A Sick Fantasy

, , , , , | Healthy | October 1, 2019

(I work in a childcare centre. Every ten minutes we have to check on the sleeping children in the nursery to make sure they are still alive and breathing. A coworker who is quiet, sweet, and very unsure of herself does the check and comes out of one of the cot rooms to say:)

Coworker: “[Child] has thrown up a little.”

Me: “Oh, okay. Do you want to clean it up, or do the washing up I was about to do and let me clean it up?”

Coworker: “Ah, I’d like to do the washing up if you don’t mind.”

Me: “Sure thing.” 

(I go grab what I will need –gloves, washcloths, bag for clothes, etc. — and walk into the room. The child has projectile vomited in her sleep; it is EVERYWHERE and the child is still asleep. The sheets need to be thrown out, the cot has to be disinfected, and the child needs a bath — it is in her hair and in her socks. I walk up to that coworker later.)

Me: “Um, [Coworker]…”

Coworker: “Yes?”

Me: “You led me down a bit of a fantasy there by saying it was a little bit of vomit.”

(She and the other coworkers in the staff room lost it with laughter.)

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Needs A Strong Stomach For This Coworker

, , , , | Working | September 21, 2019

(I am working a childcare job. The family has twin girls, each with a unique set of special needs. Their parents have assistance almost around the clock, so I have several coworkers. Most of them are great, but there is one girl I positively dread having overlapping shifts with. She constantly gets into juvenile power struggles with the children over the stupidest things, simply because she can’t stand to be contradicted. For instance, she’ll nitpick the little girls’ games of make-believe for being too absurd and demand that they play differently. The children are not compliant, nor should they have to be, and the rest of us have to diplomatically referee between an elementary schooler and a college student. Basically, when I have to work with her, I’m monitoring three stubborn children instead of two, and the worst one can’t be put in timeout. Despite the fact that I break out in stress-hives at the sound of her voice, I am never anything but professional and polite to her. I also work with another family and have arranged playdates between these two sets of children for a number of years with great success. I have brought kids from both families to meet at a small festival hosted by a church nearby. The boy in this story is from the other jobs, so my coworker is not, has never been, nor ever will be in any position of authority over this boy. I am quite petite and the boy is harmlessly amusing himself by clasping his arms around my waist and attempting to lift me off the ground, with moderate success.)

Coworker: *harshly, to [Boy]* “Don’t do that! She just ate lunch; you’re going to make her sick!”

Me: *to [Boy], but reasonably loud enough for my coworker to hear* “That’s okay, sweetie. I’ve got a strong stomach. You’re fine.”

([Boy] continues lifting.)

Coworker: *snapping at [Boy] again* “I told you to cut that out!”

(I respond directly to [Coworker] this time, with a pleasant tone, generously thinking she may not have heard me before and was genuinely concerned for my well-being.)

Me: “I won’t get sick. I told him it was okay.”

Coworker: *to me* “But I told him to stop.”

(She says this so smugly, as though it’s the unquestionable end of the subject. [Boy] is now looking to me for guidance, obviously concerned that he might be in trouble. I am an extremely patient, even-tempered person, but I am not being paid to deal with her attitude today and for once, I am not going to take it. I put a hand reassuringly on the boy’s shoulder and then very slowly turn to face her. I look her dead in the eyes with the sternest, most withering stare I can muster. When you work with children, you can get pretty good at that stare.)

Me: *deliberately and forcefully* “But. I. Said. It. Was. Okay.”

(She backed off immediately and barely spoke to me the rest of the afternoon. She was still an obnoxious human being, terrible at her job, and a pain to work with, but after that confrontation, she never again attempted to exert any authority over me. She was eventually fired after another of her stupid power struggles lead to the child with brittle bones slipping on a wet bathroom floor and breaking her leg. The worst part of all of this, though? She’s now a special education teacher.)

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Prepare To Be Pee’d Off

, , , , , , | Learning | August 31, 2019

(I am working with a group of kids that I have only worked with once before. I get stuck in the room with a new employee and twelve three-year-olds. Towards the end of an extremely hectic day I need to use the restroom.)

Me: *to coworker* “Hey, I’m going to go use the restroom really quick. Will you be okay while I’m gone?”

Coworker: “Yeah! Go right ahead.”

(Not even five minutes later, I walk back into the room. The room has been torn apart completely, but that’s not the worst thing I see. One of the three-year-old boys is sitting in a chair without pants on.)

Me: “Hey, [Three-Year-Old], what are you doing?”

Three-Year-Old: “I peed!”

Me: “Oh, yeah? Where did you pee?”

(The child points to a puddle of pee in the middle of the room; his clothes are sitting in the middle of it.)

Me: “Um, [Coworker], did you notice that [Three-Year-Old] is naked and has peed on the floor?”

(My coworker obviously has been sitting in the corner with one child on her lap, ignoring the eleven other children in the room.)

Coworker: “What happened?”

(Let’s just say that I hope I never work with her again!)

 

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Unfiltered Story #159077

, , , | Unfiltered | July 23, 2019

(I am 16 years old, brown-skinned, doing work-experience at a childcare centre. By coincidence, one of the full-time workers who is a middle-aged white woman, has the same name as me. On my second day, one of the children come up to me)

Child: Hi, I’m Thomas, what’s your name?
Me: I’m Tina. I’m going to be here for the next few weeks.
Thomas: Cool! (points to a set of blocks) can you help me build that into a road please?
Me: sure!
(Just then, my co-worker with the same name comes over)
Co-worker: Thomas, it’s snack time! You can play again later.
(Thomas looks from me to her with a confused look on his face)
Me: what’s wrong?
Thomas: If you’re both Tina, why is your face brown and her face white?

Pot Calling The Kettle Pink

, , , , , | Learning | March 16, 2019

(One day at the child care center where I work, I have a little boy come in with red fingernail polish on. Later that day, one of my male coworkers sees him and walks up to me.)

Coworker: “Who painted that child’s fingernails?”

Me: “His mom.”

Coworker: “Oh, my God.”

Me: “What?”

Coworker: “That poor kid doesn’t stand a chance.” *walks away*

(You’re a male working in childcare and you want to hold a three-year-old to traditional gender expectations?)

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