elephants natural history museum

Waiting in Line

I realize that most of you don’t live in NYC and won’t know what establishment I am talking about or may not care but whatever I need to vent.

Princess A and I take classes at an organization that is considered very prestigious and THE preschool to go to in Manhattan. We started taking classes there because it was recommended by friends.

Tons of celebrities do lectures and send their kids to school there. We have had good experiences until this summer because they sometimes close the entrance to one of the buildings. This might not seem like a big deal but if you have a kid in a stroller you either have to carry your stroller up and down stairs or wait in line for the elevator, go through a windy hallway, and then wait for the elevator again. Since this place is very popular taking the elevator when the second entrance is closed can take up to 30 minutes. First off, closing the second entrance is very unfair to handicapped people in wheelchairs. Secondly, I wish they would at least be consistent about it. Sometimes it is opened sometimes it is closed and there is no rhyme or reason for either. This results in me frequently being 30 minutes late for 45 minute classes. This is not fair to my daughter or my bank account!

On Tuesday the entrance was opened for the beginning of my class so I naively assumed it would be open at the end of my class. It wasn’t so rather than take the elevator which would have taken me thirty minutes to leave I chose to carry my stroller up three flights of stairs.

A couple of Grandmas that take their grand kids to the same class as me started complaining about this and how when they take the elevator the have to wait in line like elephants and it takes thirty minutes to leave. An anonymous staff member started helping us carry our strollers so I started to complain to said person about how when I complained to the administration about this I was told the problem would be fixed. This person said, “They are just saying that to get you off their backs. They don’t care about regular moms or kids. They only care about celebrities.”

I was reminded of this quote.

I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.

~Groucho Marx

Most moms in New York want to get their kids into this preschool. I think part of the allure is that it is so hard to get into. While I love Grouch Marx’s comedy I disagree with him on this quote. If a school is too stupid to accept Princess A I don’t want her to attend it because she is the best kid ever. I know I am biased but I don’t want to be one of those NYC parent’s who treats the preschool acceptance process like some kind of S&M dating disaster where I only want what is highly unattainable. I want Princess A to go to a preschool that realizes how awesome she is and doesn’t make moms, grandmas, and handicapped people wait in line for 30 minutes to ride an elevator because they can’t get their shit together.

Ok, thanks for listening. I am done with my rant now!

Stay Glamorous,

Shannon Sutherland

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14 Responses to “I AM NOT AN ELEPHANT”

  1. Jess July 5, 2012 at 12:56 PM #

    Can I just say how awesome that attitude is? It’s the total opposite of most people and I love that! I feel the same way about Warren. I know how awesome and smart he is, if his school (which will be the same as mine was) doesn’t see that, then I have no problem switching him to a different one. There is no prestige or contest to get into our pre-school. I want him to be happy and get a good education. Who cares about anyone else? As long as YOU are happy that your kiddo is doing well, screw everyone else! It is entirely unfair of this place to not give a damn about paying customers. Famous or not, you’re paying to go here and take these classes. It’s going to be THEIR loss, and a big one, if they don’t fix their mistakes.

    • Shannon July 5, 2012 at 7:10 PM #

      I like my attitude as well lol. I just wish it wasn’t so difficult to get into preschools in NYC. We will be applying this fall for Amelia to go to preschool in fall 2013. There are interviews, school tours, and you need back up schools… just like college. It is crazy!

  2. Lisanne July 5, 2012 at 12:58 PM #

    Keep thinking like that! I really agree with you for the last part : sure, it’s good for your kid to go to the best place, but some other place also give good classes and the most important thing to remember is that those classes are to help the child development, their stimulation, the socialization and all that stuff!

  3. Nona July 5, 2012 at 1:50 PM #

    No offense, but, if it takes you about 30 minutes to wait in line for the elevator, why don’t you just get there 30 minutes earlier? That way you’d be in time for you classes.
    I get that being a mom makes for a busy schedule, but if the whole preschool thing is that important to you, then I’d think getting there 30 minutes earlier to make it in time shouldn’t be too hard to manage.

    While I get the part about their attitude towards people who’re not celebs (which is, of course, not acceptable), I don’t get why you don’t just arrive early enough to be in time for the classes. Like I said, no offense!

    Where I’m from, people expect you to take things, like the 30 min waiting in line, into account, esp if you know that there might be disturbances on the way from A to B. Around here it’s up to you to show up in time. If you’re not in time, you’re out. (I’m not specifically talking about preschool classes but about things in general.)


    • Shannon July 5, 2012 at 7:08 PM #

      I see your point but I am taking classes at this place because it is 5 minutes away and when I bought the classes the other entrance was open so I didn’t have this problem. The biggest issue is that they are not consistent. If they were just straight with me and the other parents about whether or not the entrance would be closed or not we could plan accordingly.
      Also, I am not going to leave 45 minutes ahead of time for a 45 minute class when there are other places in my area that I don’t have to wait for the elevator at. So we will be taking classes elsewhere in the fall.

  4. Karen Dent July 5, 2012 at 3:28 PM #

    That is the attitude to have. Princess A is amazing and if a school can’t see that then it is their loss. What is important about a school or program is what you or your child get out of it, not the “name” attached to it. Sadly this place will likely never change because clearly if you leave they will just fill your spot with someone else. It won’t hit them where it counts to them the most, the bank. Even though they would lose a great child in Princess A.


    • Shannon July 5, 2012 at 7:04 PM #

      I agree. And Princess A thanks you for the compliments. After this round of classes we are done. No one else complains because they are afraid they will not get accepted to the preschool. I am the only one who speaks their mind so it probably isn’t a good place for Princess A anyway.

  5. Melody July 5, 2012 at 4:26 PM #

    All I have to say is screw that place! I know, that’s a bit childish, but still, it’s a little messed up to push away people just because they aren’t ” celebrities “. It pretty much seems as if they only want a specific type of clientele.

    • Shannon July 5, 2012 at 7:02 PM #

      Yeah… it wasn’t always the case but lately it seems that’s all they care about.

  6. Melissa July 5, 2012 at 8:50 PM #

    My son went to Head Start (aka free public preschool) and graduated with honors, led his Academic (quiz bowl) team to the National Championship his senior year and was a Governor’s Scholar which granted him a full tuition scholarship to the in-state school of his choice. I am proud to say that my son was a product of a single parent, impoverished household and came out a smart, strong and versatile young man. Don’t let a celebrity obsessed school take away Princess A’s uniqueness.

    • Shannon July 5, 2012 at 8:57 PM #

      Sounds like you did an awesome job!

  7. Mandy July 6, 2012 at 8:47 AM #

    Good for you for standing up for yourself. This place is taking playgroup politics to a whole new level. I get that you could show up earlier, but is it worth it if you aren’t a valued customer? You’ll find a new place and possibly have even more fun. If you have to walk farther, just consider it on your exercise plan for the day. 🙂

    Don’t try to stress about preschool so much. It’s a time for kids to play and socialize and maybe learn a few manners and letters… you just need to find the right fit for Miss A.

    I do however understand the worries about finding a school you won’t be paying a college tuition for… we’re having to find an international preschool while we live overseas for our oldest…. when a semester is $6000 they better be prepping her for her SAT’s.

    • Shannon July 6, 2012 at 10:29 AM #

      Good point about the walk being a workout. That’s why I wish I knew about this problem before I paid for classes. If I knew this I would have bought classes elsewhere because I hate waiting in line but don’t mind walking farther.
      The preschool thing is ridiculous. In NYC most preschools are 10,000-25,000 and that’s if you get in. I don’t get why they are so expensive.

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