While I understand your points in theory, I must respectfully disagree in this instance.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lucassb:
Sure, the Dad could have perhaps made the best of things for the hour or so he had to wait... who knows, maybe they DID walk around petting the horses during that time? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Nope. He sat at the side of the arena watching the lessons I was giving and did not say a word. Perhaps if he'd asked at any time during the 45 minutes how much longer it would be, he would have known what the situation was.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>It is WINTER here and way too cold for a young kid to sit around for an hour doing nothing. Not to mention, I don't suffer freezing well myself. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Sunday was the first sunny day we've had in 3 weeks. It was beautiful weather and the kids were riding in short-sleeve t-shirts.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I know the OP said she was only running ten minutes late, but based on her rule about having to arrive thirty minutes prior, she was actually FORTY minutes behind in providing the service that was expected. The parent made sure to be there fifteen minutes in advance of the "ahead of time" requirement, which made the total wait almost an hour. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
The child's lesson was scheduled to be over at 5:00. The child would have received their full 1/2 hour of instruction and been finished at 5:10. How is that 40 minutes late? The fact that the parent showed up 15 minutes early is my problem how?
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>However, I do think that people who provide services such as instruction should be organized enough to stick to a reliable schedule. That means NOT scheduling lessons back to back if you have to also worry about tacking up or dealing with office issues in addition to teaching duties, and proactively scheduling time during the day to handle routine issues like returning phone calls, speaking to the vet/farrier/hay delivery person etc as well as to clients or prospective students with inquiries.
I have never understood why this type of basic professional organization is so rare in the horse industry - or why it is routinely denigrated by professionals who think that everyone who wishes to ride should be infinitely flexible in their scheduling "because horses can't tell time." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I have been teaching this child for 3 months. I have never, NEVER, once been late before this Sunday. If you'd read my posts above, you'd have known that I do not answer the telephone in the arena and that when I am teaching, my focus is 100% on the child that is in the arena.
I schedule lessons back-to-back because in the past 3 months, I have added 11 new clients...all through referrals of other parents who appreciate my patience with beginners, my ability to bring out the best in the children and my professionalism. I have had parents go out of their way to call the BO and say they have never been so happy and that she should do anything to keep me. As of yesterday, with three new referrals, I now have a waiting list of 3 students who want lessons but cannot fit into my schedule. Ummm...did I mention that I am a single working Mom who does this on weekends for NO PAY? The wait-listed clients preferred to wait until I have an open slot rather than start immediately with another trainer at the same barn. I was extremely sorry to tell them that I have no idea how long the wait will be, as unless one of my clients moves, they are unlikely to leave.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>It does mean that sometimes there is actually a little "free" (ie, unscheduled) time. Perhaps even enough to, say, actually sit down and eat a sandwich. Not the end of the world. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> I live for the day when I get a lunch break. Fortunately, most of my regular clients like my demeanor and business-like management style enough, they frequently bring me a Starbucks latte to keep me going. I've never asked them to do so and they've never accepted any payment despite my repeated offers. They just realize how hard I work to see that their children have terrific experiences each and every time they come to the barn. Not one of them knows of my financial situation or the fact that I do not get paid for teaching.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Please also keep in mind that there may be other commitments involved for those parents and kids that you know nothing about. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Again, this is my issue how exactly? I guess I should be more understanding of single parents who work a full time jobs, shuttle kids from activity to activity to make sure they don't miss out on anything that non-divorced kids experience, volunteer at Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts, volunteer for the boards at both schools, and find time to teach enough riding lessons so that their children can have a horse because they can't afford board bills, and have to get their children back to the other spouse's house on time or risk legal action...and manage do all of those things cheerfully without bitching anyone out? Oh, wait a minute...that's my life. You're right, I'm just not making allowances for the parents that have busy lives. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...n_rolleyes.gif Sheesh!
