Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Two things have been nagging at my mind that bring up the oh-so-relevant song from Miss “Crazy Hat” Aretha Franklin. Over the past two days Cameron has been spending a lot of time in the Toddler room. I’m actually kind of happy about that, despite a complete meltdown on Monday night due to tiredness, because Cameron thrives when she is with older kids. As I mentioned previously she is the oldest by a few months in the Waddler room which I think lead to some of the pushing and biting incidences. And not to curse it but those behaviors haven’t reared their ugly heads in about two weeks. I guess it was just a phase! I’m sure it will come back around again but for now I will revel in it.

When I dropped Cameron off this morning, she was happily saying “ma-ba” (aka her teacher Miss Melba) when I ran into the Assistant Director. Apparently a new Director has been hired but I haven’t met her yet. I stopped the AD as she was heading into the office. Here is a transcript of our conversation:

Me: Cameron has been spending some time in the Toddler room. That’s great because I think she really likes it but does that mean you are starting to transition her into that room? (Note: most kids don’t start there until they are at least 18 months, Cameron will be 17 months next week)
AD: We have visits of a few hours before we start the full Transition process.
Me: Well, I think it’s great that you are planning to move her over because she loves being there (Note: although I’m not sure that two days is a solid indicator) but is there some reason you didn’t talk about it with me and my husband before you started the visits?
AD: [silence]
Me: In the future I really need to understand when you are planning to make changes to Cameron’s daycare situation.
AD: [silence, coupled with a look that indicates I killed her cat]
Me: OK, well thanks for your time.

Really? Is my request so unreasonable? I think not. I confirmed with Miss Melba that a notice is SUPPOSED to go out when the transition process begins. I appreciate that the AD thought Cameron was just “visiting” but let’s call a spade a spade, shall we? DH and I should have been asked to come in, sit down and talk about the transition plan. Instead, there was silence. I was perfectly polite (IMO) in my interactions with the AD but I can’t excuse her for not following the process. She is the AD and although she’s been there less than 2 months she should know the process. Plus, the ratio goes up in the Toddler room and we’re supposed to get a reduction in tuition. Perhaps that’s why it’s been radio silence?

The other situation that I’m dealing with at work is my interactions with an administrative assistant who sits RIGHT NEXT to me. She doesn’t support my particular group but she does support a peer group. When I first arrive in my new space I tried to chit chat with her. No response aside from grunts. I assumed that was the way she was but then I hear her laughing and talking and being very friendly with lots of other people on the floor. I don’t talk too loudly on the phone, I don’t bring weird smelling food to work and I keep to myself. Is there some reason that this woman appears to dislike me from the very beginning? It’s a bit insulting to my ego because I’ve always prided myself on being very friendly and supportive of all layers of the organization, especially administrative assistants.

As anyone who works in a large (or even small) company can tell you, administrative assistants are the secret weapons. BigFinance is very complex and sometimes it’s hard to know where to go to get things done (ordering business cards, reserving conference rooms, etc.). That’s why I absolutely need this woman to like me. She is the only person who can book conference rooms on my floor. The rest of my team sits 14 floors below (including the admin) so if I need a conference room on my floor, she is it (a whole other rant on why we can’t book our own conference rooms…stupid bureaucracy). I hold the door for this woman, no response, not even a thank you. If I’m going to the kitchen or out to lunch I ask if she needs anything. A grunt in response.

Normally I would just let it go (although it does prick the ego as I mentioned before) but I need to get this woman on my side. So, dear readers, any suggestions on this situation or the daycare one? For daycare I was thinking about setting up time with the new Director but she started this week, so is that too early?


Stephanie said...

I feel you pain, Stacey. I've had issues with co-workers that just chose to dislike (or ignore) me from the beginning. You could try to bring her coffee or a biscuit in the morning and see where that gets you.

As for the daycare thing, we have the same problem in ours. I have to hear, through the grapevine, that my child is moving up and if I hadn't run into his future teacher, I'd never have known WHEN he was going and WHERE he was going to be.

I'd suggest waiting a week for the new director to get settled in and learn the terrain and then meet with them. If they're a good (organized) person, that they'll know where and how they mean to run the place. Good luck.

Donna said...

As far as the daycare situation - do they really schedule a time and sit down and talk with you about the transition process? Or is the process just to notify you and then it starts. I agree they should tell you, but not certain that most daycare's are quite so organized to have the sitdown (but my children haven't been in a center for a long time now - so what do I know! LOL!). As for the work situation - just keep at it, the ice will thaw at some point.

jerseygirl77 said...

About the daycare- I don't know that a sit-down meeting is customary or even necessary. It should only take about 5 minutes to explain the transition process in terms of how it's run and on what timeline. (Typically it's not that involved.) I know, this is your one child, so it's a big deal for you... And the daycare transitions kids from class to class all the time, so they are less likely to see it as a big deal. I'm guessing that's why you got the deer-in-the-headlights response from the AD. Oh, and in my experience, the reduction in tuition does not occur until the child is transferred full time to the new class.

As for work, I'm going to say to stop trying so hard. Be polite and cordial, but don't bend over backwards offering to get her some coffee or trying to engage her in small talk. In all likelihood, that will just REALLY make her dislike you. Don't worry too much about it unless she actually does cause you problems with booking conference rooms or other administrative matters.