The Point of It All

Submitted by Czenzie Smith to Contest #15 in response to: Write about one character’s fundamental misunderstanding of another character’s job.... view prompt

I started working for the YMCA May 10, 2019, my assigned position was Member Services. I had perfect attendance and was on always on time for my shift. There were days I would have to open or close the building. I would have to borrow a key, work with someone that had a key, or wait for someone who has a key to open or close. I was never issued a key. On October 30, 2019, it was getting close to closing time so I needed to check to see who had a key. I asked Ms. Brenda Munger who was working child watch if she had a key she said she did not have one. I ask Mr. George who is an exercise instructor if he had a key and he said he did not have a key. Joshua Boyd a YMCA employee was there to work out, when he stopped to talk to Mr. George in the lobby, I asked Joshua if he had his key and he said yes. I asked Joshua if could lock up for me since I did not have a key; he agreed he would lock up. Ms. Munger and I left shortly after 7:00 leaving Mr. George and Joshua in the lobby.

The next day Ms. Mary Olds, the director, texted me at 7:20 am for me to call her. I texted her back that I would call her at 9:00 am. When I called, she said the front door was unlocked, lights in lobby were not off and the alarm had not been armed. I told Ms. Olds since I did not have a key to lock up and Joshua was there working out. I asked him if he had his key. Since he had his key, I asked to him to lock the building and he agreed that he would. Her response was since Joshua was not on the clock he was not responsible for locking up the building. I told Ms Olds that he agreed to locking the building since he had his key with him. Ms. Olds asked me if I was familiar with the procedure of locking the building without a key. I told her I was familiar with that procedure. Since it started getting dark early I didn’t feel safe going through a dark building just to exit on the other side of the building and through her office door and having only 60 seconds to exit the building. I told her having had surgery on my hip two years ago I did not want to run the risk of falling. She said she had done it many times, but I didn’t understand that comment. She is the Director and she should have a key; why would she want to do that? She said I asked Joshua to lock up for convenience, I said no it was for safety reasons. Ms. Olds ended the conversation and added she would see me Friday.

On November 3rd, when I arrived at the YMCA to work my shift starting at 5:00 pm. Ms. Olds asked me to come to her office, we talked again about the building not being locked. She said that having Joshua to locked the building was breaking protocol. Since he was not on the clock, it was not his responsibility to lock the building. She said I should have taken his key and locked the building myself. I reminded her of an incident that happen on Saturday, June 1st at 7:50 am no one was there to unlock the building, so I called her. She told me that she would find someone to unlock the building. The YMCA opens at 8:00 on Saturday, so I sat in the parking lot watching members come and go. Mariah Mosley an employee of the YMCA arrived at 8:20 to unlocked the door and she left afterwards. My point was Mariah was not on the clock and she came just to unlock the door. I asked Ms. Olds if that action broke protocol. She said since she was the director she was the only person that could call people to unlock the door. I told her I understood her point. My point was that the person who is locking or unlocking the door isn’t always on the clock! I gave her another example when her MOD (Manager on Duty) did not show up for his shift, but right before the YMCA was closing he came and locked the building at the end of my shift; he wasn’t on the clock. Ms. Olds says it is my responsibility to make sure the building is locked and secure, but I guess she didn’t think I was responsible enough to have a key. I don’t know any establishment where an employee is responsible for locking or unlocking the establishment for business. Usually, they don’t have a key, therefore I think my termination was unfair and unjust. She even accused me of not locking the cash box; I always count the money in the box, record and lock the cash box.

There are people at the YMCA that cannot work without supervision. Mariah Mosley who works child watch has gone to sleep while having children to watch. On September 20th, she got upset with a child and made him sit in the office with me and not move. He had to sit, in a corner, with me there until 45 minutes before closing. That same evening, Mariah and Darius Dennis, who is another employee of the YMCA, ordered food from Popeye Chicken. When the food arrived, both of them ate the chicken in the lobby while members were checking in. While Mariah was sitting in the lobby eating her chicken, the kids who she was watching for Child Watch were running around in the lobby. On October 16th Mariah, had seven kids that evening to watch. According to the notifications that is posted in lobby, child watch starts from ages 3-12 years old. That day she was watching a toddler that looked to be 1 ½ years old. She placed the baby on a table to sleep and the baby fell off the table and injured her head. She brought the baby in the office to get the first aid kit, and sat the baby on the stool. I had to support the baby from falling off the stool as she was getting the first aid kit out the cabinet. She got out of the kit some gauze and asked the baby to hold it on the spot where she hit her head. I grabbed the gauze because the baby wouldn’t know how to hold gauze to her head. I thought that was ridiculous. Finally, she got something else out of the kit to put on her scalp because what I saw was broken skin on her scalp and it was bleeding just a little bit. Darius Dennis witnessed her attempt to put something on the baby’s head. He advised that she should complete an incident report. He gave the form to her; when she finished with the child she threw the form to the side and left the office.

