From Jutta: Today we got some really bad rink news. I called to ask if Jarek could now be sent on an RCO course so he’d be able to do everything this winter. The director said – you won’t be getting Jarek back this year.
He said that when the City was forced to amalgamate, the union locals amalgamated too. Seniority was pooled. With only eight years at the City, Jarek is about two-hundredth down the list of people who want to work rinks. And if he doesn’t have his RCO ticket already, the union won’t help him get trained to get one. For many of those maximum-seniority City workers, rinks are a nice winter hibernation at full pay – why enlarge the club?
The first day of the rink – At 10 a.m. the two new guys started their shift. When they caught a woman on the ice, skating and pushing her stroller, they told her to leave the ice right away, that people couldn't be on the ice with strollers -- never, never. She said to them that she’s done this many times at this rink, with never a problem. But they said, no strollers on the ice. That rule had been emphasized to them during their training.
The maintenance foreman came by and told the rink operators that strollers are okay.
Mostly the two new operators stay in the garage with the radio on, reading the paper. When they come out, they treated people badly. They kicked out a kid who’s been helping out here for three years, when they caught him filling up a bucket of water in the garage, helping the rink guard. They leave the rink house and the toilets dirty most of the time.
No progress, after five years of trying!
Lily added up the daily rink census sheets today. Our totals came to almost 9,000 visits in January, over 8,000 in February. Back in December there were over 10,000. Lots of people come to this rink now. And the number of times we’ve had to ask for help from the police when people make trouble has gone right down. Last year it was 21 times, this year it was only nine. The odd jobs project has certainly helped. So has our persistence in making the rules stick, and keeping to the shinny schedule. There are fewer arguments about it now, and the kids look more relaxed. They don’t have to make up the rules themselves, and work out their power games day after day.
So it’s working! But it’s an effort, still going against gravity.