Need advice

Tara - posted on 02/15/2011 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I'm trying to make this short as I have tons to do today..

So my neighbour who is not a friend but an acquaintance runs an after school program in our community. It is supposed to be the only such program in our municipality that adheres to a healthy diet for snacks and is supposed to have a 50% physical activity rate so parents can apply for the national fitness tax deduction. This program is supposed to be full or enriching activities led by two staff who are supposed to be happy and involved with kids, whether it's helping with homework, doing crafts or making nutritious snacks etc.

My kids have gone on and off for the last year or so and many times have said "I don't want to go, it's boring, they fed us hot dogs and cream of mushroom soup from a can." or "Michelle is mean, she doesn't do anything except stand in the corner and ignore us and then yell at everyone"
"She picks on a couple of the kids there"
So they haven't gone in a while. Last week I went with them to run a tie dye workshop for the program at the request of my neighbour (the supposed mean one).

First off they had canned walmart brand chicken soup, not sodium reduced either, white bread toast with no name margarine and no name chicken hot dogs for snack. Second she did just stand in the corner and let them run wild all over the big room they are in (that's exercise?) throwing balls at each other and one kid tripped another, she said "I didn't see it, go play nicely"
Then when they start making too much noise she yells at them "Settle down or we'll all have to sit on the floor until you're calm".

Suffice to say my night was fun with the kids but she spoiled it a lot, she talks to them like they all have some kind of severe mental disability and hearing impairment.
My kids don't want to go, and I now know of many parents who don't send their kids because of her.
The program is currently at risk due to a drop in numbers. I would take her job in a heart beat if it came open. But I feel like I should talk to her personally before I go to her boss, give her some advice about how to run the program. Which I know how to do as I have done a similar program in the past. BUT I have heard that she can be very volatile and I witnessed it this summer myself on an unrelated issue.
So.... what would you do?
Sorry for the length I honestly tried to be short with it.

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Jocelyn - posted on 02/15/2011

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I would just go straight to the boss. See if there are any other parents out there that feel the same way (which probably won't be to hard due to the drop in numbers!) and go as a team. A group of people tend to have more influence than one person.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/15/2011

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Go straight to the boss. Why would you need to talk to her about it first? It is about improving the program for the benefit of the childre....fuck her lazy ass.

Krista - posted on 02/15/2011

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It sounds like it would be a worthwhile program if run well. And my guess is that no, she's not going to want to take any of your suggestions or advice. At best, she'll ignore them. At worst, she'll get pissed off at you.

You might as well go straight to the boss. But don't go alone. See if you can get other parents to go as well, so that it doesn't look like you're making stuff up just because you want to run the program yourself.

[deleted account]

I would just go straight to her boss. If you aren't her friend out of the building already then chances are you aren't going to get along any better when you start "suggesting" how she do her job. Just go above her head and talk to her boss. IMO

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Sharon - posted on 02/15/2011

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She's burnt out or damned stupid.

Don't bother trying to talk to her unless you enjoy paying to have your car repainted after she keys the fuck out of it.

Talk to her boss, mention if a position came open (describe hers) you'd like a chance at it.

Don't bad mouth her, and the truth in this case IS bad mouthing her. The boss will just figure you're running her down to get the job.

Tara - posted on 02/15/2011

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Not just any soup Emma, CANNED walmart brand chicken noodle soup, mixed with good old town water. :)

April - posted on 02/15/2011

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Awww Tara...it is very cool what you are doing for these children and future children! I hope it all works out!! Def keep us posted!!

Tara - posted on 02/15/2011

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So apparently she got the job without proper protocol and procedure being followed, she used to be second in command, her boss quit, she said she'd take the job and they gave it to her, she had to submit a resume as a formality after she had already been given the job, this is her second year running it, and no one has ever done a performance review. She also applied for and got a grant through a major bank because of the healthy food and exercise components of the program. This grants is renewed yearly based on performance reviews of the program which she writes herself.
Sheesh politics...
So I"m actually going to have to go to her boss's boss, as her boss is the one who has pretty much allowed all of this to go on.
Here I come council members...I want to see this program improved so that all the kids who don't go, can go and all the little kids who are growing up can go when they get to that age. I could just keep my kids home, but that would do nothing for the parents who actually need the service because of their hours or for those kids who would love the social interaction.
I could do so much with that program and that money....
Wish me luck tomorrow as I make my phone calls and type out my complaints.
:)

Tara - posted on 02/15/2011

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So apparently she got the job without proper protocol and procedure being followed, she used to be second in command, her boss quit, she said she'd take the job and they gave it to her, she had to submit a resume as a formality after she had already been given the job, this is her second year running it, and no one has ever done a performance review. She also applied for and got a grant through a major bank because of the healthy food and exercise components of the program. This grants is renewed yearly based on performance reviews of the program which she writes herself.
Sheesh politics...
So I"m actually going to have to go to her boss's boss, as her boss is the one who has pretty much allowed all of this to go on.
Here I come council members...I want to see this program improved so that all the kids who don't go, can go and all the little kids who are growing up can go when they get to that age. I could just keep my kids home, but that would do nothing for the parents who actually need the service because of their hours or for those kids who would love the social interaction.
I could do so much with that program and that money....
Wish me luck tomorrow as I make my phone calls and type out my complaints.
:)

Bonnie - posted on 02/15/2011

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This woman doesn't sound like she would be reasonable to deal with at all. It sounds like she has an attitude and she would likely tell you to get lost and mind your own business as this is her job.
I suggest you go straight to her supervisor and tell them what is going on because it doesn't sound right. If she loses her job than she loses it, not your problem.
Maybe no one else has complained and that is why she is still there. If they don't know anything, they can't change anything.

Jenn - posted on 02/15/2011

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Yeah, I would just go to her boss. If I actually had balls, which I mostly don't, so I probably wouldn't do anything other than to not send my kids there.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/15/2011

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HELLO!!! Go to the store, grab a box of clementines, bunches of bananas, carrot sticks taht are already cut up, some jelly and sunbutter...yummy bread, juiceboxes and milk...while you are in dairy picking up the milk, pick up some pre-made ranch dip for the carrots and call it a freaking day. no need to feed them crappy soup.

[deleted account]

I agree with those that say go to the boss. From what you've described, it doesn't sound as if she'd be willing to take your advice and make changes. In the meantime, maybe you could offer to do some cooking classes or something. Anything would be better than canned cream of chicken soup for a snack.

April - posted on 02/15/2011

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If she is volatile...i think that is good enough reason to approach her boss. i'd rather she be volatile towards you than one of your kids or someone else's kids. If you feel that strongly about having to stay under the radar...I'd want that woman away from my kids if they were in her program!!

Becky - posted on 02/15/2011

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I would probably just go straight to her boss. I know it doesn't seem fair to her to do that, but it doesn't really sound like she's going to be very open to suggestions anyway.
Or, maybe you could volunteer to teach some more classes for her and try to do some modelling for her of how the program should be run?

[deleted account]

Can you report her to someone anonymously?

I certainly wouldn't want her to KNOW you were the one reporting her since she is your neighbor, but that's horrible. :(

Desiree - posted on 02/15/2011

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Chances Are she is not going to be very reasonable and will probably think you are interfering. I would not let it rest but I certainly would be very careful on aproaching the issue especially since she is volatile.

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