I have wanted to update for the last two weeks, but I HOPE most of you can imagine why I haven’t:
Summer camp started on the 20th, and for the most part, it’s gone off with a resounding “BANG!” I’ve had really good kids, really great crafts, and was even lucky enough to get my favorite student from last summer. It is SO cute, she keeps bringing me all these little gifts; she brought me a little pocket of stapled construction paper, with two lavender springs and notes about how she loves me and I should be happy. Which, who wouldn’t be, with a gift like that? Then last week she brought me a scrub jay feather, a leaf of lamb’s ear, and a rock. And then another great student brought me a drawing of a swirl. Considering that I tape these to my bedroom mirror, I am very quickly going to run out of room to even see. I may need to invest in a cork board.
Something I don’t think I told you before: my uncle went through surgery on the 21st for prostate cancer. However, he’s home now, recovering, and he’s negative for the cancer! We went to see him on Friday night, and while he certainly wasn’t well, you could tell he was feeling better because he was telling his old bawdy jokes again. I really do love my uncle.
Briefly, before we get to the meat – things I have been busy doing in my free time:
1. Sleeping. I get up at six on weekday mornings so I can open up the park for Early Risers between seven and seven fifteen. My weekends are therefore dedicated to sitting on my ass and doing absolutely nothing.
2. Knitting. Finished my old sweater, got pics of Lilly wearing it (which, naturally, I’ll post), and have started on a new one that is quickly gaining in popularity.
3. Pokemon Platinum. Continuing the tradition of always being behind a game, I beat Emerald’s Elite Four (distressingly easily, too) and since I’d found a copy of Platinum, dove straight into that. I’m pretty damn enamored. It’s clear they refined the use of the touch screen between Platinum and HeartGold/SoulSilver, because I never use it when it’s required, but find myself missing it when it’s not. Also, there’s almost TOO MANY good Pokemon early on, I had a hard time choosing a team. But what is nice is that I’m using Pokemon (Actually almost entirely from Gen I) I never have used before, so it’s fun having a new party. Usually, in the old games, I’d end up using mainly the same team over and over because I knew what worked. But this is fun! And in case anyone wants to know, I am using Turtwig. Because the moment Chris showed me a picture of its evolved form – it has trees on its back! And you can ride it! – I knew I had to have it.
4. Watching unhealthy amounts of British Comedy. So last weekend I went through almost all of Peep Show in three days, and I recommend it to all of my friends who love dark comedy. Which is a considerable amount. It is a little sad because things just go so horribly wrong, but SOOOOO funny that even I love it. So then I found The Mitchell and Webb Situation and started rewatching Would I Lie To You. And then I found out David Mitchell FINALLY has a girlfriend, and my heart broke. So I think I’m going to have to take a little BritCom break in order to mourn properly. Or start rewatching Mock the Week, because Dara O’Brien’s already married and I just adore him.
So, now you know my life thus far. Let’s get into the drama.
Remember how I was supposed to have a male assistant, how exciting that was? I went to orientation on the sixteenth and was given an unpleasant surprise – he had taken a job in Medford, and my new assistant was a woman I’d worked with last year, here referred to as D.
Now, last year I got along with D, but that’s because I worked with Karen, who defied all my best efforts to like her. She also stepped in when our lovely inclusionist miscarried (she’s back this year and we’re so huggy and chatty and it’s awesome!). So I needed a friend in a bad way. But it was clear in the back of my mind that D did not want to be my friend. Even though I loaned her “Charade.” Ungrateful. At the end of the year, I got her a card, hoping we’d keep in touch and thanking her for all her help. There was no response.
Part of the issue is that when Karen left, I took over as Director. A position D thought was going to her, as she had seniority, and one she clearly wanted. In fact, she said “When I run this program next year-” making me internally shrink that the idea of me being Director in the future was not even a possibility to consider.
My unbridled good opinion of her and some other people at the park changed considerably this year. We need merely point to the X Debacle for an example. D, however, met her demise in my estimation from how poorly she treated Kaylah and Brooke, whom I adore whole-heartedly, and who have ALWAYS showed me kindness and consideration. So when I found out she was going to be my assistant, I was understandably nervous, and Boss Man was sympathetic. But BM is a great supervisor, and he always has my back, and assured me that he chose me for Director for a reason.
I was also blessed to have two great inclusionists, here referred to as Key and H. Key is particularly awesome, and fun, and amazing, and I wish she were my assistant. This is H’s first job, she’s sixteen and very sweet, but doesn’t have the necessary training to be an inclusionist. She’s working hard, bless her, and she rushes in to help whenever I need her.
D? She isn’t. I found out Day 2 she’d been horribly rude to H and snubbed Key, so I had to go in and apologize and let them know I was not going to tolerate this. It got worse from there. D was late all last week. She gave excuses up until Thursday, when I had to rush in from my 7 AM job to also set up for my 9 AM job. She just waltzed in ten minutes late and didn’t say a word. She wouldn’t even say “Good morning” if I hadn’t said it first. This woman is shameless. Boss Man knew about this and agreed she needed to get here on time. He also knew she was being horrible to the other staff members. What just put me over the edge, though, was that I caught myself cleaning up.
Guys, I was an assistant for a year, and I think it’s a great job when you work with respectful people. But I also have very firm ideas about responsibilities. The directors plan and execute and work with the kids. It is the job of the assistant to be support – to clean up, to do what is asked of them. NOT to sit around while I’m running around with the kids and certainly NOT to WATCH me doing their job. My wonderful inclusionists help clean up, but again, that also isn’t their job. They are there to work with the special needs children, because I’m certainly not qualified. Unfortunately, D is, and she is ONLY interested in the special needs children, and is horrible to all the others. In fact, she wouldn’t even let me talk to the parents when they first arrived, because SHE was running the show. But she wanted to have more hours, so she needs to suck it up and do what is her job.
So Thursday morning I had had it. I almost boiled over. I was so pissed off, I marched straight up to BM and laid it on the line: if she didn’t get her act together by the end of next week, I wanted her demoted to inclusion – since obviously that was all she was interested in – and out of my camp. And he agreed. With another nine weeks to go, he was sick of the drama, and he made it clear from the beginning she doesn’t HAVE to be here. She was a late-comer to get on board with the summer program anyway.
The only problem is this: BM no longer has power of Director at Montavilla. We finally are getting a new manager to replace Jenell from last year. So BM can’t just fire her, he doesn’t have the authority. BUT! New Manager is unlikely to tolerate a lot of the bullshit that goes on around here.
Just to irk me, D was on time on Friday. Too bad, because by then, I had rather dedicated myself to being angry at her. But she left early – we didn’t need the help, and Key and I knew we’d have a much better time without her, and did. It was a wonderful day. Despite the clear policy of no time off during summer since it’s so short, D had the brazeness to request time off. I was ticked, but Key reminded me it would mean she wouldn’t be here.
I’ve been writing this thing for well over half an hour, and I am both hungry and tired and need to shower. I hope you enjoyed my ranting on my job. I am enjoy