Living With Don Johnson

Archive for November 2011

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So, the cheerleading season is over for Wendy. She is sad that the season is over for her. There is actually one more game this Saturday, but she will be on an airplane to her father’s for Thanksgiving. While Wendy is sad about the season being over, Don Johnson and I are nothing less than thrilled that it is over.

Wendy enjoyed herself, and we tried to make sure that she didn’t know our opinions on the coaching staff. The season didn’t start of well. I registered her the day after the initial deadline, but then they extended the deadline, so I was well within the cutoff date. I provided contact numbers for me and Don Johnson and indicated that they should call Don Johnson’s phone since he is the one who would be doing all of the transporting to and from practices and games.

The coach called him shortly after registration to ask him what size to order Wendy’s uniform. Don wasn’t sure, so he asked them to call him back later after he’d talked to me.

Problem number 1- The coach never called him back.

Problem number 2- The coach never called to tell us when the first practice was. I found out when my exhusband placed an accusatory phone call to me about why I didn’t take her to practice. Then we had to call Parks and Recreation to find out the times and locations of practices and games.

Problem number 3- The coach was late to Wendy’s first practice. It took me 15 minutes to get the coach’s attention to tell her what had happened, and I was standing directly in front of the coach.

Problem number 4- The coach stated that practices would be closed practices. That is fine. But, if you are going to say closed practices, then you need to ensure that you have a method of delivering information to the parents because 7 year olds are not reliable sources of information

Problem number 5- The coach was  not able to enforce the close practice policy; however, she failed to tell all of the parents that practices were open again until the next to last practice.

Problem number 6- The coach knew next to nothing about football. No explanation needed for that one.

Problem number 7- The coach wasn’t aware of game times or teams. According to Don Johnson, there were several times when the cheer squad was told to show up for games at 1130 a.m. at the park, and they wound up cheering for the last 10 minutes of the game. And she didn’t know which teams they were cheering for each week nor did she know which side of the field to go to.

Problem number 8- The coach had no control over the girls at all. As the coach, I expect you be in charge. You are there to ensure that my most precious possession stays as safe as possible. I should not have to step in and remind the girls to spread out because someone is about to get kicked in the head.

Problem number 9- The coach was not coaching. There is something wrong when the older girls on the squad are teaching the cheers and the routines  (and I use the term routines loosely). And when you see my child doing said routines incorrectly, it might be a good idea to show her the correct way at practice rather than ignoring it and then mentioning it in the middle of a cheer at a game. That is not the time to teach her something new.

Problem number 10- The coach didn’t bring any water for the girls during the games. She also did not provide a sign up sheet or rotation for parents to bring water or a snack. Each week, there were some girls who remembered to bring their own water bottles and some who forgot.

Overall, this experience left a very sour taste in my mouth in regards to our local parks and recreation. At the same time, I know that it is this particular coach and experience. I’ve seen the dance practices that happened right before cheer practice. Those seemed to run like a well oiled machine. If this had been my first experience with cheerleading (I participated in a similar type squad when I was just a little older than Wendy), I would say no to any future cheerleading. But, I know that there are better cheerleading programs and there are better programs at the parks and recreation. So, I’ll try not to let this sour my opinion of our P&R or cheerleading.

The big thing at my job is getting promoted and getting a “dot” on your name tag to indicate that you have been promoted. We all reference it at some point during the day. Should there be a difficult task (or just a task that no one wants to do), you will often hear someone say “Well, I don’t have a dot, so I can’t make that decision” or “You’ve got the dot so you get to handle this purchase.”

After the password protected post, I would like to make a quick update and say that it is possible to get promoted by doing your job. I was promoted last week, and I now have my dot. I’m the first out of the group of 5 who were hired together to get promoted. Small pay raise, but any pay raise is nice.

* The title of this post comes from way back in my high school days when I played clarinet in the marching band. There were dots painted on our practice field so that the incoming band members could learn how large or small of a step they needed to take. We marched 8 to 5 (8 steps in 5 yards). The dots were on each yard line and in between each yard line (every 2.5 yards then). Every year in August and September, you could hear the seniors yelling “dit dit dit dot” Every time you heard dot, your right foot should hit a dot.

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