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We Discriminate Against People Who Try To Kill Children

, , , , , , | Working | May 19, 2022

My husband was the assistant director of a government childcare facility for children four years old and younger. As such, his responsibilities included looking after the health and safety of the employees and the children in their care as well as determining disciplinary action when employees broke the rules.

One day, a child had been given an item they were known to have a (non-life-threatening) allergy to. Thankfully, it was caught and the child ended up fine, but the incident still needed to be documented so that appropriate action could be taken with the employees involved and so they could identify areas where procedures could be improved to keep it from happening again.

As part of this investigation, my husband interviewed the facility’s cook to get her statement. It was just a checking-the-boxes type of thing since she wasn’t directly involved. Or so he thought.

It turned out that the cook had not been following any of the procedures regarding food allergies BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T BELIEVE THEY WERE REAL. My husband was mortified and, after taking the matter to the equally mortified director, the cook was suspended for a short time. Due to their agency’s policies, that was the most they could do at that point.

During her suspension, my husband went about gathering training documentation that she had signed off on as well as statements from other staff members regarding her ignoring procedures.

I’m not too clear on the timeline as this was years ago, but at some point, the director and my husband sat down with the cook and went over all the information that had been gathered and the reasoning behind why they were extending her suspension. She listened quietly and calmly confirmed that all the statements staff had made were true, as if ignoring procedures designed to keep kids safe was a perfectly normal thing to do, and she fully intended to continue doing so.

At the end, she was asked if she had any questions about the action they were taking.

Cook: “But… there’s nothing positive in this.”

My husband and the director were stunned. The cook grew increasingly upset that, at the meeting regarding her suspension, they discussed only the things she did wrong and nothing she had done right.

Eventually, it was clear that they were going to pursue termination. It ended up in arbitration as, through her union representative, the cook (an older woman) alleged age and sex discrimination specifically against my husband (a middle-aged man) who, I’ll repeat, was the assistant director and couldn’t have terminated or even suspended her without the approval of the director (an older woman). Once that went nowhere, she tried to sue. Strangely, every lawyer she tried to involve somehow never showed up to meetings. Finally, two years after the initial incident, the matter went before a judge, who threw it out.

To this day, anytime there’s a situation where one of us is clearly at fault, we say, “But there’s nothing positive in this!”

Thanks, But No Spanks

, , , , | Right | May 17, 2022

I am a stay-at-home mom and am looking at possibly watching additional children to help contribute to my family’s finances. I post a few listings and a man reaches out to me. We chat for a while.

Caller: “What’s your take on spanking?”

Me: “I believe in other forms of discipline. I’ve worked with many children your daughters’ ages and am able to work with them to come to an understanding.”

Caller: “But you’d be an expansion of us. Like a third parent. We would need you to spank them.”

Me: “I am not comfortable spanking children.”

Caller: “Well, we would need you to when we hire you.”

Me: “I’m sorry. It sounds like we’re probably not going to be a good fit. I wish you luck in your search for childcare.”

By the way, his children were ten and twelve.

Awkward Antics

, , , , | Learning Related | May 12, 2022

When I went to pick my daughter up from her first day of preschool, the director wanted to speak to me. Apparently, she stood in front of the class and announced:

Daughter: “My name is [Daughter], I’m a cross-addicted alcoholic, and I’m grateful to be here.”

I then had to explain that her father sometimes brings the kids to his Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

I went home and told my husband, and we laughed and laughed. He didn’t bring the kids to his meetings anymore after that.

They Are Always Listening

, , , , , , | Related Right | April 27, 2022

I work with two- to three-year-olds at a daycare. One boy is a little whiny at the end of the day. His mother is in a hurry and looks like she’s about to scold him, which I know will only make things worse for the both of them, so I sit down next to the boy.

Me: “Boy, oh, boy, did we have a busy day or what?”

Boy: *Sighs dramatically* “Oh, Mommy, you wouldn’t believe it.”

Mom gives a tired little smile.

Me: “I think Mommy may have had a very busy day, as well.”

Boy: “Mommy, did you?”

Mom: “I sure did, sweetheart.”

Boy: “I see.”

Me: “How about you put on your shoes so you can go home and have a nice dinner together?”

Boy: *Starts fake crying again* “I don’t waaaant toooooo! I never, ever, ever want to leeeeaaave!”

Mom: “Oh, [Boy], come on!

Me: “Oof. They really are a handful at this age, aren’t they?”

Mom: “They really are. I just don’t know what’s wrong with him!”

Me: “Oh, don’t worry. Nothing’s wrong with him. He really is just very tired. Once you get some food in him and have a bit of quiet time before bed, he’ll be back to his sweet old self in no time. Every child his age does this, trust me. Now, [Boy], you see Mommy is very tired, too? She’s probably hungry, as well! I bet you’ll have something really nice for dinner. Put your shoes on and Mommy will show you!”

Boy:You put my shoes on!”

Me: “Me? Oh, I could never. You are way too big to need any help!”

Boy: “That’s right, I am the biggest. Look, Mommy! Look! I can do this all by myself. I don’t need any help at all from no one!”

Mom: “That’s wonderful, honey; I am so proud of you.”

They leave quite happily. A couple of days later is another very busy day with various temper tantrums, ear-piercing screams, pinching, and biting. I am pooped at the end of the day, and I look like a wrung-out mop. The same boy is being picked up by his mother.

Mom: “Oh, dear, look at you! Long day?”

Me: *Managing a smile* “You wouldn’t believe it.”

Boy: *Pets my head* “Oh, don’t worry, nothing’s wrong with her. She really is just very tired. Once you get some food in her and have a bit of quiet time before bed, she’ll be back to her sweet old self in no time. Every lady this age does this, trust me.”

Spot on, kid!

Does Mom Need Glasses, Too?

, , , , , | Learning | April 12, 2022

I am a Pre-K assistant teacher. We have a few students that are part-time. One of our part-time students wears glasses but he frequently forgets to wear them. He comes in on one of his days not wearing them. The next time he comes in, his mom walks in furious and immediately starts yelling at the headteacher and me.

Mom: “Where are [Student]’s glasses!?”

Me: *Very confused* “I’m not sure? I don’t recall him wearing them the last time he was here.”

Mom: “No! He definitely had them on and you two lost them!”

Coworker: “I don’t remember him wearing his glasses last time, either. We’ll keep an eye out for them, but are you sure they’re not somewhere at home or maybe in your car?”

Mom: “I’m not stupid! He had them here last time and now we can’t find them. You lost them, and I will be sure that they come out of your paychecks!”

Me: “If you’d like, we can review the security tapes in the office. I apologize if he lost them here. We will keep an eye open for them in case he did.”

Mom: *Glares at me* “You’d better find them or I’ll be talking to your boss.”

Once she leaves, I go to the office and ask to review the footage from when [Student] was dropped off. Sure enough, he wasn’t wearing glasses when he came in. A few days pass by, and [Student] comes in again, this time wearing his glasses. He is dropped off before I come in, but my coworker tells me that when she pointed out that it looked like they had found his glasses, [Mom] admitted that they’d found them in their car but didn’t give an apology for accusing us of losing them.

A few weeks pass. [Student] has his glasses on every day, until one day he comes in without them. I look directly at [Mom].

Me: “I see [Student] doesn’t have his glasses on today. He must have left them at home.”

The look on [Mom]’s face is priceless. 

Mom: *Not making eye contact and muttering* “Uh, yes. They’re at home.”

I continued to point out if he wasn’t wearing them every time he came in for the rest of the year.