3 years ago I landed myself a job at Ringwood Health and Leisure and I literally thought it was a job of a lifetime. Which, to be honest, it was. I basically just got paid to play, leaving me feeling so smug when all my friends had to work in a pub/café.
In case you’ve ever wondered what it would be like working in the children’s play area I have got together with other PlaySite Assistants, past and present, to let you in on the secrets.
1.You begin to talk to everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – like they are pre-ks1
There is something not quite right when you start prompting adults to say their P’s and Q’s and calling them ‘sweetheart’.
2.Cleaning the ball pit often turns into a treasure hunt
3.Nothing will ever be as bad as hearing the words “I’ve lost my wedding ring” – Especially when they are in the ball pit!
4.You become the master of blagging – You have a bank full of “where’s my mum” excuses.
5. Although if you don’t know an answer you just say it’s magic – I have been known as the ‘magic fairy’ who works in the PlaySite.
6.People start pointing out you have glitter in your hair, and that is totally normal.
7.You know every single hiding place. – The number 1 hiding place is behind the desk, obviously!
8.There is nothing more exciting than putting up Halloween/Christmas/Easter decorations
9.You will know every child in Ringwood and the surrounding areas – If you’ve been there for a while you will even know which children go to which school.
10.Getting so into children’s games you forget to let them win – then being at your lowest point when you actually lose!
11.Stickers are the answer to everything- “Oh no! You’ve bumped your head, maybe a sticker can help?” *Child miraculously recovers*
12.No, let’s not see if we can make a third ball pit in the tiny bit of netting upstairs – Are two ball pits not enough already?!
13.Wearing the yellow top gives you A LOT of power – This is potentially the most authoritative job you’ve had to date. “Harry… the Lady/Man at the desk will tell you off if you don’t come down now…”
14. You know every word to the Now! That’s what I call Disney CD – Especially Let it go, in fact you know all the words to the whole frozen soundtrack.
15. Doing the cha cha slide backwards is your new party trick
16.You take great pleasure in receiving leaves, flowers, twigs and any other item the child has found en route to the PlaySite
17.No need for a lunch break at the weekends, because there will always be cake – “Whoops I accidently cut an extra slice…”
18. Homemade birthday cards are your new thang! – Or should I say ‘workmade’.
19. Finally, nothing is better than the kids that still recognise you years on and you’ll never find a job as fun as this.
The PlaySite is open everyday at Ringwood Health and Leisure. For more information please call 02380285531 or visit: http://www.newforest.gov.uk/healthandleisure/article/13035/PlaySite-on-Safari
Jess Young Communications Assistant Leisure, New Forest District Council