BEDA Day 7: In Need of a New Job

            I am in dire need of a new summer job. Not to complain, because having a job you dread is better than having no job at all, but it’s April and here I am, already dreading. I need a new summer job that welcomes only adults. I need a new summer job that is as challenging as it is rewarding, not challenging with lack of reward.
I need a new job because I’m a camp counselor. June through August, Monday through Friday, nine in the morning through four in the afternoon I’m herding kids around. From the art classroom to the bathroom to wash their hands before snack. From the bathroom to the picnic benches outdoors to eat. From the picnic benches to the art classroom once they’ve each eaten a bag of chips or a piece of fruit. Inevitably back to the bathroom ten minutes later because at least one kid will have to miraculously use the toilet again. Bathroom to art classroom. Art classroom to gym. Gym to kickball field. Kickball field to bathroom. Bathroom to picnic tables. Picnic tables to locker rooms. Locker rooms to pool. And after all that is said and done, the clock has barely scraped past noon.
I need a new summer job because I’m just not a “kids” person. Some people thrive on the never-ending store of energy kids have. I tire from kids. Not that I don’t like kids; I like most kids. Most kids are sweet and kind and have mothers who teach them to say “please” and “thank you.” But even among the sweetest kids, I feel my enthusiasm depleting and the coffee I drink in the morning rendered obsolete. And that’s with the sweet kids. Not all kids are sweet. There are kids who yell. There are kids who cry. There are kids who will hit and punch and kick and pull the hair of the sweet kids. The kids who will splash you in the pool and will “accidentally” dump an entire canister of glitter onto the linoleum floor with an unmistakable grimace. And even when these kids are a vast minority, what they lack in numbers they make up for in screams.

I need a new summer job without those kids. I need a new summer job that without those kids’ parents. Because if you’ve ever met a loud and destructive eight-year-old, you haven’t met his parents. His parents allow him to bite and yell and say “no” to everyone. His parents give in to his tantrums. His parents give him cake for dinner if that’s what he wants. His parents think their child is an angel and will not for one minute hear anything to argue the contrary. I know this because at my summer job, I call those parents. At my summer job I’ll be leading a craft or a game then suddenly I’ll need to pull out my walkie-talking and have another camp counselor watch my group so I can make a phone call. The other camp counselor will come and I will fly up the stairs to use my boss’s phone. And then I’ll be yelled at over the phone in defense of a parent’s precious child who couldn’t possibly be behaving that way. So then the duration of the camp session will be awkward during drop-off and pick-up times, and I’ll grit my teeth while physically feeling my patience running thin. And maybe one of those aforementioned sweet kids will lift my spirits for just a moment by presenting me with a drawing they’ve done, their crayon signature in the bottom corner. And I’ll feel a moment of gratitude and contentment, but then, like clockwork, another scream will enter my ears. I need a new summer job.

**obviously this is all in good fun. My summer job is not by any means terrible. I'm treated well, but sometimes a girl just has to blow off some steam for the sake of a well-intentioned, funny blog post. Can I live?**


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