Monday, August 24, 2009

The Continuing Adventures of Small One's Mom

In case you are uninformed, please allow me to tell you about the three slowest land mammals on record. Coming in at number three is the two-toed sloth, a creature so slow moving that algae actually grows on his fur, providing him with the camouflage needed to do nothing but hang in a tree all day. Claiming second place is my own darling Man, who has been known to take two hours purchasing one item at a store five minutes from our home, provided there is someone in that store with whom to chat. In the top slot, though, is my ex-husband, the father of Eldest and M.C., whose errand running length is the stuff of legend. Nice guy, Mr. X, but truly slow moving.

That being the case, I was mildly distressed when I came running out of my bedroom the other day to find that he was in my hallway and had parked behind my car. He'd come by to pick up some things for Eldest, who is now living with him in order to be near his college, but I was running out the door to the bank, and I had exactly 33 minutes to make what is typically a 20 minute trek. Sure enough, it took Mr. X 16 minutes to move his car... to the other side of my driveway. I am not making that up.

I called the bank, and asked to speak to my own personal bank hook-up, who often grants me exceptions to bank rules because she is crazy about my Small One. The feeling is mutual, by the way, with Small often asking to go to visit her "friends at the bank". Unfortunately, my friend no longer works the late shift, so I received no sympathy from the teller to whom I told my tale of woe.

I drove faster. When it became apparent that I was still not going to make it. I called again, to ask if maybe I could give her all my numbers to input BEFORE they closed, since I would be screeching in 5 minutes AFTER they closed. She said no, then asked for my name. I told her, she was deadly silent. Then I added "I'm Small One's mom!" ...her voice went up an octave, and became all cheery and helpful. Result? Yeah, she made my deposit when I got there. Sometimes it's good to be Small One's Mom.

Yesterday, though, it was not as much fun. Small was supposed to start a gymnastics class a week ago, but because of recent family events, we were unable to make it. Yesterday was the second scheduled class, so we went- although I must tell you, Small spent the entire morning protesting, while simultaneously proving she needed to go. "I NOT NEEDA go to 'nastics class!" she'd shriek at me, while standing on her head on my bed. Yeah, she needed to go.

(Now, I've gone back and forth on whether to mention the name of the facility, because the story you're about to hear is a cautionary tale, but I can't actually speak for the quality of class, and the equipment looks impressive. However, the level of crazy madness in this story almost requires me to throw the Tucker Rec Center under the bus, so there... I just did.)

Anyway, we got there, and the signage for locating the gymnastics class was not as helpful as one would hope. We were late, we were lost, and I was getting frustrated. After about 10 minutes of wandering through cavernous halls devoid of friendly faces, we approached the front office. This is when I should have known the level of service I was about to receive... there were a few staff members standing by a door that obviously led into an office. I approached them and said "Excuse me..." only to be cut off by a man who said to me, very sternly, "MA'AM! You're gonna need to go around to the other door!" as he helpfully pointed me in the direction of another door... to the SAME ROOM. I am SO not kidding. There wasn't even a counter or divider or anything, it was just all one room!

The girl at the desk was on her cell phone. She placed her personal call on hold and asked if she could help me. I said "My daughter is signed up for the 12:30 little kids' gymnastics class..." and she was already sorrowfully shaking her head.

"I was just fixin' to start calling people," she said, "'cause that class is cancelled."

REALLY? She was just "fixin' to START calling people", 10 minutes into the class time?

"Did they have class last week?" I asked.

"No," she said, "they haven't had a teacher for that class yet."

Ok, let's see if I have this right. The class has been cancelled for over a week, yet this girl was planning to begin calling the parents, right after she finished her personal call. Got it.

"Ok..." I said, "is there another class for this age?"

"No ma'am," she replied, "They're all full, but you can apply for a refund if you want."

I told her I did indeed want to apply, and she told me I'd have to bring in my cancelled check. REALLY? Wouldn't it seem that my child's name on the roster in front of her would indicate the receipt of my payment? Apparently not.

"I don't know that I'd apply for a refund just yet, anyway," she continued, "because we MAY get a teacher."

I said, "Well, do I need to call you back about that?"

to which she replied, "Oh, no ma'am, we'll call you."

I did not make a smart comment about this statement, but that was not because they weren't all there in my head dying to come out. Seriously? Because they're so good at calling and letting people know things?

I made sure she knew my name, and Small's name, and I turned to leave. About that time, a second woman came in, and told the desk girl that she needed to call all the gymnastics parents and inform them that a teacher had been located, and classes would resume tomorrow. (Except she pronounced it "Tuhmarruh"

I said "So, classes will happen next week?"

She replied "No, not next week. Tomorrow."

I was genuinely confused. I asked again, "But, if my child is not in tomorrow's class, does that mean her class will happen next week."

She leaned closer to my face, since obviously my stupidity was the issue here. "TUH-MARR-UH," she said emphatically.

I leaned towards her. "But what if my child's class was supposed to be TUH- DAY?" I asked, just as emphatically.

She was clearly taken aback. "Oh, yeah, then bring her in next week," she said, in a pleasanter tone.

I walked out of the building, and called my husband. "If you are looking for me," I said, "I'll be outside Tucker Rec, lying on the ground, beating my head into the concrete."

Small One began wailing as I put her into the carseat. "I NEEDA GO TO MY 'NASTICS CLASS!!!!!!" (Funny how that particular worm turned, isn't it? Interesting reversal of opinion.)

As I drove away, my phone rang. I answered it, and a now familiar voice said "Uh, this is Tucker Rec Center, calling to inform you that we have found a teacher for your child's class..."

I cut in. "I was just standing in front of your desk, not five minutes ago."

"Oh," she said cheerfully, "I thought I recognized your name from somewhere."

Ah, wish us luck next week at nastics class.


Harriet said...

After that tale, I truly cannot believe that you are really going next week.

Abbey said...

Oh, gah. We had a simply awful experience at Tucker Rec Gymnastics as well. F was six. It's been a year and a half, and only now will F even *consider* trying another gymnastics class (elsewhere!). She was humiliated by a lead coach over there that badly.

The prices are good and the facility is really very nice. But we won't be back. (And you should hear some of the stories I heard of dance classes over there...)

Anonymous said...

ugh....we're just on our way out the door to gymnastics class. thankfully, our gym is MUCH better than the one you described, but I still dread going every week. I never know when LO's excitement to go tumble is going to turn into VERY loud refusal to even walk through the door.

Jenn said...

Hopefully all goes well next week and she loves her 'nastics class. Nate LOVES his!