Author Topic: Special Snowflake Stories  (Read 5239100 times)

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MommyPenguin

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24870 on: December 19, 2013, 06:46:35 PM »
Parents who try to get free teaching for their kids at the cost of the teacher and other kids >:(

I'm a teacher at a tuition centre. I typically arrive 15-20 minutes early before class starts, so I can get the room set up and photocopy worksheets and all the rest of it at my leisure. I gather the woman who was here before I came tended to arrive right on the dot. So over the last two weeks, a few parents have cottoned on to the fact that I arrive slightly early, and have started taking advantage of it. They'd just arrive 10 minutes early and I'd be there, so they'd get 10 free minutes of teaching for their kid. Once or twice I can understand--it's hard to time arrivals with traffic and weather and so on. But once it happens consistently, I have to arrive earlier and earlier so that I have enough time to properly prepare for the class. If I'm there 20 minutes early and a parent drops their kid off and vamooses without a word, then I'm hardly going to let the kid (some only 3 years old) stand outside unattended while I photocopy. It ends up being a stressful bit of juggling to get everything ready. I was starting to arrive almost an hour early (it's a 90 minute class) just to have enough time to do 5 minutes of photocopying before kids started arriving.

There were only a few main culprits. One parent actually dropped his daughter off for her class, knowing that there was a second class after hers ended, and then "forget" to pick her up until the second class was scheduled to end. Coincidence, my foot. He was actually quite unhappy when he asked what she covered that day, and I told him what she had done in the first class, and that she had not worked but merely been kept busy with colouring in the second. I can't believe he had the nerve to complain!

After that, I spoke with a few other people in our organisation, and we ended up putting up signs which stated that there is no admittance into the classroom until, at the earliest, 5 minutes before their class is scheduled to begin, and that any children left unattended outside their class time (again, with a 5 minute grace period) will be considered abandoned and the authorities will be contacted. Parents who are running late for pick-up can always phone ahead, as many do and always have done. This is not a daycare, and we will not teach or supervise your child for free.

It's sad that we have to put up this kind of sign at all, really.

I worked at an after-school program run out of a large elementary school. It started as soon as school ended and the kids were supposed to be picked up by 5:30pm at the latest, the fee was paid on a monthly basis. The lady who was training me explained that a "perk" of the job was that the parents got a grace period of 5 minutes and then the late fee was $5 plus $1 for each additional minute, paid directly to the closing caregiver, in cash. Failure to pay meant you had to make other arrangements for your child the next day (and each day thereafter until you paid, I suppose, though it never went that far.) I was shocked at first because it seemed really strict but then she explained how they used to be routinely kept an hour late every single evening because a handful of parents took advantage (understatement!). Ever since initiating the late fee everyone was right on time and if not, hey, at least you'd get a nice tip.  ;)

I'll add, though, that there was a time or two when an otherwise punctual parent would truly be running late for a legit reason and we'd always waive the fee. It was really just a formality set in place to melt the snowflakes.

I remember reading once about a daycare or preschool in Israel (I think?) that had a problem with chronic lateness, so they instituted a fee.  I think it was $3 for every 5 minutes?  And then people started being *more* late!  There was a study where they were trying to figure out why, exactly, this was the case.  It turned out that the reason was two things.  One was, instituting a fee rather than a penalty told people that it was okay to be late... as long as you were willing to pay the fee.  So people who before felt that being late was morally wrong, or that a calamity would occur, and who thus hurried to get their kids on time, now relaxed, figuring that at the worst, they'd have to pay a free.  The other was that the fee was too low.  Because it was too low, people saw it as being just a service offered, rather than a penalty.  They made the fee much higher (no idea what, sorry), and the lateness went way down.  It was an interesting study in how disincentives work, and how if a penalty for wrong behavior isn't high enough, it can make people think that the wrong behavior is okay since they'll pay the fee, and so they no longer think of the wrong behavior as being wrong.

