Thursday, June 30, 2011

Must Share, Hoping Mad

I have to share.  It's not at all quilt related and basically is a rant.  Turn away if you must.

The munchkin attends YMCA summer camp because of the working parent situation.  Not all bad since she has really been loving camp and all the activities.  I was loving it until yesterday when I completely lost my head and apparently my ability to speak in anything other than really bad cuss words.

Yesterday was T-Bones day, the long awaited trip to see the minor league baseball team here in KC.  I'm excited for the munchkin because I always have fun when we go watch the games.  Lots of activities.  Guys that play for the love of the game and get paid next to nothing and really don't care because they LOVE baseball.

Anyhow I get to camp last night and discover that my child who is VERY far sighted has no glasses.  Hmmm what happened to your glasses?  Child has this horrible look of fright and really isn't wanting to talk.  The counselor followed her over to me and said in a tone that I didn't much like, well her glasses got broken and then thrown away.  Sorry, shrugged and attempted to walk away.  That's when I dropped a lot of really inappropriate words.  Explained that the glasses that were on my child's face this morning will run more than $300 to replace.  Yes, you can say I hit red line and went directly to livid.  We left because I knew that I would say a whole lot more inappropriate things if left to deal with college aged counselors and excuses.  I immediately called the eye doctor to find out about the cost of replacements.  Well my estimate was off by $180.  More like $480 to replace the glasses and that's with the Holy Crap we feel sorry for you here is your 20% discount.  After that I called the YMCA office and asked to speak to the director.  Of course I get voicemail, so I leave a very detailed message why I was called and explained this must be resolved immediately.

So last night I'm fuming around the house and asking all sorts of questions.  What I learned is sunscreen was being applied to the Munchkin's face so the glasses came off.  In the mean time, some boy came over to have his sunscreen applied and he stepped on the glasses.  Not just stepped, stomped and demolished the glasses. So at that point the counselor tried to fix the glasses but couldn't.  His response to my child was put them in your lunch sack which she promptly did.  (YIPPEE she can follow directions.)  His response in my opinion should have been I'm going to hold your glasses and give them to your mom when she comes tonight.  Directions to put glasses in a disposable brown lunch sack, in my humble opinion, has BAD, DUMB and STUPID written all over it.  See where this is going?????

Lunch rolls along, glasses are still "SAFE" in the lunch bag.  Lunch gets consumed.  We were told to give our kids money so they could go to the concession stand.  Munchkin's was at was dismissed and sent to the concession stand but told to leave their lunch bags. Again, Munchkin follows the rules, but being almost 8 doesn't make the logical leap to maybe I should take my now broken glasses out of the bag because it might get thrown away while I'm away from the table.  Ever efficient concession stand worker comes along and clears the entire table of trash and off go the glasses to the Deffenbaugh Trash heap.  The counselor realized the glasses were gone, only because said small child announced very loud, OH NO MY MOM IS GOING TO KILL ME, did he realized Houston we have a problem.

Now mind you, if I had the broken glasses to return to the eye doctor, I would pay a $15 co-pay and the glasses would be replaced no questions.  At this point I have nothing to return to the eye doctor.