The room where kids are watched is too small for 7 kids unless they are standing up. The floors, tables and toys are dirty, there are outdated board games, there aren’t enough seats for the kids to sit on. There are holes in the ceiling, equipment sitting around that should not be in reach of children (such as an electric pencil sharper, radio, and bundles of electrical cords). It’s junky and there isn’t anything for girls to play with such as dolls, teddy bears, coloring books, crayons etc.

The second person is Darius Dennis. I cringe every time I see him pick up a male child, he handles them inappropriately by picking up the child carrying them on his hip from room to room. There is someone on duty in child watch, so I don’t understand why he thinks he must do that. On Saturdays, he mostly sleeps in the back offices and watch movies on his phone.

The “Y” Achievers, an organization of teenagers meet at the YMCA after school. The Director, Heather McLemore and her assistant Keenan allow some of the young men to wear their pants low where you can see their underwear. The Y Achievers are all to leave the building no later than 6:00 pm. Ms. McLemore and Keenan leave at 5:30 pm and has left some of the teenager there not knowing if they all have transportation. On October 5th, about 6:30 pm, I was going to the restroom, when I saw a young lady in the exercise room doing different poses rubbing her behind, and taking selfies of herself. I asked Ms Brenda Munger if she knew that young lady and she replied no and was just seeing her the same time I was. We both realized that she was a part of the “Y” Achievers. When I opened the door, I asked the young lady if she had called her ride; a male voice answered. I thought she was in the room alone until I walked all the way in the room. I recognized a young man as one who performed community service there at the YMCA. He was down on the floor in the groove where I couldn’t see him, nor could he see me. He thought I was talking to him but I was talking to the young lady. I told him that he needed to get up and help Ms Munger with emptying the garbage and then call his ride.

When we were leaving at 7:00 pm, transportation for these two-young people had yet to arrive. One of the male members volunteered to wait until someone picked them up.

About a month after I started working at the YMCA, persons that closed the building in the evenings had to empty the garbage, throughout the building, before leaving. At one time, the YMCA had a cleaning service. I was advised that the service did not  empty garbage cans. YMCA personnel would gather the garbage, place all garbage in one bag, and take the bag to the dumpster (some distance from the main building). This YMCA has no outside lighting near the dumpster. ). This problem is amplified when it gets dark early. Just a few weeks ago I was told that one evening a man was dumpster diving in the Pizza Hut’s dumpster which is not too far from our dumpster. When I mentioned this, to one of the YMCA employees, I was given a flash light to use. Therefore, I began asking Mr. George, before he departed—or the young men that were a part of community service—to take the garbage to the dumpster.

On Saturday, November 9, 2019, Joshua called me that morning, saying he had just found out about my termination and he felt bad about the incident. He apologized and admitted that he had forgotten to lock the door. He said he had told Ms. Olds it was his fault and he asked her if she would give me another chance. Of course, her answer was no. I accepted his apology and appreciated his honesty.

In closing, when I signed my termination papers, Ms. Olds asked for my badge, which I didn’t have a problem with. But when she asked for the T Shirt I was wearing, I thought, that was very tacky. What is the YMCA going to do with a used T shirt? I thought to myself, thank God the YMCA didn’t provide me with the pants I had on. Bottom line, I felt the termination was unjust and unfair.

The Davis YMCA will lose a lot of membership because many of the Silver Snickers are dissatisfied with the Silver Snickers program that terminates at the end of the year. A lot of members that I talk to in the evening don’t even know Ms. Olds, don’t even know what she looks like. That is because she is hardly there in the evening. The members have said there are not enough classes being offered at the Davis YMCA and they were going to the Planet Fitness down the street or the Croc Center. The Davis YMCA is a great place to work but there must be a clear personnel structure and good management for the Davis YMCA to be successful in the Whitehaven Community.

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