Midnight Kitty

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24871 on: December 19, 2013, 07:04:04 PM »
Hm-m-m, sounds like a company for which I used to work.  They had a problem with employees coming in late and arriving late for meetings.  Promptness was not optional according to the 4 partners.  They took a large clear plastic jar and labeled it as "late fine."  If you were late for work or a meeting, you had to put $1 in the jar.  At the time, I was barely making ends meet and resented every penny I had to spend for everything, so I was especially careful to be early.  Other employees, not so much.  One guy said he liked the new system because he was late all the time and they gave him no end of grief for his tardiness, but now all he had to do was put a dollar bill in the jar and he was home free.

The partners realized they needed to take disciplinary action against transgressors if they wanted anyone to change their habits.  Putting the dollar in the jar was an acceptable cost for not stressing out getting to work on time.
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Nikko-chan

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24872 on: December 19, 2013, 08:23:49 PM »
found two special snowflakes on my way home!

I was walking in the store parking lot when i saw two cars... in the lane people use to drive in. and they were quite near the enterance/exit of the parking lot. They were parked there, talking to each other. In order to exit the parking lot from that entrance/exit, they had to swerve around the two snowflake drivers in the lanes!

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24873 on: December 20, 2013, 10:28:14 AM »
I went to Walmart last night.

I don't know what I was thinking, I'd forgotten to get dog food all day and well...they have it there and...the dogs need food....so I went.

Anyways I was trying to get in line to pay and this woman is blocking the aisle I'm in with her cart and her kids (the youngest looked about 9, the others all teens) and the youngest one is just screaming at the top of his lungs for someone....or something...I don't know. And mom is just....standing there. Not moving. Finally I say "Excuse me, I need to get through" and started moving towards the registers, hoping she'd move the cart forward. At this point I was just thinking she was a bit rude and spacey but not snowflakey (and that maybe we should get the kid to quiet down). Then she speaks.

"Back off! Just BACK OFF!! I'm CHRISTMAS shopping!!!!! You don't need to get through!!! JUST BACK OFF!!!", ok, I've activated the crazy. I can't go backwards because I'm blocked by people shopping in the aisle, she's lost her mind and won't move, the kid is still screaming about something and now I'm feeling trapped and anxious. Time to try again, sweet as pie smile, "Ma'ma I just need to get to the registers, I'll just slip right on by if you'll move just a little this way", stay calm, I will be able to get out. "I told you I'm CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!! I will move when I'm dingdangity good and ready to move!" and now the kids start in "She doesn't have to move!", "You should move, move to Jupiter!" (is that an insult? Is Jupiter bad?), the older girls said some things I can't say here that would've resulted in my mouth being washed out with soap. Then mom talks again "Some people, just calm down lady" and continues to stand and stare. Finally I just turned around and asked the other ladies behind me "I'm sorry, could I get back through here, I really just want to pay" they were nice enough to let me through.

Before crazy lady there was one in the candle aisle I was in who flipped out as well when I walked next to her cart, she started saying "Don't you rush me! I was here first!" and then when I picked up a candle "I saw that first, I want it! Give it to me!" I just decided to ignore her. I didn't like the candle so I put back down and she grabbed it right up.

Note to self: avoid Walmart.

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24874 on: December 20, 2013, 10:51:21 AM »
Supermarkets... Christmas... #shudder#

What IS it about people that they panic before Christmas in supermarkets? Why do they think they need to buy all the food in the world EVER? And I confess, I'm as guilty of this as anyone else. Is it some sort of race memory of the Bad Old Days when the shops shut at lunchtime on Christmas Eve and didn't open again until Jan 2nd? But we lay in food as if for a siege, forgetting that everything is open again on Boxing Day.

But with that as a given, can we have consensus that actually at the till, with half your shopping already packed, on the Friday before Christmas, is TOTALLY NOT the time to start the discussion with your wife about whether the electronic DooDah which the cashier has already put through the till is the wrong gift for Granny?

