Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Head Woman In Charge

I finally got in touch with Xavier and Terrence's uncle, to remind him he had to re-sign his nephews up for the boxing program.  "I told Terrence that I had already signed them up the last time," the uncle said.  I took a deep breath before explaining, like I had done a few times before, that the boxing class only runs for ten weeks.  "People have to sign up for each new session.  It is not a sign-up-once-and-people-are-in-for-the-year situation," I told the uncle.  "Oh!  I'm going to have to keep that in my mind!" the uncle replied.  I hope he does, because this is the last time I'm going to remind him.  He promised he would show up soon to register his nephews.

A woman came into the gym, accompanied by one of the kids who was in summer camp last year.  I'm not crazy about that particular kid; I'm supposing whomever was at the front desk asked the girl to show the woman where the boxing gym was.  Instead of going back upstairs, the girl -- who raised a lot of hell in the gym last summer -- stood around, looking all down in mine and the woman's mouth while we talked. I ignored the girl and focused on the adult.

The woman asked the usual questions about the gym, and then asked the one question that always raises a red flag for me.  "How many days do I have to come in?" she said.  Anytime I hear questions like that, including, "How many days can my child miss the gym?" it's a given that a lot of days will be missed, and some will drop out early.  It's usually a sign that I will be sitting alone in an empty gym most of the time, especially when the weather is warm.

The kids' class is full, but one of the staff members signed up an extra kid anyway.  I came upstairs, with the parent and kid behind me, to inform the staff member that the class had already reached capacity.  "We can sign up an extra person or two even if the classes are full," I was informed.  Just a few months ago, I was told that staff is not supposed to override the system to add extra participants.  When did that change?

I have told the staff numerous times to send people interested in the boxing program to talk to me first.  If that had been done so, I wouldn't have signed that kid up, knowing that the class was filled.  It would be nice to consider how many people I can actually handle before just adding more in.  That would have been especially thoughtful considering the youth boxing classes have been cut back from 75 minutes to 60 minutes.  Yet no one asked my opinion.  Seeing how it would be a waste of my energy to argue, I just told the parent when her kid should show up next week.

Having extra kids and teens in the classes would make sense if I had a volunteer to handle the overflow.  I've basically given up on that idea.  It appears that no one who has inquired about volunteering so far has a record clean enough to pass the background check the park district requires.  As soon as I bring up the background check, I get a lot of hemming, hawing, and attempts to convince me to overlook the requirement.  On top of that, the actual boxing knowledge of some who have inquired seems dubious to me.  In order to stay on the safe side, especially where the kids and teens are concerned, I'll remain the head woman in charge for awhile.

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