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A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 15

, , , , , , | Working | December 20, 2021

During college, I have a part-time job at a daycare. My shift starts at 12:00 pm and work is usually about a thirty- to thirty-five-minute drive from where I live. It is 11:20 am and I am getting ready to head out when I get a call from the front desk.

Receptionist: “Hey, [Coworker #1] had a family emergency and had to leave. We’re short staff and [Coworker #2] and [Coworker #3] need to take their breaks. Can you come in at 11:30, instead?”

Me: “I’m actually just getting ready to leave, but since this is the normal time I leave, I won’t be there until probably 11:50 at the earliest.”

Receptionist: *Pauses* “Well, that doesn’t help us.”

Me: “I’m sorry? I live at least thirty minutes away from work. I won’t be able to get there any earlier.”

Receptionist: “Fine. Just get here as soon as you can.”

I luckily get mostly green lights on my drive, so I arrive at work at 11:45 am and clock in. When I get in, my coworkers look ticked.

Coworker #2: “You know, it’s highly inconvenient that you didn’t help us out and come in earlier. Now we’re late to take our breaks. Just remember this when you need a favor.”

Me: “Are you kidding me? [Receptionist] called me forty minutes before my shift started and my drive is usually at least thirty minutes, sometimes longer. I got here as soon as I could.”

Coworker #2: “Oh, I, uh… She didn’t tell me that. I just assumed you lived closer and refused to come in. Sorry.”

Later, my boss comes in asking to speak with me.

Boss: “[Receptionist] tells me that she called you to come in earlier for your shift when you were needed and you refused. That’s very unprofessional of you and I expect better next time.”

Me: “She called me at 11:20 asking me to be there at 11:30. I live thirty minutes away. There was no way I could get in any earlier. I got here at 11:45 am, earlier than I told her I would be, clocked in, and immediately went to the room afterward.”

Boss: *Pauses* “I’ll have a conversation with [Receptionist]. Sorry about that.”

Lots of things like this happened throughout my time working there. I didn’t stay much longer.

A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 14
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 13
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 12
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 11
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 10

Their Mother?! Really?!

, , , , | Working | December 16, 2021

The conference I was speaking at had a daycare center, so even though it was during the school summer vacation and my husband was also working, we didn’t have to arrange a babysitter. On arrival, I filled out the registration forms at the reception desk, handed the children off to the childcare worker, and went to do my presentation.

When I came to pick them up two hours later, my daughter looked sad. Then, I spotted their name tags.

We are Dutch and our children have North European names, spelled slightly different from the more usual form, but pronounced pretty much the same, like Riita and Tuomas.

On the children’s name tags were the common versions, Rita and Thomas. My son was too young to realize it, but my daughter was upset — like a seven-year-old can be — because her name was spelled wrong. She insisted, “I am not a Rita; I am Riita.”

I asked the receptionist what happened. She answered she didn’t know; the childcare workers made the nametags.

Just when we were about to leave, the worker who had taken care of the children walked up to the reception desk to grab something. The receptionist asked her why she had spelled the names differently from the names on the forms, and she answered, “I thought their mother spelled their names wrong.”

I still wonder why a childcare worker would think a speaker at a conference would misspell both her children’s names in clear block letters on a registration form. Or maybe she thought the parents had misspelled both the children’s names at birth but stuck with it and the worker tried to remedy that? And then also ignored my daughter’s protests for two hours.

You Can’t Bottle-Feed Someone Patience

, , , , | Working | December 10, 2021

I work in a daycare and am currently in the six-month to twelve-month room. One of the eight-month-olds is due for a bottle, so I go to feed him. He refuses the bottle, turning his head away and pushing at the bottle. I don’t want to force it, so I set him back down to try again later. About thirty minutes later, I offer it to him again and get the same response. I figure he ate enough at lunch and will let us know when he’s hungry again.

One of my coworkers sees this and rolls her eyes.

Coworker: “I’ll get him to take the bottle.”

Me: “He’s obviously not hungry yet. Don’t force it.”

She sits there for a long time, forcing the nipple into his mouth, until he eventually gives up and drinks the bottle. She sets him down and looks at me smugly. 

Coworker: “See, I knew I could get him to take it.” 

Cue the baby puking up the entire contents of the bottle. 

Me: “And that’s exactly why I stopped trying to get him to take it.”

Dad Gets An F

, , , , , , , , | Right | September 15, 2021

I work in the childcare area at a gym. There is a three-year-old who is walking around flipping off the teachers and other kids in the room. He also has said, “F*** you,” to a few of the kids. When the parents pick him up, I have a conversation with them. 

Me: “Hi there, I hope your workout was good. Can we chat really quick?”

Mom: “What’s up?”

Me: *In a quiet voice* “I just wanted to make you aware that we had a few problems today with [Child]. He was flipping off some of the teachers and other kids, and I caught him using the F-word.”

Mom looks baffled and Dad has an “Oh, crap!” expression on his face.

Mom:What?! That’s impossible! He doesn’t even know that word. I’m home all day with him and I don’t use that word! There’s no way he used that word or flipped anyone off.”

Mom continues to rant at me, implying that I’m not telling the truth.

Dad: *To their son* “Were you flipping people off and saying ‘f***’?”

Son: “Uh-huh!”

Mom: *To her son* “Where did you learn that from?!”

Son: “From Dad when he yells at other cars!”

Dad looked like he wanted the ground to open up and swallow him, and Mom stopped yelling. They quickly left, with Mom now yelling at Dad.

And She Was Never Heard From Again

, , , , | Working | September 10, 2021

I am doing a virtual inspection with one of my daycare providers. She is walking me towards her back door and chattering at me.

Provider: “…so, I open this door to go to the patio— AH! CICADAS!

The video promptly turned off.