The Harbinger Online

A Look at Four Students’ Nightmare Scenarios at Work

Molly Jennings – fire alarm pulled at Vacation Bible School

Senior Molly Jennings has got 99 problems, and they’re all under the age of 10. However, she might not call them problems, as it seems like she can’t get enough when it comes to opportunities to take care of children.

Her primary job is working at the Village Presbyterian Church as part of their Evening Childcare Staff. During the school year, Jennings usually only works on Sunday morning, but in the summer she has a lot more time, and a lot more responsibility. She helps with Kids’ Day Out every Wednesday for 8 weeks, along with Vacation Bible School Monday through Friday during another week. To top it all off, she is regularly offered babysitting jobs and has about six families that she calls her regulars. Despite her genuine love of caring for children, she admits that sometimes the children can get out of hand.

One day this past summer in Vacation Bible School, Jennings noticed a girl with a curious fascination with the fire alarm in the room. Jennings saw the six-year-old not only staring at it, but also touching it. In retrospect, Jennings should have guessed at what was going to happen next.

Jennings didn’t even think to warn the little girl about what might happen if she pulled the lever until 10 seconds after the alarm began to blast throughout the building. Jennings instead had to locate one of the custodians to inform him of the false alarm.

“I was so embarrassed, because he seemed agitated and annoyed, and I just felt so guilty and stupid,” Jennings said.

Back at the classroom, the other kids wanted someone to blame. Jennings told the class that whoever it was knew not to pull it again. Like all great care-givers, instead of punishing the girl, Jennings turned the accident into a teaching moment for the children on why you shouldn’t pull the alarm.


Eli Mitchell – bus boy who was fired before he even began

If he didn’t land a job soon, senior Eli Mitchell was going to be entering his senior year without a car. He had been searching employment since January of his junior year. He needed a job so that he could pay his grandfather $300 for an old 1997 Chevrolet S10 pickup truck. Right after school let out in May, Eli’s mom Sharon found an ad on for Urban Table, a restaurant that was hiring and was owned by the same people as BRGR. Mitchell visited the restaurant that week, picked up an application and returned the next day. He was offered a job as a busboy on the spot and immediately accepted.

Training started Jul. 7. While training, Mitchell and his fellow busboys did manual labor unrelated to busing tables. Mitchell mainly slapped Urban Table stickers on every type of restaurant-ware, from drinking cups to salt shakers. Occasionally his manager would have him wrap forks and knives to give him a break. After four weeks, and numerous delays to the opening due to faulty air conditioning, Mitchell reported for a mock service. When he arrived, he clocked in. His manager, Chris, approached him.

“Eli, I’ve got bad news for you,” Chris said. “I’m sorry to tell you that we found out recently that we over-hired bussers. So, we’re gonna have to let you go.”

He never even got to bus a table. Mitchell was very frustrated.

Apparently it took them a full month, to realize that they had over hired bussers, Mitchell said. Out of all people, they chose the teenager who needs a car, instead of, for instance, the college dropouts.

Mitchell forgot to clock out that morning. When he received his paycheck, it was three times what it would’ve been.



David Katz – lifeguard that deals with stressful saves at the pool

On most days, the job doesn’t get more difficult than preventing kids from running on the pool deck. Saves occur only once every few weeks at Homestead Country Club, where Junior David Katz works as a lifeguard. As expected, whenever parents aren’t keeping an eye on their young children, the risk increases.

Katz’s first save happened over the summer on a quiet day when one of the mothers began chatting with another mom and left her 3-year-old son with his 7-month-old sister. Then the inevitable happened. Young Michael pushed baby Anne head first into the pool. Even if she could have swam, it would have been no use as she was still strapped into her stroller. Meanwhile Katz was preparing to dismount from the stand when he saw the splash in the corner of his eye. Katz and his fellow lifeguard sprinted to the drop-site, jumped in the water and retrieved the infant.

“Anne immediately started crying, which was a good sign,” Katz said. “After that, Michael tried to push his 4 year old cousin in the same way.”

In the case of this first save, Katz felt incredibly frantic.

“I can’t remember exactly what I did,” Katz said. “Most times, when something goes wrong, your instincts kick in and you don’t worry about the way you learned it, you just worry about getting there in time.”

Katz’s second save involved a 5-year-old boy and a bee hive. The boy was wandering outside the pool grounds when he stepped into what seemed like a hole. Then the swarm attacked. Again, the parents were not keeping watch, so Katz and his manager yelled to get their attention. The father figured that the solution was to start beating the bee-covered parts of his son’s body with a towel. Katz disagreed and decided to throw him in the pool.

Katz’s adrenaline wasn’t pumping like with baby Ann, but when it was over, he felt just as elated.

“There’s always relief after a save,” Katz said.

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