What kind of crazy-ass black cloud is following me around?

Yesterday morning when I went to drop my daughter off at preschool, all the teachers and kids were standing around in the parking lot as I drove up. Half a dozen car seats were sitting on the ground and a police car was parked in the front.

I get out, shoot a questioning look at one of the staff, who runs over to me and explains that there was a break-in in the building the previous night and someone vandalized everything... the toys, the rooms, the computers, everything. This is the fifth time in the last four months there has been a break-in.

Let me repeat that for those in the cheap seats:


Whiskey Tango Fox-trot, over?

I was only even made aware of what was happening after the third incident when I happened to come in while a police officer was taking a report. Every other time, the only thing that happened was that a computer or some food in the fridge was taken, but this time there was apparently so much breakage and vandalism that it wasn't safe enough inside to be able to allow the kids to go into the center.... and they think they will probably be closed for the rest of the week at least. The staff were busily trying to figure out a way to put all the kids whose parents weren't able to take the day off to deal with this nonsense into staff cars to transport them to who-knows-what other center in the area.

I - and this is why I keep my current job with all the stress and crap that it brings - decided that instead of sending my daughter in some unknown car to some unknown place and then having to call around all day to figure out where and when I can pick her up, that she would just come to work with me today. I told the assistant I'd just take Dormouse with me and she looked at me like she was about to kiss me... "Thanks," she breathed. Dormouse Jwas great all day... a colleague brought some toys for her to play with and she was quiet and well-behaved even during the staff meeting we had scheduled. She was a trooper. I love that this is the kid I got.

After the last time a computer was stolen overnight, I asked the staff what they were going to do about it as I was starting to feel uneasy with the safety of the building in the day if they couldn't keep it any more secure than that at night. She said they'd asked for security cameras and an alarm system. So yesterday I asked, "What was up with the whole new security system you were going to get a few weeks ago?" She explained that the corporate offices of the chain wouldn't approve the expense so they did what they did after each and every break-in: they changed the locks.

Am I alone in questioning the safety of my daughter during the day when their response to multiple break-ins at night is simply "Durrrr... well I guess we could change the locks again." Obviously this strategy isn't working, people. Windows weren't broken and locks didn't appear to be jimmied, so I get the need to change the locks, but if that's the ONLY thing you are doing and it continues to happen half a dozen times something else is wrong. You need to start looking at people who... oh I don't know... HAVE THE KEYS!

When I got home, I called the corporate offices to make a formal complaint and the operator said, "Is this about the break-in? This is the second call I've received."

"Well, I doubt it will be the last," I retorted. As politely and professionally as I could, I listed all the ways I felt that the corporate office's inability to respond appropriately to this was compromising my confidence in the center and the corporation-as-a-whole's ability to make my child safe and how I would have no problem helping a local news station do a story on this. (Read with booming overly-dramatic announcer-type voice: "Next on Fox News Investigates: Day Care Centers That Don't... Care!") And that they needed to respond immediately to this in an appropriate and sufficient way and then communicate directly to the parents about what they are doing and when they have done it. Oh... and I want a refund for the days that no care was provided since they've known for quite some time there was a problem and the way I see it, it was their inaction that directly contributed to my not having child care when I've paid for it.

The woman I spoke with on the telephone was audibly shocked. I guess the other complainer did not do so quite as vociferously. She promised that I would hear from the Vice-President personally within 48 hours and if I didn't, I should call her back and she would stand outside the woman’s office herself.

Don't get between a mother lion and her cub.