Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt, and Meltdowns

I survived my first day of music and art camp. It actually wasn't too bad. I don't seem to have any real behavior issues. It helps that most of my teen helpers are guys, and there seem to be fewer behavior problems when there are teen guys around. They're on the same wavelength with the boys and can get them to listen (and came up with running games during recess/snack time, so the boys were too tired to act up the rest of the morning), and the girls want to impress them, so they're on their best behavior. My main challenge is that I have two special needs kids in my group. Apparently, that was interesting on Monday because they made the good-on-paper decision to put one special needs kid in each group instead of both in the same group. Most of the time, the whole first-grade group is together, but there are a couple of activities where there need to be fewer kids, so we split during that time. These two kids are best friends and something like security blankets for each other, so when they split, one kid tried to wander off and look for the other and then had a meltdown when she was stopped. The solution was to put them together, and then they were perfectly happy. I've got a teen helper, one of my buddies from last summer's trip, dedicated to them, and I just had to intervene once when they were dividing the group into teams by counting off ones and twos, which put them in separate groups. Before the meltdown could start, I sent another kid to the other team and kept them together.

Now I'm exhausted from running around all morning. It probably didn't help that I did all the activities with the kids, including the movement session that was mostly dance-like. But I figure it counts as exercise, and I think it's a good example to the kids for the adults to participate. My main problem, though, was that I didn't sleep too well last night. I got all caught up in mentally planning the next scene I need to write and then in mentally composing a response to Best Buy. They had the "how did we do, please take our survey" thing on the receipt, so I decided to tell them what I thought about the way they push the service plan at checkout. The manager of my store responded to ask for the transaction code so he could counsel the employee. That means he missed the point entirely. She was giving the corporate-mandated sales pitch. The problem is that the sales pitch is really stupid. I'm guessing that the service plan and the products are in different corporate silos and they don't think about how one affects the other. They're using the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt sales technique to sell their service plans, but in doing so, they're attaching the fear, uncertainty and doubt to their products, and they're doing so in their last interaction with the customer before the customer leaves the store. So you go to the cash register all excited about your new purchase only to be told about all the things that could go wrong with it. It's like shopping with Eeyore. This could explain why the store seems to be a ghost town. When you end up feeling bad after buying something, you don't go back to that place. This seems to be new for Best Buy. I shopped there because that was the one place that didn't pull stuff like that. Anyway, I spent a lot of time mentally composing something to that effect because I don't want the cashier to get in trouble for doing what she was probably told to do. She was clearly sticking to a script.

But before I do that, I think I'll take at least a short nap because I'm barely keeping my eyes open and I have ballet tonight.

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