Saturday, November 5, 2011

PLEASE! Be Patient with the Clown.

  I need an outlet to grumble a bit.  Bear with me.  In my professional life, I work with children.  I love what I do!!  Kids, (without the interference of adults) are for the most part, very well behaved.  However, many times when you witness the occasional temper tantrum, it all makes sense after you meet the parents.  In fact, the parents are usually more poorly behaved than the children!
  Let me give a "hypothetical".  Say for instance I was clowning and making balloons for a line of children waiting for Santa.  The venue is paying me to make balloons ONLY for the line of children.  The premise being that this would help time pass in the excruciatingly long line for Santa.  I had been given  probably would have been given instructions to keep the line within the roped off area so as to not create a fire hazard and block isle ways.  To make a balloon for EVERYONE that walked up would be CHAOS!!!  As it was I can imagine it would be difficult just to keep up with the line of kids waiting to see Santa, never mind every shopper who sauntered on up.  I'm sure Santa is very efficient in moving through the line and a clown would really have to hustle!  
  Imagine then, that a father walks up requesting a balloon for little Susie. Little Susie is afraid of Santa and the family has chosen to not wait in line.  There is probably a line a mile long, looking at me expectantly, waiting for a balloon, and annoyed with the dad who walked right up...cutting in front of them (on my side of the fore mentioned roped off area).  I'm sure I would have gently explained that I am there to make balloons only for those in line (upon the instruction of those paying for my services), and I would have apologized, as I did to the previous 10 people who walked up and asked the same question within the last 1/2 hour.  Imagine if the parent in question became angry, and complained that the venue ought to provide entertainment for those afraid to see Santa.  This I would find surprising because, for one, events like these DO provide other entertainment! Like say...fireworks, bell ringers, carolers, free cookies, just to give a few examples.  And two, this is a free event that someone else is footing the bill for!!  Those throwing the bash don't owe you anything!  Be grateful for the free entertainment you've had the privilege of partaking in!!!!!  It amazes me how prevalent the entitlement mindset is throughout  our society!
  I do this for a living, and for the most part, I LOVE what I do.  However, it is still my job.  I'm not a volunteer.  I'm not a pretend character.  I didn't come out of the womb with clown makeup on.  I'm a real person, with a family, bills, a schedule, and other events I need to get to in a timely manner.  So it always amazes me when I've cut off a line for face paint or balloons, (my weekends are always double or triple booked and often I have an hour drive from one event to the next) and I get a parent that says "Can't you do one more?  He's crying!"  I'm a parent.  My kids have cried for things.  It's good when they don't get what they want all the time.  That's life.  It's not the first time they've cried and it won't be the last.  Hello!  Life lesson!!  It shows no respect for my time, or for that of the children who are waiting for me at the next event.  Now, I know the sun rises and sets on your little Johnny, but (and I know it may come as a shock)  they aren't the only kids in the world! 
  Or then there is the parent who wants you do do just one more based on who they are.  Ahhh, so I should tell the other ten kids I just turned away that they don't get face paint because their daddy/mommy isn't as important as you! Nice.
  Okay guys, forgive me.  I like to keep it pretty upbeat and fun around here.  Thanks for letting me vent to you today.  I really do feel much better!  I promise the next post will be much more positive.  The Holiday season is upon us, and we're all in it together.  Hold the door open for someone while Christmas shopping.  Give a warm smile to the cashier.  And be patient with the clown!


  1. I applaud you for working with children!!! I love them, worked daycare..but the parents..yeah, well....
    Keep your chin up..stand your ground..
    ~~Peace & Love & Healing & Blessings~~

  2. We all need to vent sometimes. It must be challenging...especially for a clown. I will remember to be patient, especially at this time of year.

  3. Good for you! It's not easy working in the public sector! I work retail and your vent goes for me too! Being on the customer service side of things, I totally get this!
    It is so VERY important for all of us to remember to be patient this time of year. We are ALL busy! We must pay attention to what we are teaching our children. Good and bad things alike! Peace and joy my friend!