How I got a summer job, quit on the second day and fell into a hole after that… 11-17. July 2016

I’ve been a mess for the past week due to a very unpleasant thing that happened. A while back I got a call from one of my mom’s friends asking if I’d be willing to help out in an art summer camp for children, because they were lacking people. She said that my job would be to accompany children to field trips and playtime to the park as an assistant teacher, because you are required by to have a certain number of adults supervising such outings. I’m really not good at dealing with children, but since I was told that I would always be together with someone who works with children, knows what to do, where to go etc, I figured it would be alright.

The first day was somewhat okay. Sure it was stressful to keep an eye on 14 children in public transport and it was difficult to communicate with them as some of them seemed to be little rascals with no manners and about half of them only spoke Russian. My Russian skills are almost non-existent, so the language barrier was pretty huge. Anyhow, the first day was stressful, but it wasn’t that bad. I thought I could manage it with proper help. The next day, however, it was suddenly I who was supposed to be in charge and my assigned help was a 15 year old girl :/ To be fair that teenager was more help than any of the adults around, because she could speak Russian and thus could communicate with the kids who didn’t speak any Estonian.

The day was a nightmare. I am not going to recap everything that happened, but the gist of it was that I could not control the children one bit. The Russian children ignored me completely and so did most Estonian kids as well. I could talk to them and they would just look through me and do whatever they wanted. When we were outside, I couldn’t keep the children together; they were running around in traffic, spread out too wide and going in the wrong direction because they felt like it; fought among themselves and spit in each other’s hair. Nothing worked, not talking to them nicely, not screaming, nothing I tried, not even bribing. Among other things that happened that day was that one child ran away at some point, one of them attacked an actress playing a popular cartoon character Lotte, because she dared to sit in “his spot” behind the lunch table, one child got badly hurt on the swings and at some point the security in some store threatened to call police on us when we were hiding from the rain in front of their establishment.

This was not what I signed up for. I have never worked with children before and I was promised I would be the minor help to an experienced person. I had a mental breakdown at some point during the day, because I was responsible for these 16 lives and I couldn’t control them one bit. If something had happened to any of them, it would have been my fault, because it was my responsibility to make sure they are safe and orderly. So after I managed to get the children back to the camp building from the park I quit on the spot. They weren’t happy, but I did not want to go through anything like that ever again.

And to be fair, I was appalled over how unorganised and messy this entire camp business was in general :/ For instance they hadn’t planned anything in case it was raining and we couldn’t go outside. I was told to make something up and I tried, but the “art school” didn’t have any art supplies almost at all that I could use. There wasn’t even a pencil sharpener on the first day so I could sharpen the pencils and have the children draw something.

I was pretty traumatized over the whole ordeal, so I spent almost two days crying after that… and felt into a rabbit hole after that. And I don’t mean a funky Alice in Wonderland type of rabbit hole with colourful adventures down at the bottom but a dark rabbit hole of depression where the moist and muddy gloom clings to your skin and you can’t wipe it off no matte rhow hard you try, because the hole walls keep seeping out more and more of it. So I’ve done almost nothing for the past week… it was so bad that I even stopped taking photos of my food and that has almost never happened, even when I’ve been really really depressed.

I’ve been attempting to climb out of this hole again and I feel somewhat better now, but not quite okay just yet. I’ll keep trying though.

*

Sometimes I did randomly remember my camera, so here are the few food photos that I did take over the past week:

 Onigiri with carrots and seeds, salad with fried zucchini.

 Glass noodle soup with tomatoes and zucchini

 Pumpkin-sunflower seed skyr. This is my new favourite thing! It wasn’t too sweet and the sunflower seeds added a nice extra crunch to the smooth dessert.

 Oh so delicious sweet cherries

 Salted trout and avocado sandwiches + tomato and mozzarella salad with basil

*

We went to South-Estonia last weekend. I was ill for the bigger part of Saturday, so most plans went awry thanks to that and on Sunday things, that were promised to me and we had planned, didn’t work out for various reasons. I really wanted to pick raspberries, blueberries and maybe find some chanterelles, but things just kept… not going how they were supposed to. It was pretty sad and frustrating, but eventually I did get a few kilos of raspberries and we got to see an outdoor play in the evening. The play was called “Vee Peal” (On the Water) and Liia’s boyfriend had two parts in it. It was somewhat confusing for me, because a lot of Võru dialect was used and I don’t really understand it much, but it was an interesting play still.

I got some raspberries and got to go to the theatre, so all was good in the end.

Yesterday, I restarted my kefir detox and I signed up to a sports club, so that’s bound to be good for me. I just hope I have enough mental strength to manage.

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2 thoughts on “How I got a summer job, quit on the second day and fell into a hole after that… 11-17. July 2016

  1. sileas says:

    That sounds awful and terrible 😦 Being responsible for a bunch of kids can be quite overwhelming, so don’t be disappointed. I’m sure you tried your best and at least it was a mind opening experience 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. E-Gusta says:

    I’m responsible for 1 kid and find that stressful enough.

    Look at it this way- you were thrown into an insane situation that you should never have been put into. You kept the kids alive, and you had the presence of mind to stand up to your bosses, stand up for yourself and to quit with dignity. You should never have been put in that situation, but you had the strength to say ‘No. THis is not right, and I will not be treated like this’. You rock. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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