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lucassb:
However, I do think that people who provide services such as instruction should be organized enough to stick to a reliable schedule. That means NOT scheduling lessons back to back if you have to also worry about tacking up or dealing with office issues in addition to teaching duties, and proactively scheduling time during the day to handle routine issues like returning phone calls, speaking to the vet/farrier/hay delivery person etc as well as to clients or prospective students with inquiries. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Reliable schedule? Granted, the OP has a working student who, as I understand it, helps with the tacking, grooming, etc. But one finds that in teaching, sticking to a reliable schedule is often the theory rather than the practice. On a good day, everything runs like a well oiled machine. On a not so good day (i.e. your help is missing, a horse got sick, most reliable lesson pony threw a shoe), falling a little behind schedule is not the worst that can happen. Large programs, due to the amount of help and funding, have an easier time of it than small programs.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I have never understood why this type of basic professional organization is so rare in the horse industry - or why it is routinely denigrated by professionals who think that everyone who wishes to ride should be infinitely flexible in their scheduling "because horses can't tell time."
Because the average instructor is not a BNT, makes vey little money, is reliant upon the schedules of the clientel, bends over backwards to fit in lessons and make-up lessons just to pay the bills, and cannot control those events the foul even the most carefully laid out schedule. The equine industry revolves around animals that get sick, go lame, etc., and sometimes it's better to work through a problem for the sake of the horse or student and fall a little behind schedule than to end a lesson right then and there on a bad not in order to adhere to a second by second schedule.
I whole-heartedly agree with picking up the phone and alerting clients when the lessons are running behind schedule. Before this becomes an instructor bash-fest though, let's not forget how often many instructors have to stand around waiting on clients who don't show up, don't call, and still expect to pay only for the amount of time that they actually spend in the saddle in a lesson never once considering that they may have inconvenienced the instructor. Everyone has bad days and makes mistakes. There's no excuse for chronic poor time management skills, but on that particular day when the whole system falls apart, a little flexibility and understanding shouldn't be too much to ask for.
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it." - Agent K, MIB
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jsalem:
Cindeye- <<<< >>>>>
Just a little support hug from someone who has walked a mile in your shoes. Take a deep breath and let it go.
One more hug for Cindeye!
You where not 40 minutes late, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
This whole topic makes me grumpy. Most "modern" parents have thier kids so wrapped up in themselves AND pull them in 15 directions at once. I had 2 major activities as a child, weekly riding lessons and Girl Scouts. That's it, besides a couple of weeks of summer camp. I grew up pretty normal, got good grades and, gasp, got into college with out the fifty "extras."
All those extras are packed into a frightenly busy schedule that would make most executive secretaries feel faint. And if one piece is out of sync, there's hell to pay.
If spending an extra 45 minutes with your kid at the end of the day on a weekend is a hardship, I feel really sorry for you. And if your missing a game or something, get a VCR, they don;'t cost that much.
We had two girls at MontVue with the most adorable pairs of parents to go with. They were the perfect parents to have at the end of the day. Almost had to kick them out so I could go home. These girls were Kaycie's students, but because she taught them after I was done, I got very freindly with one's mom and dad. Dad is English and took frequent business trips back to GB. He looved bringing me back anything British with a horse on it (like Horse and Hound) and my very favorite McVitte's chocolate digestive biscuits. I digress.. They had immeasurable patience and NEVER were rude or even cranky if the schedule backed up. They were the ultimate clients.
Guess what? Sometimes things don't go as planned and you have to be flexible. If more people were less self involved, everyone would be happier.
It probably would have been impossible to reschedule the whole day to accomodate a missing assistant. It's not even worth trying. You just learn to work around it by back-to-backing horses (as Cindeye did) and trying to pair non-begginners with little ones to make it work. You just learn to multi-task without sacrificing saftey. If a worker or a customer found a horse to be lame I made them bring it in the ring and jog it in front of me, rather than me leaving. Heck if I had to wrap a horse to ship, I'd make 'em bring that one in the ring too!
Chin up Cindeye, I don't think you did anything wrong. Stupid people abound, you just have to steer around them.
Flavour of Britain is a Tea Room, yummy authentic food and imported things, located on Rt. 202 in Wilmington, near the I-95 exit. PT me for more details. I go there as often as I can. The owner foxhunted in England.
Dad is English and took frequent business trips back to GB. He looved bringing me back anything British with a horse on it (like Horse and Hound) and my very favorite McVitte's chocolate digestive biscuits.
