General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Age Limits and Managing Volunteers Small update #15

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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?

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.

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.


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.


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.


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