Author Topic: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers Small update #15  (Read 4581 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

MissBrit

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 497
Age Limits and Managing Volunteers Small update #15
« on: May 05, 2013, 08:07:21 PM »
I house manage at a theater along with one other manager, Sandy. This summer is our second summer working together. The ushers are all volunteers that we arrange and we have not had a distinct age limit other than just being old enough to see the plays per the rules of the theater company who puts them on. Because of this, we have had ushers a young as 5. This year, our bosses sent out a letter stating that the new age limit will be 9 years old. I still think this is very generous as our sister theater has an age limit of 16 for ushers. The problem that arises is whether to grandfather in the two children who have been ushering but who are both not 9 yet.

Child 1 is 8 and will turn 9 this fall after the season ends. He has ushered since he was 5, is very well-behaved and loves the theater. Child 2 is 6 but will be turning 7 this year some time. He has ushered 1.5 years as his mother lied about his age to get him in. This child doesn't behave and runs all over the lobby. His mother doesn't watch him. I had to stop him from going places in the lobby where he wasn't allowed last year.

This said, I believe that Child 1 should be grandfathered in and Child 2 should wait a couple of years until he has more maturity. Sandy, the other manager, believes that Child 2 should get one more try to prove himself as she believes it is unfair to let one child in but not the other. These children are not siblings but their families are friends. 

Sandy and I can't reach a decision about this so we are taking the matter to our manager for a final answer. What do you e-hellions make of this?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 07:14:27 PM by MissBrit »

Bales

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 142
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 08:22:17 PM »
Is this your decision to make?  Assuming it is, I would grandfather in the one who is turning 9, but not the younger one.  Child 1 has proven himself for several years and it's simply the timing of his birthday this year that would keep him out, which is silly.  Child 2 is clearly not ready to be an usher and regardless of his age, I wouldn't welcome him back.

blue2000

  • It is never too late to be what you might have been
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6863
  • Two kitties - No waiting. And no sleeping either.
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 08:24:30 PM »
I don't think the age limit should be a factor here. Child 1 is almost old enough physically, and plenty old enough mentally. I think it is fine to grandfather him in. Child 2 is not old enough any way you slice it - he should not be there. It wouldn't matter if he was 25, he is still a liability.

You need to be fair to the theatre and the other volunteers just as much as the kids.
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

Only me

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 735
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 08:25:01 PM »
Hi,

Have your bosses given reasons why the age is 9 this year.

As for the two kids, it would be nice to grandfather them in, the first one I get. The second, its too bad, but I do they there are way too young to be grandfathered in.

Onlyme

MOM21SON

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3058
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2013, 08:25:44 PM »
Well, it's too late now, but the younger child have already been let go for not behaving.

Half of me thinks that a rule is a rule and they both should be on a little break, but the other half of me says, "Life is not fair." and children need to learn that. Everyone is not equal.

I am leaning towards the older child staying on and letting the younger child mature a little more.  I think it is important to explain to younger child and his parents the reason why he is not allowed to stay, but is welcome to try again when he turns 9.

sammycat

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6145
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2013, 08:30:03 PM »
Can the age limit be changed to 8, rather than 9?

This gives a clear and easy dividing line to the older, well behaved child, being kept on, while the younger, naughty, child is let go.

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 08:44:38 PM »
OK, mom to boy 2 lied to get him in as an usher, a job he is clearly NOT ready for?  Forget an age limit and just tell the mother of boy 2 that he can try again in a few years but he is not ready for the position.  Surely, she will try to cajole you into giving sonny boy another try, but just stick to your guns and tell her he is not ready, try again in a few years.  Talk to whoever made the decision about the age about boy 1 and how professional he is and why he should be allowed to stay.  Me thinks the new age limit was made because of Boy 2.

Amara

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2409
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2013, 09:03:37 PM »
I think you are likely to get an argument from the mother of Boy 2 regardless of what you do. So what I would do is say simply, "The new rule requires the child be a minimum of nine years old before she or he can be considered. That isn't the only new rule, but it is the primary one." *

The rule can be amended slightly for the first year ONLY to say that any child with previous experience who is within one year of meeting the age requirement can be grandfathered in with permission from the theatre's managers who have final decision-making authority. (That leaves it in your hands.) And no, I wouldn't grandfather in Boy 2 primarily for his misbehavior but also because he is much too far away from reaching the new age requirement.


* You may want to have rules like misbehavior can only happen once before the child's right to usher is revoked for the season. In addition, a child of any parent found to have lied about the child's age will not be allowed to work as an usher for two seasons.)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 09:07:42 PM by Amara »

YummyMummy66

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 830
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2013, 09:07:11 PM »
Has sandy had any responsibility towards this child?

You stated that you have had to redirect said child when he goes where he should not or do something he should not be doing.

I say, tell Sandy, she is charge the next few times and then to let you know what she thinks. 

If she has not had the responsibility that you have had towards said child, then it is easy for her to say, "'I think we should do this", but are you still going to be the one to watch out for said child? 

