Saturday, February 20, 2010

"You can't make me!"

A little follow up to the soccer fiasco post...

So far at work today we've called an ambulance for a neck injury to a 15 year old, had a parent tell my referee to "blow his f*&$ing whistle" (during a 10 year old girls game), and called the police to escort brawling parents out of the building after attacking each other. These parents were watching their 8 YEAR OLD girls playing soccer! Now that's a role model.

The quote in the title? That was said to me after I told a grown adult to leave the premises. It's awesome babysitting grown ups.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kids say (and do) the funniest things.

After laughing hysterically then suddenly sobbing sadly a little 7 Year old girl in my class today said, "Coach Dallon, I'm so mad at you!"

"Why?! What's wrong?" I asked.

"You made me laugh so hard I went pee pee in my pants!"

It was so cute, sad and hilarious all at the same time!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Ski School Fiasco

I have the coolest job ever! But some days, it's an absolute fiasco! I will now indulge...

With presidents day weekend comes hundreds of kids in ski school. Here's how it went today: I set my alarm for pm, so of course I was late to work. So I got stuck with the crap job of signing kids in and shuffling them to their coaches. My class didn't show up until around 10 oclock due to enormous lines at the gondola. With so many kids around it's quite crazy getting them all in to the right classes and getting the paperwork right so supervisors know where all the kids are and which coaches they are with. So that all took forever with my class, the ski school lift line was of course enormous so we didn't even get onto the hill until around 11. Lunch is at noon but since there are so many kids lunch was held in the Grand Summit ballroom instead of the kids lunchroom. THe ballroom is at the bottom of the gondola. It takes about 15 minutes to get up or down the gondola. One kid has special food allergies so she brought her own lunch. I didn't know about this until we were already on the gondola. So we waited for someone to bring it to us. Another student lost a glove, so we spent some time looking for it, then looking for a replacement. Then a parent calls her kid and wants to pick him up early. So we wait for 15 minutes for her to show up. Then while skiing my class down a trail we come upon another ski class with a kid laying in his own yard sale was screaming in pain. His coach was working with kids for the first time ever and was almost panicking. So I start to try to control the kid who is going into shock. Call ski patrol who show up and immediately diagnose a broken femur and call for a med flight. This kids panicked coach has no phone numbers so I then call our supervisor who freaks out (already a crazy day for her, broken femur on a kid didn't help) Then panicked coach tells me she doesn't know where the rest of her class is. So after ski patrol gets things in control I take my class off in search of missing kids. I finally found them just in time for parents to pick them up and have to deal with the questions about the helicopter and why these kids aren't with their regular coach. "Don't worry mam, I promise that is not YOUR kid getting put in the helicopter" thats what I said to all the parents...except one. That sucked. A parent of one of my kids didn't have their claim ticket to prove the kid was hers, so that was a mess. (can't give kids away unless parents give us their ticket that proves kid is theirs, sounds silly but it's for safety) Then some other parents were late, leaving me there stranded with one kid. Then I had to check out with supervisors, which took forever on account of EVERY instructor working today, and some serious incident report paper work to fill out. Then of course the line to get back down the gondola is snake-ing it's way all the way up 9990 so I decide to ski down, which turned into an even more ridiculously long line at the shortcut lift. I finally get to the base and I get a call from another supervisor about one of my kids that can't find her shoes. So I have to go help look for those only to find out after several phone calls and an hour that their friends took his boots on accident. Then...I make it to the locker room and am accosted by coworkers wanting to know how in the world a kid in ski school broke a femur. Finally I'm out of there and get to come home. It was a crazy day of waiting in line and doing lots of non ski coaching stuff. It was pretty aggravating. But you know what...It was about the most frustrating day at that job I have ever had, but it was still pretty dang awesome. Seriously, they pay me to ski and goof around with kids! I love my job.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Soccer Fiasco

