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Telepathy, Maybe?

, , , , , , | Working | May 20, 2022

I’m volunteering in children’s ministry. We occasionally get “runners” — kids that will slip out of their classrooms and head for the atrium. The church is right off a busy road, so this is obviously a safety concern. We usually call out that there’s a runner when we see one so that other volunteers are aware.

I’m running the check-in station when a little kid, about five or six, runs by me at top speed.

Me: “Oh, shoot. RUNNER!”

I take off after him, but he’s much faster than I am. I notice with alarm that he’s headed for the front door. I’m pretty soft-spoken but can yell if I need to.

Me: *At full volume* “HEY! FREEZE!”

The kid stops in his tracks and stares at me. This gives me a chance to catch up to him and catch my breath.

Me: “Whew. Hey, buddy. You like to run, don’t you?”

He nods enthusiastically.

Me: “Okay. I know running is super fun, but you need to stay in Sunday school right now. There are lots of cars and trucks outside right now, and if you run out there, they might not see you.”

The kid’s eyes get huge.

Me: “Let’s go back to class. I bet it’s just about snack time.”

Kid: “Snacks?”

Me: “Maybe. Why don’t we go see?”

He smiles and follows me back to his class. The teacher hands him a snack and thanks me for getting him back to class.

I head back out to the check-in area, where I am approached by the children’s director.

Director: “[My Name], was that you I heard?”

Me: “Yes. We had a runner, and I couldn’t catch him, so—”

Director: “We do not yell in church.”

Me: “But he was almost to the front doors, and I couldn’t catch him.”

Director: “Think of a better way to take care of that next time.”

Me: “If I can’t yell, they’re faster than I am, and they’re too big for me to pick up, how do I stop them?”

Director: “Just don’t do that again!”

Me: “But seriously, how am I supposed to—”

The director gives me an angry look and walks away.

Me: “Wow. Never mind.”

I did not volunteer there for very long.

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