You’ve Been Benched

| Working | April 12, 2017

(We are clearing out a room to make space for a school class who are staying over for the night. We have taken out the benches and put them on each other in a corner next to the room. The plan is to decide what to do with it later; first, we want to finish the dorm, which we are filling with mattresses for the kids. Then the director of the park arrives. Saying the man is a loose cannon is an understatement. He is known to be short-tempered, distrustful, and easily stressed.)

Director: *angry, almost aggressively* “Guys, come on! Don’t put that stuff all on a heap like that! You can’t do that! This is an outrage!! All these benches have to be put apart with the cushions on them, one here, one there, one there! Not like this! This is a disgrace to the park!”

(He angrily storms away. My colleagues and I start to handle all the benches like he “asked.” The school kids look really bewildered by what they just saw.)

Kid #1: “Who is that man?”

Kid #2: “Yeah, and why was he so angry?”

Me: *trying not to make a fuss about it to the guests* “Oh, that’s our boss, the director.”

Kid #2: “Gosh, he should really relax. He’s really letting himself overcome by the stress.”

Kid #1: *to me* “Now I know why I saw you picking up all the litter outside. He was so angry, of course.”

Me: *smiling* “Oh, no, picking up the litter is just daily routine.”

(Still I couldn’t help wondering what was a bigger “disgrace”: a few untidy benches and cushions, or the owner/director lashing out at his employers in front of those school kids.)

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