I tangled with the new management at the girls’ nursery today for the first time; I think we’re in for some ‘interesting’ times.
Quick background: it’s a ‘work’ nursery. Work decided to re-tender the contract. Vicious rumour has it that the decision was actually based on a certain someone in a certain department being jealous about the current provider being a successful businesswoman. In a letter to parents, the head honcho at work listed the criteria that bidders were to be assessed on and promised there would be absolutely no noticeable change to parents or children no matter what. Hooey. And again, hooey. From start to finish. The current supplier lost the bid. There were angry (and very surprised) parents at the meeting that was eventually called to info us all on what was going on. The criteria for assessment were blatantly not followed. The new providers have never run a nursery, never mind one in Scotland (it’s a different system with different requirements to that in England and they’ve come a cropper of it twice already in just a few short weeks). The previous supplier is having to stay on for now, under TUPE regulations. Brilliant for the kids, who love her; difficult for her.
Anyway, I’m disgruntled because I was very happy and satisfied with the previous supplier and am suspicious and cynical of the new lot. My hackles generally go up when faced with eejits: at the parents’ meeting, one rep of the new lot answered every question with the desperate assertion: “I’m a project manager!”; another smiled through her panic; the third patronised the crowd with some see-through lies and untruths. In fact, she reminded me a lot of Justin Fletcher’s ‘Ann Teak’ character…
On with the story. So, normally we pay fees a month in advance. I got the invoice for January’s fees 2 days ago (24th Jan). I got a big A4 sheet each for Maxi and Midi Minx, with some shiny new massive logos on them, and one small line with just a numerical figure on it. And despite all the additional paperwork I had to fill out last month (‘no noticeable change to parents or children’ my fat arse!), they still mispelled Midi’s name. It’s only one of the most popular names in the country, for goodness’ sake! (Hint: Midi is not actually her given name…). Worse, the figures don’t seem to be a multiple of the hourly rate, so that first alerted me to the fact that the figure was wrong.
So, 2 of the new company’s reps were up today. (Oh, did I tell you they’re trying to manage it from 400 miles away…?) Honestly, there really wasn’t a glint in my eye as I informed them their invoices were wrong. Their spokeswoman looked crestfallen. “Oh, haha, you’ll never get the same figure twice from me!” she trilled. Professional outfit, huh? So I unleashed the Minxes. Just for a laugh. Because I was impotent in the face of their rubbishness.
“I’m a lion”, I prison whispered to the girls, as they milled round my ankles waiting to go home.
“RRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!” roared her sister.
“AAAAAAGGGGH!” screamed Maxi.
“RRRRRAAAAARRR!” they yelled in unison.
You get the picture. They stopped breathing and just screeched and roared and growled. Wow. Baby R blinked, being used to such volume of silliness. The 2 newbies just stared slack-jawed. I think the spokeswoman got a spontaneous migraine. The Poor Previous Supplier In A Difficult Position winked at me; I smirked back. I asked a few more questions (I can project my voice quite a bit, trust me) and feigned a spot of deafness at their unsatisfactory replies. Eventually I turned to the Minxes and said loudly, “Enough!” For once, they were good as gold and fell silent instantly. I gathered the 3 minxes and some shreds of dignity and breezed out the door.
Childish? Hell yes. Such fun.