Melle

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24875 on: December 20, 2013, 10:55:29 AM »
I'm a pretty mellow person, but the pressure of not having all of my Christmas presents yet gets even me nervous. It's like a knot in my stomach until I'm finally all set. I felt that again today when I got the last gift of the season :)
It's by no means okay to turn into a raging lunatic in a supermarket, but I kind of get the place where the crazy started.

Yarnspinner

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24876 on: December 20, 2013, 10:55:35 AM »
I went to Walmart last night.

I don't know what I was thinking, I'd forgotten to get dog food all day and well...they have it there and...the dogs need food....so I went.

Anyways I was trying to get in line to pay and this woman is blocking the aisle I'm in with her cart and her kids (the youngest looked about 9, the others all teens) and the youngest one is just screaming at the top of his lungs for someone....or something...I don't know. And mom is just....standing there. Not moving. Finally I say "Excuse me, I need to get through" and started moving towards the registers, hoping she'd move the cart forward. At this point I was just thinking she was a bit rude and spacey but not snowflakey (and that maybe we should get the kid to quiet down). Then she speaks.

"Back off! Just BACK OFF!! I'm CHRISTMAS shopping!!!!! You don't need to get through!!! JUST BACK OFF!!!", ok, I've activated the crazy. I can't go backwards because I'm blocked by people shopping in the aisle, she's lost her mind and won't move, the kid is still screaming about something and now I'm feeling trapped and anxious. Time to try again, sweet as pie smile, "Ma'ma I just need to get to the registers, I'll just slip right on by if you'll move just a little this way", stay calm, I will be able to get out. "I told you I'm CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!! I will move when I'm dingdangity good and ready to move!" and now the kids start in "She doesn't have to move!", "You should move, move to Jupiter!" (is that an insult? Is Jupiter bad?), the older girls said some things I can't say here that would've resulted in my mouth being washed out with soap. Then mom talks again "Some people, just calm down lady" and continues to stand and stare. Finally I just turned around and asked the other ladies behind me "I'm sorry, could I get back through here, I really just want to pay" they were nice enough to let me through.

Before crazy lady there was one in the candle aisle I was in who flipped out as well when I walked next to her cart, she started saying "Don't you rush me! I was here first!" and then when I picked up a candle "I saw that first, I want it! Give it to me!" I just decided to ignore her. I didn't like the candle so I put back down and she grabbed it right up.

Note to self: avoid Walmart.

Glitter, you showed remarkable restraint.  What is it about this time of year that turns people into maniacs? I was grocery shopping right after Thanksgiving--buying regular food, not rolls and rolls of cookie dough (over which there was a brutal battle raging).  I had reached the chicken breasts (needed for a Clean Eating recipe) and as I reach out to compare two packages of meat, I feel this odd sensation to my right and look---and there is a man and his cart, standing next to me.  Any closer and he would have been among me.  I moved down to accomodate him and he just moved to stand on top of me again.  Turned out he wanted the WHOLE chicken with bones on my left hand side.  Why he couldn't go around me to get them is one of those real life mysteries we cannot solve.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24877 on: December 20, 2013, 11:22:52 AM »
I went to Walmart last night.

I don't know what I was thinking, I'd forgotten to get dog food all day and well...they have it there and...the dogs need food....so I went.

Anyways I was trying to get in line to pay and this woman is blocking the aisle I'm in with her cart and her kids (the youngest looked about 9, the others all teens) and the youngest one is just screaming at the top of his lungs for someone....or something...I don't know. And mom is just....standing there. Not moving. Finally I say "Excuse me, I need to get through" and started moving towards the registers, hoping she'd move the cart forward. At this point I was just thinking she was a bit rude and spacey but not snowflakey (and that maybe we should get the kid to quiet down). Then she speaks.

