Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Seller's Market

I just spent another half an hour calling around to a bunch of daycares in Nanaimo. And getting laughed at. Sigh. When I call and say I'm looking for a space for next April, the bigger centres laugh and say, "You're only calling now?" And the smaller home-based ones say, "You're kind of early, aren't you?" Yeah. These are the people I'm dying to give my child and my hard-earned money to.

My favourite is a centre right near my house, whose manager told me when I called: "We have a 4-page waitlist. I only accept names on the first of the month. I start answering the phone at 7:30am. Good luck." I felt like asking exactly what was so awesome about her centre that had her feeling so arrogant. Does she bathe the children in water blessed by His Holiness the Pope? Does she feed them pure organic food harvested by tiny fairies? WTF? Obviously, we are not on the waitlist there.

Another waitlist we don't appear on is the centre with whom I had the following conversations.

Conversation #1 - about 2 weeks ago
Heavily Accented Woman: Hello, (Name of Centre)
Me: Hi, I'm looking for a space for my daughter for next April. She will be a year old. Can you tell me what your waitlist is like?
HAW: Actually, you have to talk to the manager to get on the waitlist.
Me: Okay. Is she in?
HAW: No.
Me: Can you tell me when she will be in?
HAW: Well, she takes a lot of holidays in the summer, so really I have no idea when she will be in. But you're welcome to call back, maybe after the 20th.
Me: Okay, bye.

(Wasn't it nice of her to make sure I knew I was welcome to call back? Because without a gilded invitation, I might not have figured that out. Anyway, I called back today.)

Conversation #2 - today
Youngish Woman - Hello, (Name of Centre)
Me: Hi, can I talk to your manager?
YW: Um, you're looking for Leanne?
Me: I don't know her name. I'm just looking for the manager.
YW: Okay, um, hang on. (muffled, to co-worker) Um, there's someone on the phone looking for the manager, and I have no idea who that is.
Heavily-Accented Woman: Okay. (to me) Hello?
Me: Hi! I'm looking for the manager.
HAW: Well, she's on holidays right now. (what a surprise!)
Me: Okay, can you tell me when she would be in?
HAW: No, I actually have no idea. But you're welcome to call again [so we can continue to be completely useless sources of no information whatsoever].

Seriously. And these people laugh at me.

Another place I called was actually incredibly organized, right down to asking me what days and hours I would need care for. Which, of course, I don't know, because I have no idea what kind of job I'm going back to in 9 months. If it weren't for the fact that I've already figured out I'm not the stay-at-home-full-time type - yeah, that only took three months - I'd give up the whole thing and throw my hands in the air.

I hate seller's markets. Especially when I have no clear idea what it is I'm trying to buy.

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