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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Toddler Tricks - 68: Complain Loud and Clear

Problem: You've signed you child up for some activity. Whether it started out strong and slowly began to dwindle or it just wasn't what you expected from the start, both you and your child are disappointed in the program. Do you know how many people are quiet about this? I just found out. So, I have a solution.

Solution: Complain. No, seriously, complain. List up your problems, bring them to the directly, lay it out factually, and withdraw your participation. In my case, we're staying until December because I've paid up till then, and no refunds are given. But I still complained.

It took me three weeks. You see, we go to gym, art and music sessions every Saturday. The first few weeks, all sections were organized, in place and fun. Then it all fell apart. The first time they told me the woman who did the music had moved and they couldn't find a replacement quickly enough for the weekend. A bunch of parents stood around for a bit, then accepted the explanation and shoved off. The second week, most of the parents left right after art. I didn't. I asked about music.

"We don't do music on Saturdays," they said. "We never have."

For real? Because that's not what I experienced just two weeks ago. And at my insistence, the instructors put on an impromptu music class for the few of us that were left.

The next week, same thing.

With that and a few other disappointments in programming, I decided it was time to withdraw.

"Oh, why?" the director asked me.

And I told her, in list form, going through program by program what my issues were. I wasn't mad. This place houses a lot of kids; it's only natural that they would lose some oomph as time went on. There is only so much one could expect. I just calmly knew that this wasn't the place for us, and I calmly told them why when they asked.

The next weekend, we bumped into one of the instructors. I was surprised to find that my list had been taken somewhat seriously. At least, he knew about it. He apologized to me, and thanked me for the criticisms.

Today, they had gym, art and music. Granted, the music class was just a bunch of instruments thrown into a room with dance tunes playing in the background, but that's enough for me. That's all three year olds need, anyway.

So, moral is, complain if you aren't satisfied with what you're getting. Every once in a while, they actually listen.

1 comment:

  1. My husband has said this for decades. Many times the people in charge have no idea that there are unsatisfactory conditions. He has reported various problems over the years: bad lighting, sound system problems, volume too loud or soft, visibility terrible in dangerous places, toilet paper or paper towels out, loose electrical outlets, leaking gasoline nozzles, an adversarial phone tree at our primary care doc’s office.

    Oftentimes he effects positive change; we wrestled our doc’s office into replacing their horrible answering service into a “Patient Services” dept where one can speak to a human relatively quickly.

    Go for it, peeps, say something to someone who has some control or knows the authority to contact. Most often verbally works, altho we did have to get pretty serious with the doctor.

    Speak up—think if we all dealt with one thing a week how much we could get fixed in a short time...



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