"Back off! Just BACK OFF!! I'm CHRISTMAS shopping!!!!! You don't need to get through!!! JUST BACK OFF!!!", ok, I've activated the crazy. I can't go backwards because I'm blocked by people shopping in the aisle, she's lost her mind and won't move, the kid is still screaming about something and now I'm feeling trapped and anxious. Time to try again, sweet as pie smile, "Ma'ma I just need to get to the registers, I'll just slip right on by if you'll move just a little this way", stay calm, I will be able to get out. "I told you I'm CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!! I will move when I'm dingdangity good and ready to move!" and now the kids start in "She doesn't have to move!", "You should move, move to Jupiter!" (is that an insult? Is Jupiter bad?), the older girls said some things I can't say here that would've resulted in my mouth being washed out with soap. Then mom talks again "Some people, just calm down lady" and continues to stand and stare. Finally I just turned around and asked the other ladies behind me "I'm sorry, could I get back through here, I really just want to pay" they were nice enough to let me through.

Before crazy lady there was one in the candle aisle I was in who flipped out as well when I walked next to her cart, she started saying "Don't you rush me! I was here first!" and then when I picked up a candle "I saw that first, I want it! Give it to me!" I just decided to ignore her. I didn't like the candle so I put back down and she grabbed it right up.

Note to self: avoid Walmart.

This exact reason is why I visit Walmart at 3am in the morning.  There are still crazy people around, but there are fewer of them and can be avoided

PrettySticks

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24878 on: December 20, 2013, 11:47:30 AM »
Quote
I remember reading once about a daycare or preschool in Israel (I think?) that had a problem with chronic lateness, so they instituted a fee.  I think it was $3 for every 5 minutes?  And then people started being *more* late!  There was a study where they were trying to figure out why, exactly, this was the case.  It turned out that the reason was two things.  One was, instituting a fee rather than a penalty told people that it was okay to be late... as long as you were willing to pay the fee.  So people who before felt that being late was morally wrong, or that a calamity would occur, and who thus hurried to get their kids on time, now relaxed, figuring that at the worst, they'd have to pay a free.  The other was that the fee was too low.  Because it was too low, people saw it as being just a service offered, rather than a penalty.  They made the fee much higher (no idea what, sorry), and the lateness went way down.  It was an interesting study in how disincentives work, and how if a penalty for wrong behavior isn't high enough, it can make people think that the wrong behavior is okay since they'll pay the fee, and so they no longer think of the wrong behavior as being wrong.

MommyPenguin, I remember that study! I believe it was in the book Freakonomics.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24879 on: December 20, 2013, 01:32:49 PM »
I went to Walmart last night.

I don't know what I was thinking, I'd forgotten to get dog food all day and well...they have it there and...the dogs need food....so I went.

Anyways I was trying to get in line to pay and this woman is blocking the aisle I'm in with her cart and her kids (the youngest looked about 9, the others all teens) and the youngest one is just screaming at the top of his lungs for someone....or something...I don't know. And mom is just....standing there. Not moving. Finally I say "Excuse me, I need to get through" and started moving towards the registers, hoping she'd move the cart forward. At this point I was just thinking she was a bit rude and spacey but not snowflakey (and that maybe we should get the kid to quiet down). Then she speaks.

"Back off! Just BACK OFF!! I'm CHRISTMAS shopping!!!!! You don't need to get through!!! JUST BACK OFF!!!", ok, I've activated the crazy. I can't go backwards because I'm blocked by people shopping in the aisle, she's lost her mind and won't move, the kid is still screaming about something and now I'm feeling trapped and anxious. Time to try again, sweet as pie smile, "Ma'ma I just need to get to the registers, I'll just slip right on by if you'll move just a little this way", stay calm, I will be able to get out. "I told you I'm CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!! I will move when I'm dingdangity good and ready to move!" and now the kids start in "She doesn't have to move!", "You should move, move to Jupiter!" (is that an insult? Is Jupiter bad?), the older girls said some things I can't say here that would've resulted in my mouth being washed out with soap. Then mom talks again "Some people, just calm down lady" and continues to stand and stare. Finally I just turned around and asked the other ladies behind me "I'm sorry, could I get back through here, I really just want to pay" they were nice enough to let me through.

