Wednesday, June 3, 2009

In which I tried to sign my kid up for swim lessons but ended up cleaning my brains off the entrance to the public pool...

So. It's a very busy week on Mom Street. (Am I saying that, like, every other week or is it just me?) Grasshopper is turning 3 THIS SUNDAY and we're getting ready for his birthday bash. Also, there's been this:

For the past 6 weeks or so, I checked all over town for swim lessons for my boy that both fit our schedule and our (small) budget. Ultimately my mother found a listing on the county Aquatics website saying that there would be swim lessons available for only $40 at a pool close to us. Yay! The only issue is that it said that sign-ups would be held on June 3rd, at the pool, between 10:00-2:00. That was the only time listed for signing up your child. I thought, "Wow, space must fill up fast since they only give 4 hours for everyone to sign up for swim lessons for the entire summer! I better get there early."

So JR stayed at home to work (it helped that his car is in the shop. Again.) so that I could go queue up early and make sure that Grasshopper got a spot in the second session of the summer since that fit our schedule best.

I got to the pool at about 9:05. Huh, no one present. Okay, well then I'll just run over to CVS and drop off my prescription so that I can pick it up later on. That shouldn't take too long.

Off I run to CVS, where I hand my script (for a sleep aid) to the pharmacist and he enters it into the system, and tells me that my insurance won't pay for it. "Seriously?" I ask. "Seriously." he responds. "It'll be $187 dollars per month without insurance." Ummm, "No!" He says that he'll contact my doc and see if she can prescribe something else. Which bites because I got a free sample of this medication and it has worked beautifully for me. But the sucktitude of insurance is going to have to wait for its very own post.

I headed back to the pool. Still no one around. Hmm, good thing I brought a book! So I sit and wait until 10:10, and still NO ONE shows up. I wandered up to the entrance and poked around, but there were no people, and no signs telling me when to expect any people. So I call JR and ask him to look at the website for me and make sure that I have my information right. He confirms that it says exactly what I thought that it said. He offers to call the county Aquatics department for me, and I take him up on it and head for the Dollar Store since I have a pinata that needs filling, and tables that need plastic covers and cupcakes that need plates to sit on on Sunday.

When I get out of the car in the parking lot of the Dollar Store, my phone rings. JR says, "I finally got ahold of someone who is currently at the pool and says that she can register you for the swim lessons. You better head back over there."

Very well. I get back in my car and head over to the pool. When I get there I can see that there are, in fact, 2 people in the entrance area. I head in and announce that I'm there to register my son for swim lessons.

"Oh," they tell me, "you can't do that until 12:00. That's when the woman with the register gets here."

"But, the website says 10:00-2:00!" I say.

"Yeah, they really need to update that more often. Causes all kinds of problems."

"Yes, because this right here, is a problem! Can I please just put my name on a list or something since I'm here now and I want to make sure that he gets a slot and I don't know if I can be back here exactly at 12:00?"

"Oh, don't worry about it, there's plenty of slots."

"So you can't do anything for me?"

"No, not right now. We don't open at this pool until 12:00."

At this point I was developing an eyebrow tick and decided to just head back to the Dollar Store and see if I couldn't get at least SOMETHING crossed off my list this morning since my prescription and the swim lessons both appeared to be out of my reach.

On the way there, I called JR. "I went back to the pool, but was told that I can't sign Grassshopper up until 12:00." I related.

"WHAT?!?! But they just told me that they could handle the registration!"

"Well, apparently between when you hung up the phone and when I got there one of them actually engaged their brain enough to realize that without any paperwork or a cash register, which apparently doesn't arrive until noon, they couldn't help me."

"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Are you sure it's worth it?"

"Well, since I don't want my kid to drown, yes, yes it is."

"Valid point. Have fun at the Dollar Store!"

So, the Dollar Store mission actually did get accomplished. I went home for a little while, fixed Grasshopper an early lunch and then went back to the pool.

When I got there there was obviously a lifeguard meeting in progress since there were a large number of scantily clad teenagers sitting around complimenting each others' toe nail polish. The two who had been there this morning pretended not to recognize me.

"Hello, I'm here to register my son for swim lessons." I announced.

A woman in an Aquatics Department polo shirt heaved herself out of her folding chair with a classic public-servant-being-asked-to-do-her-job sigh and walked over to ask if I intended to pay with cash or a check. I told her that I would be paying cash. She asked what level I was signing my kid up for and since the website didn't mention levels, I guessed and said, "Beginner? He's 3."

"Okay, she said, "let me make sure that I have space in that class."

Wait, what?!?! If sign-ups didn't begin until 12:00 today, and I'm here at 12:00 how can there even be a possibility of there not being space? I took a deep breath and asked that very question.

She handed me a flyer and said, "Sign-ups started on May 23. See, look right here."

"But I did not have a flyer." I told her, doing my best to keep my voice from turning shrill. "I had the WEBSITE and it said June 3rd."

"Well, I brought my laptop so that I can show people that the website says exactly what this here flyer says. You were looking at the wrong website."

"It was the County Department of Aquatics website. How can that be the wrong website?"

"Well, see you really should have gone to the specific pool website."

Then she proceeded to explain how one gets to the pool website from the Aquatics Dept website but I couldn't really hear her over the extremely loud string of curse words in my head.

"Look," I finally said, "Do you or do you not have space for my son?"

She leafed through the registration forms of those parents who had come in since May 23 and announced that yes, she did have space.

"Wonderful. Can I also sign him up for a subsequent session so that he can progress throughout the summer?"

"Oh no, you can only sign up for one session at a time, the session that's about to start. Right now you can sign up for session one, and once that's over, you can sign up for session two."

"Wait, you're telling me that I can only sign up for session one now?"

"That's right. If you want to sign up for session two you'll need to come back (at this point she consults her wall calendar) on about the 25th. That's when we'll start sign-ups for session 2."

And then my head exploded. The end.


Atlanta Mommy said...

Don't you just love the way the pools here are run? My sympathies. I've held off on swim lesson registration for just that reason. I may just go to Glenwood Park or Grant Park just because they seem light on the hassle. Happy Early Birthday to G!!!!

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

Shit like that drives me INSANE!

Sorry about your brain ;)

Manic Mommy said...

Welcome to at least half of everything you will ever try to sign Grasshopper up for, forever.

Morons have inherited the earth.

Except the Boys and Girls Club the next town over that mails me brochures, has online registration that even tells you what number on the wait list you are, and will let you transfer to the mommy and me swim class when your three year old won't go to the 3 year old class.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

I have so little patience for shit like that and it happens quite often so I'm crabby a lot. And great that you can only sign up for one session at a time...that's really convenient!

Happy birthday to Grasshopper!

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

Good thing you were at the pool, they had lots of water to clean up the mess from your head then..

Personally I would have probably put their head on the sidewalk (no not really, just dreaming). "Sign up for this Miss Lifeguard!"

And then I would have woken up and walked meekly away while clutching my receipt and making a note to come back on the 25th... yesh.

stephlove said...

Oh dear. Well, I hope the teaching is of higher caliber than the administration.

Funnyrunner said...

OMG I HATE stuff like that. I'm so, so sorry! BUT I LOVE your neologism: "sucktitude." Love it!

And... I hope you find some sleep! Be careful not to get addicted...

can't wait to read a post about insurance. my goodness there'd be a lot of material there...