Cyndeye....just a thought from someone who has been doing this for 20+ years....
If you think there is a chance that the parents will bring the kid for her lesson this weekend, call on Friday or Saturday and say..."this is Cindeye from ##### I am calling to confirm little Suzy's riding lesson for 4:30 on Sunday, please plan to arrive about half an hour or so early so she can groom and tack up...."
At this point they will either tell you to shove it and you know that they are never comming back...then you can take someone from the waiting list to fill the spot....or, if the mom from hell doesn't tell you to shove it, you have confirmed that the lesson time is 4:30...I would leave it on the answering machine if there isn't an answer...if they don't show up then you are justified in giving that lesson spot to someone else...
West of insanity, east of apathy, deep in the heart of Texas.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Cindeye:
I agree with the posters who said I should be glad I don't have to deal with them anymore. I'm making an offering to the gods that they don't show up next Sunday and ruin my day again. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Boy oh boy, I have had days like that too. I run my own barn and teach lessons. 99% of the time things flow. Usually it is the students that are late @ my barn. I have just started docking their lesson time to see if this teaches timliness.
On the first day I give the rider/parent my barn rules/info sheet. It clearly states that I am only 1 person and sometimes things go haywire. I also put that lessons run anywhere from 45 min to 1hr 15 min. I tell them that it could take up to 2 1/2 to 3 hrs totally, (grooming, tacking, cooling out, grooming and tack cleaning.)
I am a little old school. The children I teach usually really want to ride and their parents are committed. That is why they take care of the horse from beg. to end themselves. I do not teach at an up/down lesson mill, although I have and we certainly had our parents that were difficult.
I taught 4 lessons of 6 children/adults with 10 minute breaks in between. If one child was late it threw off the whole night! Most parents understood because they had all been late once or twice.
In my own business I weed out any prospective clients that may upset my apple cart and kindly refer them to someone better suited to handle them. I have the right to turn down people that ? my rules or that I think won't fit in with our happy, little group. My former trainer said that she wished that she had been more selective through-out her teaching career. I enjoy my job and love my clients. I have no stress at the barn and want to keep it that way.
If I am running late (rarely) I do try to talk to the rider/parents to advise, even if I am teaching in the ring. Running to the side of the ring only takes a sec. and I can keep my eyes on the rider the whole time.
I guess it is just life. I have run into people like this outside of the horseworld too and there will always be people like them. Thats why I am selective.....for my own sanity! You learn as you go. Good Luck.
I'm just beginning on page one of this topic. Dancing Lawn makes a great point:<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Yeah. I'm sure HE'S never inconvenienced anyone in his entire life. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> The problem probably is though that the father is probably ALWAYS inconveniencing people and he was for once getting a taste of his own medicine and on a very small scale. Now back to reading the thread.
"The best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse" Lord Palmerston
Chiming in, to anyone who has ever chastised an instructor for being late, and considered that unprofessional, I would like to list some other professionals with a penchant for lateness and a lack of professionalism in dealing with lateness.
1. My OB-GYN once was running 1 hour late (well, I sat in the waiting room for an hour after arriving on time for my appointment, then I sat in the exam room for 45 minutes). Not one nurse or receptionist acknowledged or warned me about the wait. I actually complained to the doctor - she was simply "overbooked" (ie, it wasn't caused by emergencies - just taking too many appointments). Nobody apologized or offered me the ability to reschedule.
2. Dentists office - ALWAYS a wait.
3. Vet's office - once sat for 20 minutes waiting for care directions for a sick pet - actually the vet was mortified and gave me a $20 discount.....whithout me saying anything.
Being 10 minutes late is hardly a big deal. If you live your life in such a way that 10 minute ruins your day, I feel sorry for you AND your child.
I don't wait in doctor or dentist offices, unless it's an emergency appointment. If your doctor or dentist regularly overbooks, you need to find a new one.
My husband and I both work full time, plus we have a farm. If I am at an appointment at any other time except Saturday morning, I have most likely gone to great lengths to rearrange my work schedule and get things done on the farm so that I can be gone for a couple hours. It's just rude to leave anyone sit and wait without an apology and estimate of waiting time.
