From the Department of Interesting Job Titles (and Suzi, who noticed the job ad) comes …
Not Director of Happy Kids, the assistant director, but that may actually be a good thing, because you know at some point, the director is going to make some kids unhappy because of some silly “rules,” and who are they going to turn to?
That’s right … the assistant director.
It’s like being the backup quarterback on a football team. Everyone loves the backup quarterback … usually until he has to play. Then you remember why he’s the backup.
So the Assistant Director of Happy Kids will have to walk that fine line between doing what’s necessary to keep the kids … what’s that word … oh yes … safe, while also maintaining good-cop status.
Unless the director is a Machiavellian sort who’s going to fob off all the tasks that make the kids unhappy on the assistant so he or she can float above the fray. It’s definitely something to diplomatically ask about in the job interview.
And the job itself comes with a lot of pressure. It’s not Assistant Director of Slightly Less Surly Kids or Assistant Director of Making Sure the Kids Return to Their Parents Alive at the End of the Day.
It’s the Assistant Director of Happy Kids, so I’m assuming it’s a requirement that the kids be generally pleased with the goings-on at pretty much any time.
I like to think I’m pretty good with children — granted, there was that one time I lifted my little cousin into the ceiling fan at our grandmother’s house, but he grew up to have kids of his own, the first of which he let me hold and play with when we visited several years ago — but I can’t keep everyone I come in contact happy with every day, and I’ve heard that children … on occasion … can be a little moody.
OK, OK … all kidding aside, the job appears to be pretty straightforward — splitting time between teaching preschool in the morning and then running the after-school program.
It just has a clever name that will get attention, so for that, kudos to the YMCA of Greater Nashua.
But even without contemplating the idea of a job where you have to keep kids happy all the time, the job requirements seem slightly daunting, and I’m even less qualified for it than to be principal at an elementary school,
Even at the very end, the physical requirements include “must be able to lift up to 40 pounds” (it wasn’t clear if the hefting of less than 40 pounds includes children) and “must be able to act and move fast enough to keep children safe.”
Years ago, at one of Suzi’s college reunions, we ate lunch with a couple of her friends, one of whom came up from Virginia with her two little guys in tow. The boys wanted to run around and play, so I got up to watch them, figuring I’d leave Suzi and her friends to chat.
It went fine. They were small enough and I was young enough to keep them corralled, even though it may have required hoisting the younger one under my arm a couple times.
They got to run themselves into the ground. They seemed pleased. Suzi and her friends got to chat, and there were no injuries.
But now? I have pretty decent wheels for my age, and even though a friend’s (now) ex-wife once said she was worried about me pushing another friend’s daughter on the swing because I may not have had the “maternal instinct” to save her if she started to fall, I’d throw myself into/at/on top of whatever I’d need to.
However, a bunch of kids would probably run circles around me.
That probably would make them happy, though.
The kids in the photo by Austin Pacheco on Unsplash look pretty happy, probably because I’m nowhere to be found.