Every year the Prospect Park Track Club rents out a public school near the finish line of the NYC Marathon so that our members and friends can have a civilized place to reunite with their family and friends after they finish the race.
This morning I accompanied the man who has been reserving the school on this bureaucratic process.
Our fist step was to meet the Custodial Engineer at the school we were going to use on Sunday Nov. 2. He was a very nice man who had all the paper work filled out for us. He gave us a document that had to be signed by both himself and the Principal. That makes sense, it has to be OK with the principal that we use her school on a Sunday and someone has to open the school for us. (We were gonna go last week, but the Principal's secretary just had a baby and no paper work was happening till today.)
Then we had to take this paper down to the district office so we could pay the rental fee. The Chief Custodian even called the special person at the district office to let her know we were coming. She did not answer her phone and her voice mail was full...
So Al and I take the A Train Downtown (for more on my adventure with Al see the New York Times piece on How to stay ahead of the pack in NYC . My story is coment 130ish on the long lsit of comments) and we meet the women who had a full voice mail box. Al starts telling her that he is a retired Principal and we use this school every year and I am coming along so I know what to do next year. She interrupts, "You got your paper?" She takes it and say "Sit". Five minutes later she comes back and tell us the school will cost us $80. We have to leave and return with a Money Order. No cash, no credit cards, no personal checks, they don't even take PayPal.
We go to the bank, and come back. We can use the cafeteria for 5 hours on a Sunday.
It used to cost $300, now it si $80. The schools have a mandate to open themselves up to the community. It is good to be the community.
I am also wondering how much more complicated this would have been if I were not with a retired NYC School Principal??