Thursday, January 12, 2006

Non-stitching frustrations

I know I generally try to stick to stitching topics here, but last night just got me so ANGRY....I must vent. Feel free to disregard......

So I'm a librarian....but I also lifeguard part-time. I've had my certifications since I was 16, and I get a little extra spending (stash!) money and a free gym membership out of the deal. I just can't throw in the towel yet...but last night got me darned close to doing so.
At the pool where I work, one of our most hard-and-fast rules is that children under 6 must have an adult in the water with them. So when I saw a girl of about 10 coming in with her toddler-aged brother, I asked her if her parents were coming. She said yes, and I told her that the little one needed to wait. Mom appears -- NOT wearing a bathing suit. I ask her, politely, if she will be joining her kids in the pool.
"I'm sorry, ma'am, but children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult in the water at all times, " I say, pointing at the big sign on the wall that says as much.
"So....someone over 18?"
"Uh....yeah." (sarcastic inner voice - that would be the definition of an adult...)
The woman looks in the pool, sees a man with his 2 young boys, and says, "What about him? Hey, would you watch him?"
The poor man mumbles, "uhhhhhhhhhhhummmmmmmkay.......", all the while looking at me with the universal "HELP!" look in his eyes.
"No. It needs to be a relative...someone who knows your son and his swimming abilities..." I'm flabbergasted that she considers this ok.
"Oh, now you're just mad that I found a way around your rules!"
"No, ma'am, I'm not. This isn't acceptable, plain and simple."
"Fine. I'm going to speak to your manager."
"Please do."
She proceeds to follow her older child up and down the pool deck while the girl swims laps, toddler - now crying and confused - in tow. As she stomps around, I ask, "would you like me to call the building supervisor? I'm sure he'd be glad to come back here and settle this."
She wheels and yells, "Oh, now you're just being smart. You just shut your smart mouth, missy!"
I'm flabbergasted again. I was honestly NOT being smart, I was trying to resolve the situation so she could get her son dressed, take him down to the kid-care room, LEAVE, whatever.
Anyway. She leaves with both kids. About half an hour later, she flies back in, sans kids.
"I spoke to the front desk. It does NOT say the adult has to be a relative. It does NOT. YOU can't make up rules."
I just smile. "I'm sorry. I will continue to enforce the rules as they were explained to me. Goodnight."
She leaves, still mumbling about how I don't know the rules, I'm a teen-ager who can't tell her what to do, blah blah blah.

So, am I the only one who thinks leaving your 2-year-old in the care of a stranger in the pool is a BAD idea? First of all, the man had 2 little ones of his own. he doesn't know your son - not even his name. And if your son is in trouble/needs help/etc, is he going to go to this man? Secondly, what if this man leaves? I then have to put your son on the bleachers, wet, cold, and alone. And thirdly...YOU DON'T KNOW THIS MAN. He could be any kind of pervy weirdo!! Ugh. I wouldn't care if it was you, your mother, your neighbor, a babysitter....the crucial issue is that the adult with your child be responsible for YOUR CHILD. Not just "keeping an eye on your child" while he's spending time with his own family. I swear, the world gets stupider every day.


Von said...

Hi Erin,
I'm afraid the world is full of this kind of people :( They really can't be bothered to care for their own children and can't understand that rules actually apply to them. Sounds like you handled the whole situation very well! And you deserve to vent a little bit too!!

Autumn said...

You were definately right! What person in their right mind would possibly put any child in the care of a stranger??

AnneS said...

Way to go Erin! Good on you for standing up to stupidity and a don't give a damn attitude :) I can understand where you're coming from - we get similar stuff all the time in my job ... it's pretty rare for things to surprise me anymore, especially where parents/kids are concerned - you'd be surprised at how many parents request to be upgraded to business class on a plane, leaving their kids (minors) in economy class on their own!! Just appalling attitudes!!

Singular Stitches said...

I totally understand how you feel! Some parents love it when others watch their kids if they don't have to, until something bad happens, then they're out for blood. I'd run into this while working at a JoAnn Fabrics. Moms would be shopping and the kids would be holy terrors, running around fabric rounders, knocking things down, but just wait until one of those kids get hurt, then the mom is yelling at the store manager....

And these partents are not the majority, just a notorious minority.

Patti said...

You were definitely in the right Erin and I'm sure that guy didn't want the liability of looking after someone else's toddler. And I'm sure the facilities liability insurance will be glad you stuck to your guns.

Kali said...

It kills me that people with so little regard for their kids bothered to have them. They are too worried about themselves. It would be one thing if someone she knew happened to be there but to expect a stranger to watch over her child. Good for you, not backing down with her.

Sharon said...

As it is with everything else - people believe the rules are for EVERYONE ELSE and somehow they don't fit into that parameter... While not nearly as lethal (in terms of drowning etc)We have people cruise by the bookshop(where I work) and drop the kids off while they go off to shop - now you say what is wrong with that? Then I will ask you this who is resposible for that child if anything happens, is picked up by a stranger, is injured/ wanders away, etc... My manager fed up with this continually happening with a small 4 year old boy (about 30 minutes on his own - while we 'babysat') rang the centre secruity who then came and picked up the child... Mother comes in looking for child is shocked we have taken the action we have taken. But he loves looking at the books she states when asked why she left him... Some people just don't get it!!!!!

tkdchick said...

Erin there are just all kinds of nuts out there! You stuck to your guns and that's all that mattered!

I probably would of been tempted to deck her.

siouxsiesweets said...

i usually dont comment, but after reading this i have well done to you, there is no way i would let a stranger look after my kids in a pool thats just plain stupid, good for you for being assertive it took a lot of guts, and yep the world is getter stupider by the day, take care,

Sara said...

Wow! I would think a mother would have more of a mothering instinct not to do that sort of stuff to her kids. I would never want to leave such a young child in a pool without responsible adult supervision! Good for you for standing up for the rules. There are just some people that need to be put in their place. If you ask me the customer is NOT always right, especially when they are being total jerks