Monday, March 22, 2004

Damned Kids....

When I worked for Pizza Hut, the most dreaded time of year was not the Holiday season, or even Mother's Day. What we hated most was Regents Exam Week in New York State, because that's when classes end in public schools and kids only have to show up to take whatever exams are required of them. So, if they only have a single class in which there's an exam, the only time they need to be in the school is the appointed hour of that exam. Otherwise, they are pretty much given free reign. And that almost exclusively affects high schoolers; middle school kids – your seventh, eighth and some ninth graders – have no exams at all, and thus they're basically on vacation as soon as Regents Week dawns.

In the town where my Pizza Hut was located, the middle school would have "half days" for the entirety of Regents Week, which were little more than exercises in school-run babysitting in the morning. Around noon, the kids would be unleashed, and since my restaurant (among others) was just a half-mile's walk down the street, we'd get swamped with horribly behaved kids absent of any adult supervision whatsoever. It was pure, unadulterated hell. They'd trash the place, demolish the lunch buffet, and leave the servers almost nothing in tips. And for some reason, the adult lunch crowd would never understand why the place was always such a mess that week.

I'm reminded of all this by Sarah Jane Elliott's collection of things she's finding herself saying to the kids inundating her workplace on Spring Break. Ah, the memories….

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