This morning, I pull said counselor aside away from all the kids to talk.  Because in my infinitely wonderful ability to parent, I discover that my poor child now thinks I'm absolutely livid with her for the glasses and can't stop saying I'm sorry and I love you and I'm sorry.  So I figured it best to move from the area where the kids are to talk.  I know I was in college and I know I wasn't the most responsible person in the world.  But when tasked to watch peoples kids, I took that job very seriously.  I tried to explain to this fine young gentleman that my daughter has shown up to camp since the beginning of June with glasses on her face every day.  Those glasses in my estimation are basically like an additional appendage to her.  Like having a 3rd arm or leg.  You take care of my child, because I pay a huge amount of money weekly, you should as well take care of the glasses.  Excuse #1 - I'm responsible for 40 children.  My correction to excuse #1 - No, I beg to differ, you are responsible for a group of 10 children.  There are 3 other adults that have the same number of children they are responsible.  Yes there are 40 kids total, but you are NOT responsible in theory for all 40 at one time.
     Excuse #2 came when I asked why he didn't put the glasses in his backpack, pocket or another counselors pack.  Or why he didn't even ask one of the other counselors to watch his 10 kids for 5 minutes so he could run the broken glasses out to the bus/van.  Ma'am, your daughter needs to be responsible for her own glasses and why would she think it was OK to take the glasses off?  Well, applying sunscreen to your face with glasses on, especially spray sunscreen can get a bit tricky.  I went on to give him a visual example to explain why my child did what she did (also based on our experience from 2 weekends ago).  Now Mr. Counselor, imagine your favorite pair of Ray-Ban or Oakley sunglasses (anything over $150 - he got the picture) on your face when you try to SPRAY the sunscreen for your face.  Yes, it gets on your glasses.  And it's not much fun to try to get it off.  It took us 4 rounds with Dawn dish soap and still had some residual stuff for a day or two.
   Excuse #3 - You really need to send a strap for her so this doesn't happen again.  This is where I wanted to reach over and choke his scrawny neck.  #1 - It will not happen again and if it does, you better hope you still get a paycheck because I will see to it that you don't.  #2 - Don't blame an 8 year old when you don't wear glasses.  This where I really couldn't let it go.  I explained that my child has worn glasses since she was 3 and made sure to hold up 3 fingers so he really understood I meant 3.  In that time, there have been broken glasses.  But I had an adult meet me at the door and hand me the broken glasses and apologize.  This time, not the case and this time I'm FURIOUS.  Not a little angry, not a little annoyed, FURIOUS.

At this point, I know that Mr College Counselor really can't do anything to fix the glasses situation and that I'm going to have to go to a higher authority, his boss, the guy I called and left the message for.  So I nicely explain that I called his boss and that he will more than likely be contacted at some point during the day for his side of the story.  I did apologize for being somewhat rude (although I could have been far worse).  I walked back to the room where the kids are, hugged the Munchkin and left.

The whole time I'm in the car driving to work I'm thinking, they better be nice to her today and not be mean because I was angry with them and didn't speak nicely.

Get to work.  9AM still no call from the director.  Long story short, we talk and talk and talk and he says the YMCA will pay 1/2 for new glasses.  Not acceptable to me.  I offer up, OK, you don't cut me a check for glasses, you give me free day care totaling $480.  No all we can pay is 1/2.  Yeah not acceptable so we jockey back and forth and I finally tell him that his offer is unacceptable to me, but I would talk to my husband.  More than likely my husband would call him back to discuss, give me a direct number.

Husband, still furious over the whole fiasco, sends a very eloquent email explaining in no uncertain terms that the YMCA is responsible based on the inactions of the counselor in which they employ.  To put 1/2 fault on a child who was very good at following the adults directions is not acceptable.  And to make 2 parents come up with 1/2 and accept fault when we leave our child in your care, custody and control during the day is also unreasonable.

Today the day ended at 4:00PM with an email from the director saying that he has now referred the issue to his boss.  I guess we get to brow beat her tomorrow.

I do want to make it clear that I'm not looking for a free lunch.  I am, though, looking for what is right and fair.   50/50 blame is not fair.  Hopefully we can get it resolved quickly.  I believe in my heart that the Y will do the right thing, but boy is it ever frustrating to explain and prove that they aren't there yet.

I'm now on my way to the Girl Cave to feel fabric and maybe even sew a stitch or two.  That will definitely get rid of some of the stress of the day.

Have a great night.


Amy said...

O gosh, so sorry to hear about your childs glasses. I hope the "Y" does what is right.

Sharon said...

Boy, can I relate to your frustration! Good for you not to cave in, which you know is what they're hoping for. As maddening as it is, stick to your guns!

Lauren said...

ARG! I hate it when people refuse to acknowledge when they're responsible for this sort of thing, ESPECIALLY when they shift the blame to a CHILD! You can't blame your incompetence on kids, when YOU are in charge of watching them, and THEY are simply following your instructions! So annoying!

Anonymous said...

This is EXACTLY why my children do NOT go to YMCA. I go out of my way to find other SUPERIOR, less expensive arrangements in the summer. Kids did go to OP YMCA for 6 weeks. Week two they left a little boy at the pool. The following morning the staff was dissing the child mother in front of about 30 kids. They couldn't understand why the mother got upset.