At the soccer gym I ref a lot of games. Let me tell you what, it's like a 'friend making' extravaganza every game! (referred sarcasm) Ok not really. I make everyone hate me no matter what I do. What is it about soccer that makes people angry, belligerent, violent, and downright mean? I understand that it is a sport, and the competitive edge in people is going to come out, but you'd think these games are the world cup the way some people take them so seriously! Last week, a young 20 something female called me a "dumb ass" to my face after I didn't call a foul against her. I gave her a card and her response was "oh did I hurt your feelings?". This week, after an awkward play that I did call a foul on I had to pull one kid off another kid that he had just full on tackled, then deal with both teams that had just cleared the benches and started a to rumble. Awhile back, one guy got pushed into a wall, the pusher was rewarded with a fist in the nose. About a month ago, we actually had to call the police to come take care of an entire team who refused to leave because they were waiting in the parking lot for the other team to come out so they could rumble. One kid was beat up in the parking lot by other kids who were waiting there for him when he arrived BEFORE thier game. On days I work there we have had to call police four different times. I have seen at least 10 punches thrown. As a referee I have been called every name in the book, been threatened, been accused of favoring, and had balls deliberately kicked at me. Do you know what's at stake here? A t-shirt...If your team wins your league you get a t-shirt! So I'm always asking myself why people get so worked up. I'm still not exactly sure but I have a hypothesis... The average life is somewhat mundane, especially in these winter months. Most of these people live fairly routine lives without much emotional deviance. Thus, their weekly indoor soccer game becomes an outlet for pent-up emotions and energy, but the competitive nature of soccer pitting one person against another and team against team, often leads to a negative release of energy and emotion. So...we have anger and violence. And I, being the lucky referee, recieve a good deal of it. After all, there are two teams against me, not just one, I have no teammates, and I have to keep my cool no matter what. Needless to say, at the end of the night I'm exhausted, both physically and mentally. It takes full concentration to ref a soccer game. Then to ref 6 in a row becomes mentally taxing. I will be the first to admit though that I often miss fouls, or I get them wrong, but I have no linesman to back me up, no instant replay. It is up to me to make an instant decision knowing that every time I do it's going to piss someone off. Sometimes I can't see it, I can't see through people, I can't see every hand ball, push, hold, trip and foul. And sometimes you feel like you got fouled but it doesn't look like you did, or vice-versa. Being a soccer referee is downright demoralizing. There are several people every night that tell me thank you and good job and once the game is actually over most people are over it, but like many things in life, it only takes a few people out of the many to make things miserable.
Then there is the other side to my job at the soccer gym. When I work as the manager. This part of my job has regretfully caused me to loose a lot of faith in the goodness of people. Again, I am sure that I am speaking of just a few of the many people that come in there, but sadly that's all it takes. People lie about who they are, how old they are, how much money they've paid, etc. Trying to get people to pay their amount due is like trying to remove their fingernails with pliers. the grown up world, you have to pay for goods and services! In wal-mart can you just tell the cashier "oh, I forgot my wallet I will just pay you next time"...NO! When the air-hockey table takes your quarters without turning on yelling and screaming at me for minutes about it will NOT fix the air hockey machine. Screaming at the referee from the stands while your 9 year plays soccer is definitely a good example, especially when you obviously have spent countless hours studying the rules of the game! (sarcasm running deep in that last sentence) Oh by the way...there is NO SUCH THING as a high kick! Your naive arguments are making you look pretty stupid. Arguing with the coach of the team your kid is playing against is also awesome, especially when NEITHER of you know what you are talking about. If you don't want to play at 11:15 don't sign up! We have hundreds of teams playing, complain and whine just a little bit more and we will adjust and re-d0 EVERY OTHER teams schedule to make YOU happy. Besides, you are the only team that cares. Don't mind that garbage can, I actually really want to pick up your trash, and yes please, spit on the floor, it makes it shiny!

Ugh, you know what...I had no intentions of this being a pitty blog so I think I'm done...But, I guess my point is: If you are playing...settle down and just have fun. And the rest of the time, do the same. And a hint to the angry- kindness, will almost always get you what you want. Obnoxiousness-won't.

And finally, I don't feel much better than those that I've described here now that I've read what I just wrote. I don't mean to complain. I like that job, I love soccer. I have LOTS of great friends there. And I understand that this is how most sports are in any setting in the world, But I will never give a referee a hard time again, and for the majority of you who are cool, and kind, and try to make the lives of people around you a little bit easier every day, I thank you. The world is kind of crazy, my little subterranean soccer gym world is a great example of that, but as residents of this world, we can be good. We don't have to be crazy too.