We have this phrase we're supposed to use at work when we see kids and sometimes grownups doing (stupid) stuff that most rational thinking people would never do. Think the MJ and Baby Pillow Balcony debacle.We're supposed to start off by saying: For your safety, we'd prefer that you not....
|Hanging kids over balconies is FUN!|
... run full speed up/down a ramp when there are 10,000 other people in the building. People like to run the ramps. Like really run the ramps. They'll start from the top and we'll hear the chilling words ready, set, go! and then they're off. God help anyone else on the ramp who must fling themselves and their loved ones out of the way or be crushed.
... chase your infant/stroller down the ramp. 2-3 times a a day I witness those who like to let strollers go from the top of the ramp and then run after them yelling 'WEEEEEEEEEEE!' It's especially awesome when the kid in the stroller is an infant and could give a shit as to whether or not anyone's pushing the stroller. THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT A RAMP IS! Way to go grownup.
... climb up the yellow hand railing where you could potentially fall over and plummet to your death. Sometimes grownups like to do anything but notice the fact that their __-year old is scaling one of our many yellow railings, most of which overlook 4 different levels of open air, an atrium and a water clock.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like we don't protect and secure the public spaces as much as humanly possible. But it's when the kids and grownups ditch the common sense and go out of their way to bypass/ignore those precautions that real damage can be done. Those things are there for a reason folks. For the most part, grownups are open to our recommendations and statements of the obvious when the stupid begins. Sometimes they are affronted and their responses are just plain jaw dropping. This makes me want to kick the universe for letting them be parents.
True Story: On Friday (Spring Break week, 8,000+ visitors that day) I was passing through the Atrium with an intern interviewee in tow and I saw a little 5 or 6 year old boy/whippersnapper who was hanging from the top railing in front of the clock. Step 1: Seek out parent. I look around for the grown up but I wasn't sure which one it was. Step 2: Confront. I approached the whippersnapper directly and here's how it went down...
me: With my most most brightest Disney smile... Hi there, for your safety can you please put both your feet back on the ground?
me: (looking around for any sign of grownup intervention) I work here at the museum and we would really like you to be safe when you're having fun so can you please get down from the railing?
I look around frantically and then ask him where his grownup is. He lets go with one hand - awesome - and throws his other arm back behind him, motioning in the general direction of south, southeast, and southwest. I finally asked him to take me to his grown up and he actually did. Keep in mind my intern interviewee is still in tow. He heads up the stairs and motions me to follow and as we get to the top I see the very responsible mother coming towards us.
whippersnapper: She wants to talk to you Mom. As he starts to climb another railing, this one was overlooking the Water Clock. More awesome.
me: Hi ma'am. We were downstairs and I was asking him to please not climb the railings for his own safety and he didn't seem to be interested in listening. I just wanted to make sure that his grown up was near by to keep an eye on him, especially since it's so crowded today.
very responsible mom: Oh well, we wanted to go to the Dragons exhibit and he didn't care for it so I told him to stay by the Clock. (PS - The Dragons exhibit is on the second floor and completely out of sight from where she left her whippersnapper.) She turns to the whippersnapper and says You need to mind the people that work here! It was easy for her to just turn to him and say that because by this time he was to the top wrung of the railing and was thus eye level with her.
me: Ma'am, we prefer that he not climb on the railings because it's unsafe. Would you mind please having him set his feet on the ground?
responsible mom: Well, he's young and has a lot of energy. He's probably gonna climb everything no matter what we say and I doubt if he'll get hurt. And she shrugs and turns to the whippersnapper and she pats him on the freaking head. My intern interviewee's eyes are like giant saucers at this point. She totally gets it. She's hired. The whippersnapper smiled pure evil.
me: Would you mind at least keeping him off the railings and closer to you when we're so busy here please? I'm nodding and smiling like a semi-crazed person at this point, willing her to verbally confirm that she has in fact heard anything I'd been saying.
responsible mom: I'll do my best. Shrugs again. Signs. Peals him off the railing thank you Jesus. I just walked away, intern interviewee in tow.
It doesn't take much to keep them safe and I know that shit happens and you can't control everything all of the time. But really, I'm confident you can avoid things like the above stated. There is plenty of other fun to be had that doesn't involve the risk of death and dismemberment at my place of work. Trust me.