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Eye’ll Tell You

, , , , | Friendly | May 19, 2018

(During college I work at the associated daycare centre. Due to a genetic disorder, my right eye is puffy and closed. At the end of fall semester my freshman year, it is decided I need to have the eye removed. I have the surgery during the three-week term during January. I start working again spring semester. A child is sitting in my lap while I read to him. A second child comes and stands in front of me.)

Child: “Did your eyeball fall out?”

(I am shocked and have to frantically find an answer that will be accepted by him while not freaking him out.)

Me: “Um, no, the doctors decided that to make me better they needed to take it out.”

Child: “Okay.”

(I love the honesty of children, and how much they want to learn about the world around them. I do not like when parents shush them, because it teaches them it is not okay to politely ask questions of people.)

Eleventh-Hour Decision On The Twelve-Hour Job

, , , , | Working | May 7, 2018

(I graduate as an elementary school teacher, but after college I remain with my “college job” because of the great pay, good hours, and low stress. However, they unexpectedly fire me without a good reason, and I need to look for a job when the economy is quite bad. Luckily, my lawyer manages to cut a deal with my old job, giving me some breathing space for a month or two. I send out many applications, for schools and other jobs. I finally get an interview with a daycare, for a position I am quite overqualified for. The daycare offers a decent pay, which would allow me to make ends meet, but have no more money left for saving up or fun things. Still, it’s better than nothing.)

Manager: “Thank you so much for coming! I was very impressed by your resume and qualifications!” *goes off in a standard spiel, I answer whatever she asks* “Now, let me show you around!”

(She shows me the daycare, from the little ones’ area to the after school program with the bigger ones. Since it’s during school hours, there is no one here.)

Manager: “The kids usually just play, but we expect you to think of fun projects for them to do, once in a while.”

(It dawns on me that she expects me to be in the after school program, which is pretty much from three pm until six pm, for four days a week: only twelve hours. The position offered, however, was for 36 hours. I ask her about this.)

Manager: “Oh, no, no, no, that’s what we offer full-fledged daycare employees, and that’s not what we’re looking for right now. But this position is open.”

(After the interview, I have a long train ride home and do my calculations. With the pay they offer, with no travel expenses covered, I could only pay half of my current rent, with no money left for anything else. I think about a second job, but the hours this job offers — I would need to come in early but only get paid the hours the kids are there, and leave late — give me little options. When I get home, my phone rings:)

Manager: “Hello! We talked about it and you are just perfect for the job!”

Me: “I am sorry, I thought about it, but I don’t think the job is something for me. I thank you, though.”

Manager: “But, but… you are perfect!”

Me: “Yes, but I thought things through, and I realized I won’t be able to pay my rent.”

Manager: *angry* “Then why did you apply?!”

Me: “I thought the position held more hours. Again, I am very sorry but I can’t take this position.”

Manager: “Well, thanks for nothing!”

(The manager hung up. I now understand why they were so eager to get me: a full-fledged teacher on a pay barely more than what you’d give a babysitter.)

Pre-School Poet’s Society

, , , , , | Learning | April 20, 2018

(I work at a daycare and am filling in for the teacher in charge of the two-year-olds. While I am pouring paint to do their art project, they get impatient. I look up and see five two-year-olds standing on their chairs.)

Me: “Get down! OH! Wait… Can you say, ‘O captain, my captain’?”

Two-Year-Olds: “O captain, my captain!”

Me: *dying*

Needs A Change Of Parent

, , , , | Right | April 19, 2018

(I am what they call a “floater” — basically a substitute — at a local day-care. This means I might work with different age groups each shift I am called in to work. Today, I am working in the one-year-old room. We have a schedule for when we change the children’s diapers, but they are also periodically checked throughout the day. A coworker and I have our group playing outside in the fenced-in area. A mom comes up to the fence to pick up her baby after signing her child out of the office. I hand the child over the fence to the mother, then go in to get her child’s things. She takes her child and the things to the car just a few feet away, so I think nothing more of it. A minute later the mother comes back to me, holding her child out in front of her as if she is disgusted by her.)

Mother: “She needs to be changed.”

(I wordlessly stare at the mother for a few seconds before it registers to me that, yes, this is actually happening. Not wanting to cause a scene or fuss with the mother, I take the child back in, change her, bring her back out to the mother, and hand her back over the fence.)

Coworker: “Did she really just bring her child back to us just so we could change her?”

Me: “Yep.”

(Both of us stared at the mother as she drove away, wondering how in the world some people ever became parents.)

A Santa Existential Crisis

, , , , | Working | December 22, 2017

(I am assisting a line of parents when a woman storms up to the counter. She seems rather upset. This happens close to Christmas.)

Mother: “Sorry, but could you tell me where [Coworker] is, please?”

(I shout for her.)

Coworker: “Hi! Can I help?”

Mother: “Did you tell my daughter that Santa doesn’t exist?”

(Silence falls on the room.)

Coworker: “How old is she?”

Mother: “Five.”

Coworker: “Yes.”

Mother: “Why?”

Coworker: “Because Christmas is nothing more than a commercial holiday nowadays, and your daughter doesn’t need to be told a MAN is going to be getting her everything she wanted for Christmas.”

Mother: *with a rigid smile* “It was also the only reason what was looking forward to Christmas this year, after seeing her father die right before her eyes last Christmas Day.”

Coworker: *going pale* “Oh, umm—”

Mother: “So, thank you. Thank you for ruining Christmas. The first two Christmases my daughter is going to remember: seeing her father collapse on a dollhouse they were building together, and learning that Santa doesn’t exist from a virtual stranger. Thank you, you self-righteous b****!”

(The woman ran out of the daycare in hysterics. Everyone else then turned towards [Coworker], and she barely had time to escape before utter chaos ensued. We lost a lot of business that day (to which we have yet to recover), and [Coworker] was let go for her conduct. I got in touch with the woman with condolences and apologies. She accepted, but said she wouldn’t be coming back. I don’t blame her.)