As many of you know, I got a gig teaching riding lessons back in March. The first few weeks went pretty well. Now, not so much.
Some of the horses really just aren't suitable for my students, who are usually kids seven or under. They're just learning to walk, steer, and trot. You need incredibly docile, preferably older horses for this, and only one-and-a-half of the six horses available fit this description (there's a new one who seems less prone to have a hissy and buck, but he's still being a pain). This was less of a problem before they got another instructor and booked lessons side-by-side; now, who gets the good horse is a constant source of discussion.
Lessons are supposed to be booked in bunches of four, usually one a week, and there's supposed to be 24 hours' notice for cancellations/changes. This has not been happening. Cancellations happen up to an hour before they're supposed to be at the barn, and no-show/no-calls aren't really being penalized.
We're not supposed to take students under six years old. I now have two.
I wasn't told that I need to speak Spanish for this gig. Lucky for them that I do, somewhat, because three of them really don't speak much English. Sadly, "there's a fire in the kitchen", "do you like to play volleyball", and "I enjoy eating paella" are of no use in this particular case.
Scheduling lessons seems to involve at least three emails/text messages a day, on average, and the barn owners seem to have this odd idea that I am "on-call" to answer same constantly, including ones sent at seven o'clock at night. When I'm already at the barn, this doesn't bug me, but when I've been home for two hours? I'm not a doctor, vet, or computer tech, people.
I'm doing what I love, but this other stuff is driving me nuts. Once again - be careful what you ask for.
I've been trying to relax, roll with it, chalk things up to being there less than two months. I've been contemplating taking over my own scheduling, now that I have a decent number of regulars, and being stern about last-minute changes and cancellations - I just don't know if the owners will let me get away with it. On the other hand, if I do start enforcing the rules and people do bitch about it and I do get canned, how long can I really put up with how things have been going? I can always add this to my resume and cast the net again.
And a smart witch would toss a little magic at this situation, which I plan on doing this weekend. In the meantime, I've missed y'all, but have no fear, I'll be back soon.