You’ve Been ‘Cast’ As The Fall-Guy

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Family & Kids, Sports, Staff

(I’m a full-time volunteer at an art school that runs children’s camps in the summer. Each “class” is kept pretty separate, and I’m placed with one at a time. At the end of the week the entire school goes to a local swimming pool, which has a park and outdoor wading pool. Important note: I am a minor and NOT legally able to supervise children.)

Me: “Okay, [Teacher #1], I’m taking these two kids outside. They want to go to the park, so we’ll meet you there later.”

Teacher #1: “Sure. [Teacher #2] is outside so if you’d like you can leave them with her. Just make sure to talk with her.”

(Outside:)

Teacher #2: “You’re a volunteer! These are your kids?”

Me: “Yes—”

Teacher #2: “These ones want to go the wading pool. Make sure [Kid #1] doesn’t get her cast wet.”

Me: “Uh, okay. I’m actually [Teacher #1]’s volunteer. Can I leave his students here?”

Teacher #2: “Yes, yes, I have my own volunteer. She can look after them. It’ll just be for a little bit. Don’t let them get too excited or they’ll fall in the water!”

(One hour later:)

Teacher #2: “Hey! It’s time to go!”

Me: “Sounds good!” *calling kids to come out of the pool*

Teacher #2: *conversationally* “She looks excited. You have to make sure she doesn’t get too excited or she will fall in the water.”

Me: “She looks fine.”

Teacher #2: “No, no.” *shouts* “[Kid #1]! Come out of there!”

Me: “Well, I’ll go get my bag—”

Teacher #2: “No, stay with them. Make sure [Kid #1] doesn’t get too excited.”

Me: “…”

Teacher #2: “If she gets the cast wet we’ll be in big trouble.”

Me: “Well, I think it only got a bit damp—”

Teacher #2: “The school will get in trouble. Her parents said no swimming; they said it was very important she stayed dry.” *meaning, both I and the school would be very easy to sue*

Me: *realizing she asked me to supervise so that I’d take the fall if anything happened* “…what?”

Teacher #2: “But she does what she wants, you know. She doesn’t listen. If she gets too excited she will fall in the water.”

Me: “I… have to go back to [Teacher #1]’s group.”

Teacher #2: “Yeah. You should have told them to stay out of the water more, okay? Just for next time. Otherwise she’ll get excited and fall. If her cast gets wet it would be really bad.”

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