Thursday, April 3, 2008


If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might be aware of how much I dislike our local YMCA. If you aren't aware of my complaints, you can catch up on our complaints during the first half of the school year at my other blog on my post called "YMCA Frustrations".

I posted that on January 4th and haven't updated how the YMCA is going since then. I've only had three things to be unhappy about since then. For the YMCA, three complaints in three months is a very good track record.

The first complaint involved their front desk employees not knowing basic information, and rather than looking it up, providing incorrect information instead. Here's the story. There was a field trip that I was considering taking with a group of homeschoolers and they were trying to determine which date would work best with everyone so they could schedule it. Regardless, it was going to take place on a Tuesday which is our busy YMCA day (both swimming and gymnastics takes place on this day). However, I thought it might be possible to go on the trip because the YMCA session would be ending around that time. The YMCA classes always take a week off between sessions. So, I called to ask which week would be the off week. Should be an easy enough question, right? So, I got the answer and gave that week as the only week I could attend the field trip. The group ended up choosing that date for the field trip so I committed our family to going on the trip. Well, the week before the trip, I found out (by accident) that the YMCA staff had given me the wrong dates for the off-week and my kids were now double-booked. It may not seem like a big deal to some but it is for us, especially since missing classes can affect your enrollment options for the next session. Plus, I don't appreciate repeatedly being given incorrect information upon which I have to decide our schedule.

The next complaint came this week--Tuesday. If you read my previous post, you'll know that we switched to the homeschool swimming program (from the evening program) for several reasons related to my daughter's fear of water. First, she doesn't do well with having to adjust to a new teacher every 6 weeks, especially when some of those teachers may be insensitive to her needs. We were told that the homeschool class would be taught by the same teacher until June. Second, she doesn't do well in the big pool because its largeness and depth are frightening to her. We were told that the homeschool calss would always be taught in the shallow instructional pool. Until Tuesday, that had been the case. First thing that happened was that our teacher told us that they didn't have her teaching the class. My daughter was in instant tears over having to deal with someone new. It was an instant blow to her gaining confidence in the pool. Second thing that happened was that my children's class was being kicked out of the instructional pool and given one lane in the big pool to do class in. Apparently, they had a large group of public school kids on spring break (some kind of spring break camp) and they were being given priority. Again, my daughter was in tears because the big pool is very scary for her. Her wonderful teacher quickly suited up and agreed to stay with Mika the entire time so she made it through the class. By the end of class, my easy-going son was extremely upset and sobbing uncontrollably, however, over being in the big pool. The change, the depth (they can't touch), the cold (it isn't warmed like the instructional pool is) was just too much for me. He was freezing. When you don't swim and generate heat and have tiny little bodies with zero insulation, half an hour in a cold pool is miserable. But they survived it, in part, because the homeschool swimming director promised them it would only be for that day and they'd be back in the other pool Thursday.

Well, today is Thursday. Do you think that promise of being back in the instructional pool was kept? Of course not! It's only a couple of little kids, right? It isn't necessary to keep your promises with a couple of sensitive, caring, loving kids, right? That large group of spring break kids were back and once again they are more important than the ones that are there twice a week every week. And giving that large group the entire instructional pool is more important that keeping your word to a couple of little kids. Fortunately, our teacher spoke up for them and suggested her class use a sectioned off portion of the instructional pool. He agreed...except then he took that rope that sectioned it off and made their section about 6 feet wide, giving them very little room to conduct class in. They ended up only having enough space to practice bobs and floats but not enough room to practice any swimming with kickboards or the instructor holding them up. So, instead of a swim class, they got a bob and float class today.

Another interesting thing to note about today was that the other 90% of the instructional pool was filled with 40+ kids and chaperones. A nearby sign can be seen announcing that the pool's capacity is 33. I'm not sure the people who determine maximum capacities of pools would be too happy about that.

The final thing today was that after our class, there is always a free swim time for 1/2 hour. My kids don't get to stay and play after Tuesday classes because they have to get dry and dressed for gymnastics so we always stay on Thursday for free swim. My kids love using the kickboards and pool noodles to float and play in the water. However, today they were not allowed in the pool after class time. It was solely for the spring break kids today.

The only reason we are still there is because my kids enjoy their homeschool classes when they occur as promised.

I can't wait until June.

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A said...

I totally understand...I finally had enough also and moved my kids to the local Community Center. We have to pay alittle bit more but the whole family is on the membership, the people seem nicer and more helpful, and it is closer to us.

I wish you guys the best in getting through until June!

Shadowfur said...

I DO NOT like the big pool!!!!!!!!!

Michelle Olsen Sasak said...

I am so sorry the kids had to go through that. The poor things, being scared and cold, for no good reason at all. I don't see why the spring break kids should have gotten any priority.

Have you considered submitting a formal complaint about the swimming class issues? It might help to resolve things, especially is the YMCA doesn't know there is an problem.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I hate that you had to experience that. Sounds like a complaint should be made to someone.