If she still wants to grandfather him in, then let her know, he is her responsibility.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6704
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2013, 09:12:11 PM »
I think the child should be dismissed but not because if the new age limit. His mother lied which is reason enough for dismissal. But he also dies not perform the job correctly. If you had a 16 yr old who was rude yo patrons and going MIA during performances, would you keep him? The child is creating more work.

GrammarNerd

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 569
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2013, 10:27:23 PM »
We had a situation like this arise, where one child was able to do something, and had already done it well and had REALLY helped out, but was still technically under the age limit.  We'll call him VHK: Very Helpful Kid. The powers-that-be wanted to find a way to ensure that VHK could keep doing what he was doing (because he was a huge help and they didn't want to lose that), but put some conditions on participation for others his age to make sure that they were taking the volunteer job seriously and weren't just going to goof around. 

What happened is that they passed a couple of rules for kids under a certain age.  First, the kid has to volunteer a minimum of X hours WITH a parent supervising before he/she can work alone. (This will likely weed out the kids who have nothing better to do for an hour and just want to do the volunteer thing b/c it sounds more 'fun', or weed out the parent who has the volunteer commitment and tries to have the kid do it instead. )  Second, there was an job duty quiz that the kid has to take at the end.  The questions are situational, like "I'm allowed to do X when I'm working; true/false" and "If X happens, then I should do: A, B, C or D.

So our VHK was basically grandfathered in because he had already put in loads of hours and had already proven himself (and he helped create the quiz, which helped b/c it was from a kid's point of view.) 

For your situation, you could grandfather in your older kid, but say that your younger kid needs to work WITH his parent for X number of hours.  If the parent has already lied and already doesn't watch her kid, then when you put the responsibility back on her that she must work WITH the kid (like the kid is within arms reach at all times or it doesn't count as working WITH him), I'd wonder if she'd decide it was just more trouble than it was worth.

From our experience, I know all too well how you can't use age alone as a means of deciding whether or not someone can do the job.  So you have to figure out what rules can include the right people and exclude the ones that aren't right for the job.

mmswm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2359
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2013, 10:32:48 PM »
We had a situation like this arise, where one child was able to do something, and had already done it well and had REALLY helped out, but was still technically under the age limit.  We'll call him VHK: Very Helpful Kid. The powers-that-be wanted to find a way to ensure that VHK could keep doing what he was doing (because he was a huge help and they didn't want to lose that), but put some conditions on participation for others his age to make sure that they were taking the volunteer job seriously and weren't just going to goof around. 

What happened is that they passed a couple of rules for kids under a certain age.  First, the kid has to volunteer a minimum of X hours WITH a parent supervising before he/she can work alone. (This will likely weed out the kids who have nothing better to do for an hour and just want to do the volunteer thing b/c it sounds more 'fun', or weed out the parent who has the volunteer commitment and tries to have the kid do it instead. )  Second, there was an job duty quiz that the kid has to take at the end.  The questions are situational, like "I'm allowed to do X when I'm working; true/false" and "If X happens, then I should do: A, B, C or D.

So our VHK was basically grandfathered in because he had already put in loads of hours and had already proven himself (and he helped create the quiz, which helped b/c it was from a kid's point of view.) 

For your situation, you could grandfather in your older kid, but say that your younger kid needs to work WITH his parent for X number of hours.  If the parent has already lied and already doesn't watch her kid, then when you put the responsibility back on her that she must work WITH the kid (like the kid is within arms reach at all times or it doesn't count as working WITH him), I'd wonder if she'd decide it was just more trouble than it was worth.

From our experience, I know all too well how you can't use age alone as a means of deciding whether or not someone can do the job.  So you have to figure out what rules can include the right people and exclude the ones that aren't right for the job.

I really like this solution. :)
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2013, 10:42:08 PM »
I think a simple way around the rule would to simple word it not as the kid must be 9, but must be at least 9 during the calendar year in which they are volunteering. Since this is a summer program, the youngest you would ever get that way is 8.5 years old anyway. By wording it this way its not about grandfathering in anyone, or making exceptions, its simply using precise verbiage in creating a new rule.

SingActDance

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 697
  • You don't know me, but I'm famous.
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2013, 10:01:44 AM »
I think you should be consistent. If the age limit is 9, then the age limit is 9. I understand feeling some affinity for the older child, but if you start giving wiggle room on this rule, it will do nothing but create a headache and bad feelings. The older child can volunteer again next summer.
Most people look at musical theatre and think "Why are those people singing and dancing in the street?" I'm sort of the opposite. I see a street full of people and think, "Why aren't they?"

baglady

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4652
  • A big lass and a bonny lass and she loves her beer
Re: Age Limits and Managing Volunteers
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2013, 06:48:18 PM »
I would grandfather in the older child and let the other one go. His parents might not think it's fair, but the older child, in addition to being mere months from the new minimum age, has earned the right to stay on by being well-behaved and on task. The younger child isn't, and hasn't.

I have to ask, though: What are the duties of an usher at this theater if a 5-year-old can do them? When I think of ushers, I think of the people who actually help people find their seats. Can kids that small actually read the tickets and understand the seating system? Or are they just taking tickets, passing out programs or something similar?
My photography is on Redbubble! Come see: http://www.redbubble.com/people/baglady