Before crazy lady there was one in the candle aisle I was in who flipped out as well when I walked next to her cart, she started saying "Don't you rush me! I was here first!" and then when I picked up a candle "I saw that first, I want it! Give it to me!" I just decided to ignore her. I didn't like the candle so I put back down and she grabbed it right up.

Note to self: avoid Walmart.

This exact reason is why I visit Walmart at 3am in the morning.  There are still crazy people around, but there are fewer of them and can be avoided

I went to my Walmart at 6pm last night, and it's one of the HUGE Walmarts, too.  I managed to get in and out in 15 minutes (only needed one item), and everybody was smiling and pleasant and no screaming.
I feel like I won a prize or something.   :D

bloo

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24880 on: December 20, 2013, 02:15:56 PM »
"You should move, move to Jupiter!" (is that an insult? Is Jupiter bad?)

Only the atmosphere. Everything else is probably just about perfect!

Note to self: avoid Walmart.

You are not kidding. >:( I note that to myself November 1st thru the end of December.

Sirius

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24881 on: December 20, 2013, 05:03:01 PM »
Supermarkets... Christmas... #shudder#

What IS it about people that they panic before Christmas in supermarkets? Why do they think they need to buy all the food in the world EVER? And I confess, I'm as guilty of this as anyone else. Is it some sort of race memory of the Bad Old Days when the shops shut at lunchtime on Christmas Eve and didn't open again until Jan 2nd? But we lay in food as if for a siege, forgetting that everything is open again on Boxing Day.

But with that as a given, can we have consensus that actually at the till, with half your shopping already packed, on the Friday before Christmas, is TOTALLY NOT the time to start the discussion with your wife about whether the electronic DooDah which the cashier has already put through the till is the wrong gift for Granny?

You're making me not want to go to the grocery store, even though we need kitty litter.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24882 on: December 20, 2013, 07:06:32 PM »
"You should move, move to Jupiter!" (is that an insult? Is Jupiter bad?)

Only the atmosphere. Everything else is probably just about perfect!

Note to self: avoid Walmart.

You are not kidding. >:( I note that to myself November 1st thru the end of December.

I'm avoiding our Walmart like the plague until well after Christmas.  I was relieved when Dh's aunt told us that replacing our back door window (Uncle's trade) was our Christmas gift because it means we're unlikely to get the usual Walmart gift cards from them.   Well the kids get them, we don't, but even while we're telling the boys to say thank you I'm usually inwardly groaning cause it means we have to go there. 

Though in all truth our Walmart isn't too bad, SS wise, but I don't enjoy shopping there as a rule anyway.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Amara

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24883 on: December 20, 2013, 07:11:22 PM »
Quote
What IS it about people that they panic before Christmas in supermarkets? Why do they think they need to buy all the food in the world EVER?


That is an excellent question. I don't have an answer, just a personal strategy. Tomorrow morning, early, I plan to shop for groceries (and cat litter/food) to last me the next ten or eleven days.  Fortunately, I am not making Christmas dinner. But all salad makings, vegetables, fruit, and milk and other necessary items will fill my cart. (Thankfully, the new market, Fresh Market, opened here last week and I used their "buy $100 worth of groceries and get $25 off" coupon to stock up on meat.) I will leave the market craziness to others.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24884 on: December 20, 2013, 07:36:15 PM »
No one in this scenario was a SS but it kind of fits with the Walmart stuff.

My supervisor asked me the other day if I'd be heading to Costco in the next few days.  I told him, 'Not a chance!'  He then explained that he was trying to buy a gift for his wife that Costco had a good deal on.  Their card is in his wife's name and he'd have to take her with him, which obviously, he didn't want to do.  He was going to see if anyone else was heading there.

I felt bad afterwards but I have no interest in hitting Costco until well into the New Year.  But I went to him today and let him know that if he picked me up in time to hit Costco for opening tomorrow and we ran in and got that one thing and got out, I'd go with him.  But he ended up getting the same deal at another store so it all worked out.
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