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One Punch Man

, , , , , , | Learning | November 15, 2019

(For the past few summers, I’ve worked as a camp counselor for an arts/theatre camp in between semesters at school. The camp is based out of a school but we’re not connected to the school. For context, I am a certified EMT with extra certification in Tactical/Combat medicine. I’ve also done Krav Maga — an intense Israeli martial art — for a few years and am about to become certified as an instructor in that. The female counselor is about to finish her teaching degree and has about eight years of experience teaching and working with kids under her belt. Our campers range in age from about four to ten, and we have about 30 of them. We take them out to the playground after lunch. After about ten minutes, I notice the boys getting rougher and rougher. Then, one boy punches another in the jaw. I immediately break up the fight and check on the victim, who is the brother of the puncher.)

Me: “Are you okay?”

Victim: Yes.”

Me: “Do you need ice?”

Victim: “No.”

Me: “Do you need me to call the trainer?”

(We’re supposed to ask for liability even though I guarantee you I know more than she does. Whatever, I don’t mind.)

Victim: “No.”

(About every ten minutes for the next hour, I check on him and ask him the same questions. His response is always the same. My female counselor disciplines the brother. It’s not harsh because we’re at camp but we believe it’s fair for a punch. Turns out the victim had been stealing the brother’s hat throughout the day and he’d eventually had enough. The next day, we’re called to a meeting with my boss and the person in charge of the school’s summer program. The mother of the boys is also there. We tell them what happened.)

Mother: “I can’t believe you didn’t call the trainer. My son could’ve had a broken jaw. He came home saying his head hurt all day.”

Me: “He didn’t want me to call the trainer.”

Mother: “He said you didn’t even give him any ice.”

Me: “That is correct.”

Mother: “Don’t you think someone with medical experience should’ve seen him? Honestly, the entitlement of you all is astounding.”

Me: “Yes, I do.”

Mother: “Then why didn’t you call the trainer?”

Me: “Because…”

(I list my credentials to her.)

Me: “That, coupled with the fact that when I asked him, he said he didn’t want the trainer, made me think it wasn’t the best use of her time.”

Mother: “Well, why didn’t you stop the fight?”

Me: “I did. The second I saw the punch, I intervened.”

Mother: “Why didn’t you intervene before the fight started?”

Me: “Because I’m not psychic. I’m gonna go do my job now.”

(I walked out and back to work. The mother and boss of the school’s program wanted me fired but my boss refused. Luckily, she agreed with me and realized how dumb the mother was being.)

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