Jonathan and I joined the YMCA a few weeks ago, mainly because they have babysitting available while we work out. How cool is that? Pretty cool, except that it is somewhat of a hassel because I am usually the one who is transporting both girls which means I am juggling a carseat, a baby (sometimes in the carseat, sometimes not), a 4-year old, a gym bag, our membership cards that are needed upon arrival, a towel, a locker key, a water bottle, and winter accessories (the scarf, the gloves, the hats)etc.
When we first joined, we received a tour of the place and the guy that gave us the tour didn't do that great of a job. The facility is spread out on three different levels with particular doors and staircases only leading to one floor or the other. There is no logic to the layout of the facility, and therefore it is very confusing. Our tour guy didn't really know anything about the babysitting room, but tried to act like he did so he showed us three different childcare options - one supposedly the baby room, one supposedly the preschool room, and lastly, one that we could use as childcare if we decided we wanted to use the Y's childcare/preschool services rather than the preschool that we already have.
We're just joining the gym here, buddy, not looking to switch schools....
Anway,on with the story - the first day that I tried to take both girls to their respected places, I was turned away because they were the childcare rooms of the facility not the babysitting room of the facility. You know, the places that mommies and daddies drop their children off every day before work - not the place that they drop their children off just while working out. Did I mention that I didn't figure this out until after I had gone up a huge flight of stairs, back down that huge flight of stairs, and then back up that huge flight of stairs again (all while juggling that long list of stuff that I mentioned previously)? It was at that time I was sweating to death and was questioning whether or not I was REALLY going to commit to such a hassel, and then I stumbled upon what was labeled as "the babysitting room" - NOT a room that was pointed out to us on our tour, mind you.
The "babysitter" gave us a numbered token to trade for our kids and didn't even ask me their names. I had to introduce myself and point out the girls and which one was which. I don't think she would have even cared what their names were if I hadn't told her.
So, I could continue to go on and on about how frustrating the layout is and how much I sweat each time I am juggling all that stuff and how after I drop them off, I have to go back down two flights of stairs to the locker room that is in the basement,and then back up one more flight of stairs before I even get to the work out center, but I will spare you the babbling.
What I am getting at is - I already had a bad taste in my mouth about the whole babysitting set up and the poor staff and then THIS happened....
I was hot and sweaty from completing my work out and so I headed to the basement to retrieve the contents of my locker. Next, I headed back up the two flights of stairs to retrieve my daughters and trade them in for my number. Dylan did not want to be put in the carseat so to spare myself the stress of walking through the facility with a screaming baby, I decided to carry her. It is always hot in the babysitting room so I had her coat and hat to carry as well as the carseat. Oh yeah, I also had my coat and hat, and my gym bag and Holland and her accessories, too! So, I loaded up her carseat with the coats, hats, and gym bag, draped the towel over my shoulder because it needed to be turned in downstairs, and draped Dylan over my arm and pleaded with Holland to quit watching the TV and follow us downstairs.
As we opened the door to the staircase to begin our descent, a pretentious yuppyish couple rounded the downstairs corner and were needing to begin their ascent. Well, we were there first and I was obviously struggling with all of the juggling of stuff, and Holland had already started to go down, but do you think they offered for us to continue?
"Hell no they didn't." They just snootily plowed right past us without a second thought. My body temperature was already elevated at this point, and this just sent it up a couple degrees. My mommy feathers were starting their "ruffling" process.
As we rounded the corner to turn in my towel and locker key, I couldn't find my key. While, holding Dylan draped over my arm, I fished in my pant pockets, my coat pockets, my gym bag, and even the carseat. All while trying not to drop Dylan on her head, and trying to coral Holland away from banging on the fish tank and scaring the fish.
My mommy feathers are getting more ruffled at this point. There were three, young twenty-something girls working the desk just chit chatting away. I frazzledly looked up, handed the girl my towel, and said, "I think I left my key hanging in my locker." This is where I think customer service would be nice or even just common courtesy. Not the case.
The girl to whom I reported the incident almost had empathy. She turned to one of the other girls and asked, "What do we need to do?".
She replied, "What's the problem?"
"She left her key in her locker."
"Well, she's gonna have to go get it." (with a no-duh-there's-no-way-i'm-helping expression on her face).
"But... she's got the baby..." she started to reply, but my mommy feathers were fully ruffled at this time and I had already huffed and puffed and mumbled under my breath how ridiculous that was and something else about being pissed off while snatching Holland and readjusting Dylan on my hip and hastily hustling back to the damn basement.
However, I took a wrong turn wouldn't you know it so I ended up back upstairs instead of down. I was SO pissed at this point, and there was no way in hell I was going to walk back in front of those girls to get to the basement stairs so we went through the maze of the second floor and found the elevator to go down.
I was visibly pissed off, and Holland kept saying, "What's the matter, mommy? What did those girls do?". I told her that they just weren't nice and I was frustrated because they didn't help me, but that it was really okay. (I didn't believe this though - it absolutely was NOT okay!)
I came back up, slammed my key down and proceeded to load up my screaming baby into her carseat. I was kinda glad that she was screaming - maybe it would interupt their little chit chat session and hopefully make them feel like s%#* for making me go all the way back down there for a stupid key!
Was it really too much to ask that they help me out? I have spent many years in jobs that have a public relations component, and I would have jumped all over the chance to help someone out. I would have insisted that I go down and retrieve the key and wouldn't have even thought about it. Isn't that what customer service is all about? Serving the customer.
Needless to say, I felt pretty stupid after we left and all I could think about was how I was going to have to go back and apologize to them. That infuriated me! I am a very proud person and apologies don't always come that easy for me, especially in this sort of situation. Normally, I would have just not gone back to whatever particular establishment that I had a temper tantrum in (don't worry - this doesn't happen regularly!), but this is a place that we will be frequenting for a long time so I didn't really have a choice. I was also a little embarrassed to have acted that way in front of my sweet, impressionable daughter so I figured this would be a great teaching moment.
I did go back.
I did apologize,
.....just not initially!
That's another story for another day though.