Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Random Mumblings

Yep. Evidently I mumble. It's the only explanation for why the kids of the Summer Program can't hear me. Or why the senior citizens continue talking when I'm trying to address the group...like today, at lunch.

(Maybe I need a little stage to stand on. So I can be seen. Or stilts).

Funny, I announced that I would share a list of items with them after they went through the buffet line. I had to pause when the sweet little lady who makes quilts for everyone began yelling, "I can't HEAR HER!" When that didn't work, she smiled and screamed, "Shut up!"

(Note to self: that might work on the Summer kids).

Once the shell shocked looks wore off their faces, I tried again. They were busy talking...to each other. Amazingly when I gave up and mumbled that there were only 12 biscuits for 16 people as I walked out the room, one of them repeated loudly,"Did she just say there aren't enough biscuits?!"

(Word to the wise. Hungry seniors move like a herd of buffalo being chased by a cougar when food is served. Never stand in their way).

The trick with the seniors is to let them get their plates, sit down, eat for 5 minutes, then spring announcements on them while they're chewing. Which I did. I got the feeling I was talking to myself about the time each table began carrying on their own conversation. I decided to have a heart-to-heart with the dessert pan in the kitchen which needed washing before I called Bingo.

(I hate Bingo. There. I said it. Now I won't be allowed to grow up to be a senior).

Monday was horrible at the Summer Program. SPLAT! doesn't even begin to describe it. Short version: I sent 3 of the older kids home. Permanently. They just didn't know it at that point.

(Note to self: I will be brave. Yea though I walk through the rabble in the parking lot, I will fear no evil...although I will be checking my tires and for any signs of fluid on the ground under my car that might belong to my brakes).

I faxed my Supervisor explaining the situation. I offered a compromise to keep them there part of the day, but gone before I arrived. My Supervisor called first thing this morning....and agreed with me. They needed to be gone before things got more out of hand and their anger became physical...towards the adults. I filled out the necessary paperwork, tried to call parents who had cell phones which were disconnected, then noted such on the paperwork. Finally, something had been done rather than talked about.

(So why is it I had to be the "responsible" adult when I wasn't the only adult who sent them home this month?)

One of the kids called this afternoon wanting to know if it was true they were kicked out for the rest of the program. I said yes. He calmly asked why, but his voice shook. Monday's angry 13 year old was now... just a kid. Confused. Sad. I explained they'd finally crossed the line, gotten out of hand and their lack of disrespect made the Supervisor choose their fate. He sighed, thanked me for explaining and hung up.

(I did the right thing. For all the right reasons. So why do I feel like such a failure? Why do I feel like I let THEM down?)

And so it goes. Until that sadness is replaced as I recall the first conversation I had this morning. And I laugh. This is what happens when you're overworked...and have an unnamed friend, recently shipped over from Ireland, who loves Star Trek to the point it has re-woven itself into my brain, past the childhood mental file I'd placed it in.

A group of airmen from the local Air Force Base are coming to give my Center's Craft Room a much needed face lift. It's part of their Leadership Class...and they hope to make it an ongoing project.

(Not as much as I hope so! Remember the car that drove into our front wall in January? That STILL hasn't been fixed.)

Three of them came by a couple of weeks ago to look at the room: their female instructor, a Staff Sgt. from the Engineering Division and the 12 year old who works for him. (There is NO WAY that kid was 18). He called and wanted to set up a time. Problem was, I couldn't understand one digit of his phone number on the answering machine. I left a message...wrong number. I e-mailed his instructor, saying I thought Staff Sgt. Rodenberry had called but I had the wrong number.

I thought that was cute. Rodenberry. Talk about Star Trek angles! He was an ENGINEER, for a group which FLIES in local air SPACE and he felt it ILLOGICAL that I have to climb up onto a chair, then place one knee on a counter top and stretch to turn the air conditioner On/Off. He COMMANDED that just wouldn't do. And so they left to PLOT A COURSE of action.

I returned his return call this morning. And I tried not to giggle.

Turns out his name is...Rodney Brady.

(It's all your fault, woman from Ireland!).

Hey, as long as his team can help us out, I'll salute and call every one of them "Sir".

With a smile.


mapstew said...

Irish women get me in a tizzy too! As for StarTrek, it's shown 24/7 on all channels in Ireland! :¬)


Charlie said...

Summer Program, senior citizens, Irish women, Star Trek—are you okay, woman? Do you ever take a break and do something nice just for you?

Susan at Stony River said...

I'm laughing so hard (and soooo envious of your Close Encounter) that I can hardly type!

Blame it on the immigration paperwork I'm buried under and school starting in two weeks (eeek!) but still, I'm so glad I caught this at all.

I have no car or I'd be on your porch with a cooler of sweet tea. Just so you know.