I saw another example of our me-me-me society today at Ian's preschool registration.
Here are the details the school gave us regarding the registration process:
1. Registration is at 9:15 on February 1, 2011. You can arrive at 8:50 to take your child to his classroom before reporting to the fellowship hall. You must take your child to his class before you come to registration.
There was a 2 hour delay in the local public school district today so that meant preschool had a 10am start. I called to find out if registration was also delayed by an hour and it was. So that would only change the instructions above by saying "registration begins at 10:15, you can come at 9:50 to drop your child off."
But here's what actually went down:
We arrived at 9:45 (because we try to be a couple minutes early to everything.) When we walked in the fellowship hall, it was already packed with people. When we got our "number" for the "up" system, it was ELEVEN. There were 3 different age classes to sign up for so we were number 11 in our group. There were probably 25 kids in line ahead of us.
What makes me mad is this:
When the crap did they show up? And why were they given numbers before 9:50? If it says come at 9:50 and that registration doesn't actually start until 10:15, why were the people who got there at 9:30 given numbers? That's not fair. No numbers should've been handed out before 9:50, in my opinion. What's stopping people, eager to secure their child's spot in the limited class space, from arriving an hour early? Two hours? How important is it to you?!
There were only 14 spots in the class Ian was registering for and we arrived at the time when the numbers were supposed to be given out, but we got number 11. What if we had come on time for registration and been handed number 15? That's the waiting list. I totally get "first come first served." But not when I could easily have come much earlier too.
I didn't go any earlier because the rules specifically said don't come until 9:50. So I didn't. And because I was playing by the rules I almost missed out! The numbers for Ian's class were called all the way up to 19, and none of those parents arrived after the start of registration. None of them. One dad was rather upset, saying, "So my daughter has come here for 2 years already and now she's wait-listed for her last year because I didn't come an hour early? That's ridiculous."
I have to agree.
To me it is just another example of this sad place we live where hardly anybody plays by the rules anymore, especially when it involves their kid and getting a "good" space for them for school. I mean, how far are you really willing to go? How many rules are you willing to "bend?" How many times are you going to teach your children, by example, that bending rules and pushing others to the side just to get yourself ahead is ok?
And I wrote this even though Ian got his spot and he's all signed up for next year. What if he hadn't?