Seriously, this job at Hoffman's Playland (an amusement park) is starting to affect me. I spend 5 hour blocks around dozens of random children and their parents. The thing is, I think I hate them. Which is unfortunate, because I plan on having children my self one day.
The problem isn't really how I don't like kids; I usually don't have any problem with them. Hell, a lot of kids think I'm great. The problem is that when I'm at work, the kids are all jacked up on sugar and fun, and the parents are sometimes, to put it mildly, unsatisfactory. Too many kids are out of control, and too many parents allow it to happen.
Okay, here's an example: I'm on the spinning teacups ride. 5 People get on, 3 young kids in one teacup, and a kid and his father in another. As SOON as the ride starts (it isn't fast, and wasn't even spinning), one little girl in the cup of three opens her gaping face and SCREECHES LIKE A HOWLER MONKEY ON CRACK. She's not scared, she's not unhappy; she barely even looks excited. Her face is expressionless, minus her maw. Then, her screeching, of course, invites other kids to scream for no reason. The boy in the cup with his dad is the most noticeable. He's screaming as loud, if not LOUDER, than the original screamer. Now, NONE of these kids are scared. They're just screaming for the hell of it. There are two things that are bad in this scenario. One: The loud boy was just being allowed to scream bloody murder, and his father did NOTHING to try to quiet him down. He didn't feep in mind that it was unpleasant for the OTHER patrons of the park, and he also was letting this kid potentially rip his vocal cords. Second, and more importantly, this screaming could very well alarm my boss. HAVING MULTIPLE SCREECHING CHILDREN WHO SOUND LIKE THEY ARE IN TERRIBLE PAIN DOES NOT MAKE ME LOOK GOOD TO MY BOSS. Please try to understand that.
Then, there's parents who let their kids run amok without putting forward any more effort than it takes me to brush my teeth. Example: A child comes up to the gate of my ride. My ride (teacups) is next to the Space ship ride, and both are on one side if the train tracks (there's a little train at the park that goes around). A diagram is at the bottom of the post.
The kid starts shaking the entrance gate to my ride furiously. He then bolts off between the two rides, towards the tracks. Then, the mother just walks slowly along, saying "Come back, honey" in a way that expressed no real concern. He is now between the tracks and my ride, once again shaking the fence. Then, the kid is virtually on the tracks. I look, and sure enough, THE TRAIN IS HEADING HIS WAY. I'm thinking, "OH SNAP he's gonna die". Then, the mother catches up to him (took her long enough, she walked the whole way), and the kid breaks away from her, and he TUCKS AND ROLLS, like Jackie Chan, underneath the fence around the space ship ride.Then he attempts to get in the ride. By now, all my faith in parents are now gone. Of course, She lets the kid stay ion the park. If it was MY kid, I'd take his behavior and his nearly being hit by a train as well as disobeying me as a signal that he is not able to presently behave, and I would have left. But, sure enough, they stay for about 3 more hours.
Now, I'm not saying I hate all the kids. Every now and then, there's a sweet, cute, well-behaved kid that minds their parents and puts a smile on my face. this doesn't happen as often as I wish it did. It is harder and harder to keep a pleasant demeanor the longer I work my shift.