Before I could enter the building this afternoon, the Summer Program kids had the walls vibrating. The older woman who I relieve handed me forms as I walked in, then winced while instructing me to give them to the kids on their way home. I nodded. Her wince deepened and she seemed to brace for impact. What could be so bad? We only had 2 more days to go.
She stared mutely at the paper in my hand.
It read, "The Summer Program has been extended for 2 more weeks."
Insert every rude word and inappropriate phrase you've ever heard HERE.
No, I didn't say them out loud. But I thought a few.
Is it an omen that the program now ends on Friday the 13th?
Today the kids were the worst yet, as if they'd been main lining sugar and drinking Bull of Red for days on end with no sleep. The more the other worker [newly turned 21 and working on gray hairs already thanks to the kids] and I instructed them to behave, the louder they got. When I announced I WOULD NOT tolerate this behavior for another two weeks, the older ones appeared puzzled. The young worker explained our program had been expanded.
Miss 21 leaves on FRIDAY, as her job is completed. As she was cleaning this afternoon, she looked at me with sorrow and said, "I just want you to know that those evil big boys [ages 13-16] know I'll be gone after Friday. They said they plan to 'Go Wild' on you Monday because they think you'll be all alone."
Problem is, I just might be. That Center's Director is out with back problems and not scheduled to return until mid August.
Insult to injury? The Sheriff's Dept., in an attempt to "make friends" with these future juvenile delinquents they will probably one day arrest, presented the older boys today with a pair of brand new, BIG brand name sneakers for school. So the boys picked up their new sneakers, sneered at me and I could see the wheels turning.
I'm afraid they're in for a new lesson. Never underestimate the determination of one small, over worked, under paid, on the edge woman....no matter how much taller you are then she. Because bottom line is, you keep it up, I write you up and out the door you go. Permanently.
Sadly, for doing the right thing I know I'll be watching over my shoulder and checking the air pressure in my tires for weeks to come.