his dad knew what he had done, he re-set a punched in new access passcode.

Everything seemed to be ok and this was until later that evening dad started mumbling and then, a little louder, muttering about not being able to find his assessment documents. As time went on dad got worse in his attitude, he was more tense and rushing about the house trying to find his notes. New One was torn. He wanted to tell his dad about his gift of organisation but as he watched him get more and more cross, he felt less and less inclined to do this. Fortunately New One’s mum noticed the apprehension in him and she asked him what was wrong.

The scene at the table was a difficult, terse one. Dad had been locked out of his briefcase, inside which were some of his most important work documents. New One, who had been put on the spot could not remember what the new access code that he had put in, was. Everybody was upset and even Lana had started to do her, shuffle shuffle pad pad, walk of restlessness about the room.

As the tension grew, New One felt worse and worse about it all and he had only wanted to improve the situation for his dad. There seemed to be no answer to it and just as dad started to ask what he should do, Lana moved off once again and side bumped the table. The briefcase which had been the focus of everybody’s tense ponderings, wobbled and fell on to the floor.

Everybody looked down at it and the contents of important documents which had been strewn all across the floor. It was a very apt occurrence. One which gained smiles from dad, then mum, New One and even a tail wag from Lana. The smiles turned into laughter and a much-needed release of built up anxiety from the family.

After the briefcase debacle dad apologised to New One and explained that he knew he had only been trying to help. He reiterated that he should not go into his study without him but promised that he had learned from the situation and that maybe he should do as he had taught, and become less worked up about work.

In the end this turned out to be a very good lesson to take to heart as a bit less anxiety rewarded dad with a much better outlook on his impending assessment. He felt less stressed and more capable as a result.

New One felt that they had all learnt from the assessment. He was sure that his dad would do well but when they actually received the news from his office about his success, this gave them an absolute evidence of the fact.