My employment totters on whiny kids

I have one of those jobs in which if the customer is unhappy about my attitude, no matter how professional or benign I am acting, I get in trouble.

One of the two jobs I work at is at a tutoring center called ‘Score!’ (yes the exclamation mark is part of the name). They tutor kids on computers with special software, with support by hired tutors (me) who answer questions, help keep them motivated, etc.

Sometimes I feel like I have to walk on eggshells at that job to keep from pissing somebody off. Starting the job I was aware that the center is so desperate for membership that any complaints the kids have about the Coaches there are automatically brought down on the Coaches themselves, rather than sorted out. However, this can be problematic if a child has had a bad day and takes it out on a Coach, or is just plain vindictive (and some of them are).

I was reprimanded today because yesterday I was coaching a child, and he kept turning around to watch some other kids play around. I told him to keep his eyes on the screen and to concentrate on his work, so he could finish sooner. Apparently I deeply insulted him/scared him or something, because he told his mom, who, concerned, told my boss. My boss in turn had a long talk with me today (right when I get in, so it was reverberating mentally the whole shift). It made me realize that I have no way out- if I didnt remind the child to pay attention to his work, he woudn’t have been finished by the time his mom came to pick him up, and what he did do probably wouldn’t be his best work, so his mom would give me the third degree on why I wasn’t Coaching her son :mad: Its a lose-lose situation.

Granted, its not unpleasant enough to the point of quitting- the hours are flexible and most of the children there are wonderful to be around. But it does still irk me a bit that if a child really wanted to, they could get me fired and there would be nothing I could do about it- much easier for the manager to just replace me with a new hire than sort out all the hearsay :mad:

Ouch. Having worked at a tutoring center, I fully sympathize – it’s one of those jobs where you’re expected to please everybody and usually end up pleasing no one. (Especially when the boss is convinced he’s an expert on both business and teaching, by virtue of having a PhD in an entirely unrelated subject. Not that this necessarily describes your boss, but he sounds like the same general breed.)

Good luck.

Yeah, thats the jist of it. Actually, the managers there only have B.A’s, which makes me consider applying to be manager when I graduate next year. I think it would be a nice arrangement, since by then I’d have about 18 months of experience working as a Coach, so I’d be familiar with how things are run (or at least way more familiar than an applicant whose never heard of Score! )