Virtual Voices

2.3 kids

Family

The other day I went to our community center to purchase our pool pass. This is usually the best investment we make every summer, as our kids never tire of going and are finally old enough that, if I'm lucky enough to snag a beach chair, I can read while they swim. It's a win-win.

Much like it happens everywhere else, our pool sells passes to individuals and families; we, of course, get the family pass. As I was filling out the paperwork, the gal helping me paused when she saw the six people on my form. "Oh," she said. "You have too many. You will have to pay for the additional member."

Dumbfounded, I looked at her and said, "Are you seriously telling me that I have to pay extra because we have six people in our family?" She stuttered a little as she pointed to the handbook and showed me the rules in black and white: The family pass was for five people; any "extra" members would be an additional $15.

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I get pretty worked up when a business or government decides what an appropriate number should be for a family. This community center is not alone in their decision to penalize families for having more than their prescribed set number.

Furthermore, there are plenty of families who will buy the pool pass this summer who have way less than five, but they won't be given any discount. It doesn't make any sense why those of us who have more than five are penalized for choosing to raise one more than what they determine is a "family."

As I was trying to explain my position to this poor college gal, I realized the conversation was futile. Perhaps regaining a little composure, I gently said, "You know, my complaint isn't with you, it's with the policy. I think it stinks and I want someone here to know."

She nodded her head and handed me the business card for the aquatics manager. I paid the extra $15 and picked up our pool pass. And now I'm off to write a letter---probably from a beach chair near the high dive.

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