It’s taken me a few days to get my head around this, and to be frank I’m pretty unhappy about the whole situation.
At work on Monday, around 3.30 a daughter of one of the owners friend came in, I know the girl and mother quite well, well she was told to come to the shop to wait for her mum to come pick her up.
She’s not a bother and was reading I had prepared some cakes and asked if she wanted a slice and after some debate and one slice thrown away she settled on a piece and went back to her book/tv.
I had asked when her mum was coming to pick her up, thinking it would be within the next half hour or so, I was busy finishing up and had not really noticed the time, so when I next looked I was a bit alarmed to see it was 5pm, asking the girl if she had her mum’s number so I could phone to see what was happening, she didn’t have her number and had forgotten her mobile.
I called the owner explained the situation, she had forgotten to let me know that the girl was coming in her mum was working but would be picking her up, “when I asked as we close at 6.30, so she said she’d phone her and call me back.
I also explained that I wasn’t happy about impromptu child minding, and as I’m the adult here I was responsible for her as she was now in my care.
The call back came in about 10 mins and it was explained that the mother had been delayed at work and was now awaiting a taxi and should be there soon.
I sat down with K and we chatted about her book and she helped me a little polishing cutlery etc, I was quietly fuming to be put in this position, anyway 6.15 arrived as did her mother all apologies bundled K into the taxi and off they went.
Now to Wednesday I don’t usually go into the shop , so it was by chance K’s mum saw me, and said she had a complaint against me, so me raised eyebrows asked her to go ahead.
She explained when they got home K complained of being hungry, and when asked why she didn’t get anything to eat she told her mother that I said she would have to pay for it, pissed off doesn’t even begin to cover it plus having to defend my self against a 9 yr old who is known for making things according to her mother).
I explained, that she was offered food but declined, she only wanted cake(as she always does), she had one didn’t like it, and was given a different piece which she ate, she was offered other items but refused saying she wasn’t hungry.
The mother accepted this to a point and then said she and her friends look out for each other and their children, perhaps that wasn’t something I did because I don’t have kids!!!!!
Offended not much! I repeated what I’d already told her, and furthermore to that I was not made aware that K would be coming in after school to wait, and add to that she was there for 3 hrs, I had to make calls to find out her location, she could have called the shop knowing it was my shift, and that:
1. Looking after her child wasn’t my responsibility, although once there I did my best and obviously not turned her away, and to ask herself the question what if I’d had an accident or there was an incident in the shop what was I supposed to do with her child?
2. She was offered food, but only wanted cake, what was I supposed to do force feed her, again not my job to see that she is fed.
apparently I have an attitude problem.
In the end I told her in future make other arrangements.
Also had a mild panic attack irritating after the day started off great.
I’m all for helping out, and being the adult I took that responsibility very seriously, as far as I was concerned she was in my care until her mother arrived, regardless of whether I have children or not.
As a society we’ve grown used to ignoring children because we are afraid of being accused of something, the point being we know that there are millions of children being abused or neglected and we’ve become reluctant to get involved, were desensitized to their plight, and tend to ignore rather than take action, however there are parents that also need to take responsibility for their children and not be so quick to blame others.
I come from a single parent family and know what it’s like to have a mother who works full time and there will be times when they can’t make it on time or you have to make your own way home, it’s life it happens, but in this age of the mobile phone, you can make that call, say thanks when a favour is done for you and don’t quibble about petty things.
Would I do the same again of course and with the same child, but do not put me in a position where I have to defend myself, I did nothing wrong.