Cindy, my wife, and I have been working out at the YMCA for a couple of weeks. Most of the time, we drop the kids off at school (Pre-K and Kindergarten go half a day) and go straight to the YMCA for a workout (I work out of my house for those that don't know). Well, I am out of town this week and Cindy had to take our 11 year old to the dentist. She didn't get a chance to go work out until after school. The YMCA had a child watch program where you go drop your kids off for up to two hours and they play, draw, and play on the computer. The two other times we have dropped kids off, the workers were very talkative and nice.
Unsure on what time the child watch started, Cindy called and asked. She was told the child watch was going on at that time so she took the kids and headed to the YMCA. When she got there, no one was in the child watch room and the door was closed and locked. Cindy went to the desk to ask and she was told that it didn't start yet, but that one lady lived close and they would call and see if she could come in early. We live only five minutes from the YMCA but since they offered, Cindy decided to take them up on it. When they lady got there, she obviously was not in the same mood she usually is. Having just come from the dentist, our 11 year old did not feel like swimming by herself, so she sat in the child watch room with her little sisters. After Cindy's workout, she went to pick up the kids and Mariah (the 11 year old) had a very concerned look on her face. Mariah said the ladies in the room were talking bad about Cindy and one of them called her a b*tch for having them come in early. Also, one of them raised her voice to my five year old when she clicked a link on a website that is approved that took her to one that is not approved (going to barbie.com from pollypockets.com). The lady raised her voice and said, "if you click that again, I'm going to make you get off the computer."
Cindy called me and talked to the manager while I stayed on speaker phone. The manager asked Mariah to tell her what happened and then pulled in the three ladies. One of the ladies said she was telling the other that they were not allowed to go to b-a-r-b-i-e-.com (spelling it out and covering her mouth so the five year old wouldn't know), and that she did not raise her voice to my daughter. Mariah said this definitely did not happen that way.
The manager said she was going to write the ladies up and make them go through training again to reaffirm the YMCA values to them. She also wants my wife to sit on the child watch board (whatever that is). My wife and I said we are concerned with ever having to take our kids back in there. How would they be treated then? Mariah does not go into child watch with the other two because, well, she's 11. The manager offered to fire all three but then child watch would have to be shut down until new people could be hired and trained. This would inconvenience everyone. Mariah may have heard wrong (I doubt it though, she has bionic ears). Cindy and I can't ever talk quietly in the van without her listening in from two rows back.
We don't know what to do. The child watch is one of the reasons we joined the YMCA. The other is this being a family establishment where we feel safe bringing our family.
Is this the first time you've had a problem?
If so, I'd say give them a chance to make things right. I try really hard to offer second chances to everyone. Third chances are beyond my reach.
However, it seems pretty drastic that the manager would offer to fire them after one incident, so it's possible that they've had other complaints.
If your daughter said it happened like that, My guess is pretty good that it really happened like that. Children don't very often lie about stuff like that, at least not in my experience. It also seems more likely that the workers were trying to cover themselves so that they didn't lose their job.
(Oh, and I should add, having interviewed for that exact job before I was put on bedrest while pregnant with my first, they don't require much in the way of training. I'd want to interview people who worked there before I EVER left my kids at the Y, because some people are stellar, and some are abysmal. I've heard tell of both kinds of experiences.)
Posts: 21182 | Registered: Sep 2004
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I'll be charitable and say give them another chance. If you were given wrong information about child watch hours - as the conversation with the desk clerk onsite seems to imply - that's not the watch lady's fault. Doesn't give her the right to be a rhymes-with-witch, but we don't know what might have been interrupted for her to come watch your three.
My gut, though, is saying that you know Mariah very well and know she would not have made this up. I'd keep a closer eye on things and talk more with the kids about what happens when they're at childwatch. I don't know what kind of information you might get from the K and pre-K kids, but I suppose it's got to be worth at least trying.
Posts: 4515 | Registered: Jul 2004
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