October 2010

Oooh, I have been waiting to get to this one! I was going to do it as the “someone you need to forgive” day but then I saw this topic coming up and decided to save it. And I am going to name names and point fingers.

Several months after I graduated college, I got a job teaching at a “preschool.” I say “preschool” because it was supposed to be soooo much better than a regular old daycare, but it was just a really expensive, regular old daycare. (It could have been good if they weren’t super greedy and overstuffing the classes so it was all we could do to maintain order.) The name of this establishment was Primrose School of Bedford and the director’s name was Robin. I considered putting her last name on here for kicks but if you’re really that curious you can utilize Google. Maybe she is ashamed and is determined to start afresh in the world. Anyway, I started working there and was very shortly horrified at how disparate reality was from the lines I was fed during the interview process, most especially that they really fudged on class size requirements. 27 kids is an awful lot for 2 adults to handle, particularly when a lot of these kids were completely undisciplined at home.

Anyway, the class younger than the one I taught in had a really horrible little boy in it named Cody. Cody had some extreme, severe temper tantrums. I am talking EXTREME. You told this kid “no,” he would go ballistic. Screaming, kicking, hitting, throwing chairs at other kids…he was a menace to society. His teachers had numerous meetings with his parents to work out his issues and the parents claimed he never, ever acted like that at home. “Well, do you ever tell him no?” the teachers asked. The parents were appalled at the idea of denying their child anything. Of course not! Well, there’s your problem. (Now, let me add that this kid was just barely 3 and was in daycare from open til close or later, every single day. He was there when his teachers arrived and there when they clocked out, and 12 or 13 hours is a looong day for anyone but especially a kid that young. And that was just at daycare, he obviously had to wake up earlier and went to bed later. So really he cannot be held accountable for his atrocious behavior.) His parents finally decided that they would remove him from the school, to the great relief of his teachers and myself and the other teacher in my room (we shared the room with the other class so we got to partake of his noise each and every day). In an effort to keep Cody and his tuition fees, the director decided that he should just move up into our class. Even though he wasn’t fully potty trained. Even though he had not reached the milestones necessary to move up.

So, we got Cody. First day was ok, he seemed to be really into the concept of being in the big kids’ class. But by the second day, he was having meltdowns. I had to physically restrain him because he was hurting other kids and he started hitting me in the face. Days pass like this…a few weeks, maybe, I don’t know. Anyway the other teacher left 30 minutes before I did every day (she got there 30 minutes earlier) so I would be left with the max number of kids (12), one of whom was always Cody. This was pure survival mode for me: just make it til 5:30, then you can go home and collapse.

So this one day, while I’m by myself, Cody leaves storytime and acts like he is going to walk out the back door to the playground. Many child development experts will tell you to ignore undesirable behavior and praise good behavior; however, if you ignore Cody he will actually do it. So that method is out. I could also be very firm with him, but that would just egg him on to actually leave. I choose the method of “I see you but what you’re doing doesn’t bother me!” like this: “Sorry Cody, it’s too bad it’s not time to go home yet, you’re stuck here with me!” and brightly carry on with storytime. A mom is walking through the room at the time (yes, walking through the room; there were other rooms behind ours so ours served as a hallway, not sure whose bright idea that was) and also happens to be the aunt of one of the kids in my class. She overhears this and apparently complains to the director that I am telling kids I don’t want them and want them to go home. So on my way out the director asked me about it, kind of. I had already asked to actually leave on time for once that day because I had a doctor’s appointment, and was once again relieved late, so I hurriedly explained what happened and Robin acted like oh, ok.

That was on a Tuesday. On Friday at lunch I called Jake and begged him to let me call and quit because I hated it so much and it was such a pretty day outside and no one should feel so miserable on such a pretty day. He said I could quit as soon as I had any shred of a job possibility elsewhere, so I went back at the end of my lunch break. On Sunday, during church, my cell phone rang (note that I had mentioned church involvement several times during my interviews) and I silenced it. After church I remembered the call and checked my messages. It went something like this: “This is Robin from Primrose and (the aunt) talked to (the mom) and now she wants to move her child to a different class because of what you said to Cody. So we are going to have to let you go because that is really not what we’re about at Primrose, that’s not acceptable.”

Yes. I was fired over voice mail. Over something that didn’t even happen.

Really, it was a huge relief because I seriously hated that job. And, even better, that same afternoon a friend called and said an office position was opening up at the TV station where she worked. I ended up taking that job, making the SAME AMOUNT working part time with no stress. Plus I could plan my wedding since it was part time, and then I started working more and it was really a great job.

But, Primrose and Director Robin are definitely on my blacklist (seriously? can it GET any more unprofessional than firing someone over voice mail?) and I am so happy to finally put this story out on the internet even though only a handful of people read this.


Big shout out to my hubby and my baby boy on this one.

That was easy.