I was inspired today, so I'm going to post a few Special Olympic Snowflakes. ALL are from parents. Parents who are fine mentally and physically. So please don't think I'm picking on "my" kids.
98% are WONDERFUL people, but the other 2% are well... You'll see.
BG: Bowling HAS to be over at 7. There is a league that starts at 8, and the alley has to clean/wax each alley before they come. They very generously "donate" the time for us to use 12 lanes every week. Each child pays $1 per game, and that includes shoes and balls. The way it works is the family purchases a game card at the Special Olympic's office and they come to the alley. I punch their card, assign lanes, enter them in the score keeper, and do management on making sure the "right" kids are paired together so that everyone gets 2 games in before the 7:00 deadline. (meaning, if there's 1 slow bowler, I try not to pair them with another slow bowlers or make sure there are no more than 2 on that lane.)
SS number 1:
This actually happened today, and something very similar last week from the same person. She's the hired staff for the 2 athletes, 2 athletes that are almost catatonic and one of them is in a wheel chair. This means a couple of things. 1, they need to be near the wheelchair lane, if not IN the wheel chair lane. 2, because they are so low functioning, they take a LOT of time to bowl because the caregiver (CG) has to wheel (or walk) them to the lane and back to their seat.
Last week CG walked in at 6:45. When I told her she was too late, she barked (and I DO mean barked) that there was PLENTY of time, and she was putting them in a lane herself if I didn't. I don't really have any "power" so to speak, so all I could really do is put her on a lane of my choosing instead of hers, at least that way if she ran late and she was on one of the ends, maybe that would buy her some time.
Well, THIS week we were PACKED. I do mean PACKED. I usually show up at 5:15ish (bowling is supposed to start at 5:45) and allow any early kids start (alley is fine with that as long as they don't have other customers.) Usually there are 3 or 4 kids until 5:45. Today, I had EVERY lane filled by 5:45. I had a waiting list for anyone that arrived later than that.
In walks CG at 6:15 and demands a lane. I have none. I had SEVEN kids ahead of her, I told her that I wasn't going to punch her card until I had her on a lane, and I couldn't promise she'd even get one.
CG gets ticked. LEAVES her 2 clients in the middle of the through-way and DEMANDS the alley give us more lanes. The alley can't, the high school practices every week on the other 12 lanes. They couldn't give them to us if they wanted to! (Which, they kindly do when I'm in a bind as long as they're not being used.) She threatens to sue for discrimination.
Alley tells her to go ahead. (In so many words.) Getting no satisfaction, she comes back and says her kids should go ahead of the other 7. I tell her it's not going to happen.
6:30 was the earliest I could get her a lane. I tell her that it doesn't look like it's going to work. She shoves her cards in my face and starts wheeling over the chair bound athlete. I went ahead and punched it. Again, cause I have no REAL power. Especially over the parents. I punch it, and tell her that 10 frames or not, they WILL be done at 7, it's not my rule. At 7, they were on the 6th frame. I turned it off. She huffs off. I sent an email to the activity coordinator, she's the only one that has any real power. Hopefully she can reign her in.
You wouldn't BELIEVE the parents who stake out lanes. I have to be very mindful of the physical ability of the athletes. If they're using walkers or leg braces for example, they need a floor level lane (half are on lane level, half are on up 1 step.) There are 2 grandparents who are the worst. They have grandchildren who are perfectly able bodied. Their disability is mental, their body is fine as far as the ability to step and walk. Every week they march right to a floor level lane and sit.
One week, I had 2 lanes left. 1 upper, one floor level. I asked the girl on the floor level to move up one lane so that the 3 bowlers who couldn't move well could be on the floor level. Grandma says, "No, we were here first."
I tell her that it won't be possible. She refuses to move. I ended up just putting the athletes who needed the floor level in that computer. I stood there and waited until the floor level team had bowled through 2 frames (to make sure grandma wouldn't add granddaughter) THEN I entered the granddaughter on the other computer and told her if she was going to bowl, she needed to go to her lane.
Now, these are all kids with special needs. I understand the need to "fight" for your kid, especially when they have needs. But, in this case ALL the kids have needs. ALL the kids are special. Sorry, but in this situation, they're not any more special than anyone else.