Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Over the last 2 weeks, I have been watching a fascinating episode occur at the kids school. Since I am gainfully unemployed, I have been choosing to join the leagues of parents picking up their kids rather than subjecting them to the tortures of a long bus ride home.

Now, it has never ceased to amaze me, what a hurry people are in, when loading their children. I first noticed this in preschool, when all the moms would line up early, and then make a mad dash for the exit, potentially running down a small person while burning rubber on the way out. I quickly learned to come late, and then grab the kids after the majority of parents had exited the parking lot in a wave of exhaust. It was much safer for all involved.

At the school, the same type of thing applied. The first car, would always stop directly in front of the door, thereby taking a good 200 feet off of the parking lane. And no one would go around that person. Instead, they'd line up behind, or else pull into the parking lot. The lineup with snake onto the 2 lane road, and inevitably, someone would be trying to turn left as well, so both lanes would be stopped. Then, when the bell rang, the kids would come rushing out, wander up and down to find their car, or race across the line of cars to the parking lot. Once loaded, the cars would pull out, dash past the line of still waiting cars and zoom away. Often narrowly avoiding slightly taller small people.

I am going to blame this on the Frozen Tundra driving effect, where we are driving on ice so much we forget to go slow. I know that makes no sense, but trust me here.

Clearly, this was a disaster in the making, so I was pleased when the other week, I saw people out clearly studying the effect of where the cars went. They were carrying clipboards, so I assumed they were official. Then, the next day, there was a police type person and more barricades up and they were making everyone pull all the way down. Which was a minor feat.

The next week, we were all presented with color copies showing that the line is now supposed to snake around the parking lot, and new rules, like kids couldn't cross to the lot, no one could enter a car on the road side etc. Basically people are supposed to make a big S but in reverse kind of. Really not too complicated. The kids were given an announcement and were told to exit the school via a side door. It all seemed to be a good idea.

So imagine my surprise the next day, when I get there, to see people where they are not supposed to be. I zip through the parking lot to where 2 other cars are lined up, under the theory you lead by example. Meanwhile, the line is all the way back on the road past where the busses are. Really people, how hard were the little arrows to follow? In color? Though to be fair, the latecomers couldn't get in, they were stuck. When the bell rang, everyone started their cars up, only to be stopped by the irate secretary who came running out with a gym teacher type person. The secretary, with a very red face ran down to the first barricade and repositioned it, while the gym teacher type, started merging the 2 lines together, giving preference to the cars in the parking lot (cause we were right). As I waited, it was great entertainment to watch the parents yell at the 2 angry school employees, plus gesture red faced to their kids trying to get them to cross the street (despite the VP of the school watching them), which was not allowed at all. It really made the time go fast.

the following Monday, we were greeted with new people, evidently the school had hired bouncers to make sure everyone went on the path. They were dressed in black, with scowls on their faces, but the lineup was pretty smooth.

Of course the kids have taken this all in stride, no bouncers necessary. Maybe it really is true you can't teach an old dog new tricks...

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