Actually, I've waited for my hairdresser a couple times, but they always apologize and tell me that she is running X minutes behind schedule as soon as I walk in the door, and give me coffee/soda/water while I wait, and shampoo samples when I leave!
I guess we could debate all day about the lateness issue here. I think if the kid would normally get to do something (groom/tack) at 4:00, even under the direction of the working student, then that is the scheduled start of the activity. Even with the kid's pony in the ring, the OP noted that had the working student been there, the kid would have been given another horse to work on for that thirty minutes. On top of this thirty minute window, the instructor was running ten minutes late... so the kid would *actually* start doing something at 4:40. Forty minutes is not the end of the world, for sure. But I do think it merited more than a "I'll be with you shortly." JMHO.
Given the parents' behavior after the fact, it really does sound like these were clients you'd rather not retain. So all's well that ends well in that respect. Time to move on and focus on the other clients that are easier to work with.
I have yet to find a barn where lessons consistently start on time. But having been involved with the "horse world" for awhile, I know this. I am always on time, or early, for my daughters lessons. We go to the ring where her teacher is usually giving a lesson and she gives us instructions. Fortunately I know how to tack, groom, etc so off Jordan and I go to get ready. Half her beginner students parents have no clue what to do around a horse. So I usually end up helping 2 or 3 girls groom and tack. I don't mind. If the horse she will be riding is already tacked then she lets us know and we wait in the gazebo. She also lets us know if she's running late, etc. All while still giving a lesson. To the dad things get rolling at 4. So when 4 came and went did you give him an update? If you tell someone to be there at 4 and then say I'll be with you shortly and leave them hanging for 30 minutes I'd wonder too. I do feel the Mom was a little hard on you, but to leave someone standing there for 30 minutes is a bit much. None of us know if the guy spends time with his kids or not. I don't take my daughter to riding lessons for quality time. I take her for riding lessons period. To put it in another perspective, if your child played soccer and the coach said we'll start practice at 4:30, but I need everyone there at 4 to set up. So you show up and the coach is on the field coaching another group. He says I'll be with you shortly. You wait 30 minutes with no sign from him. How would you feel? Personally I would've walked into the ring and asked what was up. JMO
West of insanity, east of apathy, deep in the heart of Texas.
Well, in Cindeye's defense, it was the dad that was confused about the lesson time, thinking it was supposed to start at 4:00. So why would Cindeye have updated him, knowing the lesson was to have started at 4:30? It seems that the miscommunication, added to the lack of communication from the father that caused the problem. After all, if he really thought the lesson was at 4:00, he could easily have stood up at 4:15 and said something like, "Are we going to start soon? We've been waiting for 30 minutes already", which in his mind, he had. Not stand up and bellow that he was leaving and that she was incompetent. No excuse for that, IMHO. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/no.gif
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JanWeber:
Feel sorry for the kid. You may never have to see them again, but she has to live with them. What a role model she has for how to deal with others... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Amen. Poor kid. I'd be glad they were gone, too, tho. That, and as other have said, take a deep breath and let it go. It wasn't your fault; things just happen sometimes and not everyone is gracious about it.
Lucassb, I understand your point about 40 minutes but I don't think it excuses the father's attitude. Sometimes things run late. Learning how to deal with it graciously is much better than storming off in a huff.
Sometimes the trainer is late for lessons/rides. Sometimes the client is the one running late. That's they way life is. Learning to deal with it graciously gives you a great advantage in life.
"I am witty. Ask around." --Pat, COTH
just had another thought. and this situation was absolutely the wrong time to try this as poor cindeye was behind the eight ball. but maybe the other trainers or even parents can do this the next time.
fathers seem to so rarely get involved w/ riding. i can think of one who really cares and one who tolerates it but for the most part they grouse about the bills (most not all, i'm not looking for a fight here). anyway, being as this was the first time the guy had been to a barn, a bit of coddling might be in order. NOT for cindeye situation as that horse has bolted the barn PLUS her not having a spare second but if one sees a strange man around the barn attached to a nice child, it might help the overall impression to any father in a strange place if we all made a fuss, and took him under our wings and made him feel a part of it. again - so not thinking this would've helped cindyeye but maybe we can change one father at a time.