Sunday, April 17, 2005

Bad Parents #1 - The Rip-off Artists

I started this blog as a repository for the nasty, bitchy stuff that I can't say to very many people. So far, I've been pretty nice. Because I am, in fact, a nice person. Kindness is one of my virtues. Even when I think I should be, for my own self-respect, a bit harder, I always err on the side of kindness. So you might even say kindness is one of my flaws... Last year I started a child. His parents were affable, the child, unexceptional, either for good or ill. I had no trouble with them. After he'd been in my care for a few months, dad, who was the primary parent, tells me that he's changed jobs, will only be working three days a week, and that they were wondering if their son could move to part time. Now, I have a policy that I don't take part-time children. Or, rather, I do if the parents are willing to pay full-time fees. They knew this. A space is a space: if I can't take on a full time child because little Joey is coming MWF, then I'm out a chunk of money. And, as I'm the primary wage-earner in this household, that matters. However, these parents had some history with me, and appeared to be in a bind. So I very graciously bent my policy, and took a $300/month pay cut. I felt badly for them. Dad was now underemployed, clearly they were in a financial bind, we had a good rapport. In other words, I was kind. Two months later, dad approaches me to tell me that they're giving me two weeks' notice - two weeks, when my contract stipulates two months' - in order to put their child in "Ritzy-tots Daycare Centre"! Now, I know that there's a waiting list for The Ritz at least a year long. In other words, they almost certainly had him on the list before they came to me. Do I feel taken advantage of? Yes, I do! Furthermore, the fees at Ritzy-tots are half again to double mine. When they gave me their notice, I reminded them that since they hadn't given me two months' notice, they would forfeit their deposit and that I'd be cashing the next month's cheque in lieu of notice. No problem, said dad. Didn't even blink. So, not only can they obviously afford a much more expensive daycare, they can, for one month at least, afford to pay fees for BOTH places!! I took a significant pay cut for two months to accommodate people who can afford over two thousand dollars in day care fees!!!! DO I FEEL TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF??? Damned straight I do.

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