Charging For Parties

I think everyone’s read about the story in the press concerning the missed party.  This is the one where a child was invited to a party, accepted and then decided not to go, but to visit family instead.  Difficult to judge whether that is a sufficiently good reason for missing an event you have committed to, without knowing the full family circumstances, but generally I’d say not.  That said, if you were able to contact the party holder beforehand and gave a reasonable amount of notice, then that is fair enough. That doesn’t seem to have happened here for whatever reason.  In fact, there doesn’t seem to have been any communication at all.  I think if I couldn’t communicate with the party holder, I’d have decided that I better go ahead with attending the party as initially agreed as that seems the more considerate option.

All the children’s parties that I have been to haven’t required fixed numbers up front, so I was surprised at the charge, but maybe some venues have different rules.  For soft play parties you generally just see how many turn up and pay for those.  You do need to give the venue some idea, but they are usually flexible.  Maybe this venue was less flexible, although there seems to have been some suggestion that the cost of the session for this child could have been offset against other costs, but that this offer wasn’t taken up.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the case, it’s difficult to see that either party has covered themselves with glory since.  Sending an invoice seems a bit of a childish thing to do.  The adult approach would have been to have a quiet word and say I am out of pocket becuase you didn’t let me know, but sending an invoice via the school seems like a strange thing to do.   It’s bound to get people’s backs up and that is easy to forsee.

Then it’s difficult to see how going to the media with the story is going to do anything to improve relations. Surely that just stirs it all up.  Again it seems like a childish thing to do and again it’s easy to see that it would annoy the other side.

Sadly, it will be the real children who will suffer with all the publicity and backbiting.  It’s a pity neither set of parents considered that before taking the action they did.

How Old For Facebook?

how old for facebookI was a bit taken the back the other day when I noticed that someone who I am friends with on Facebook was tagging in her son.  Her son is 8 years old.

She’s changed his date of birth to make him 40 something and she is his only Facebook friend.  I dare say she’s in control of his profile.  There are no posts on his page except the ones that she has tagged him into.  But still it doesn’t sit quite right.

Facebook’s own minimum age is 13. In a way 13 is a dangerous sort of age where you are starting to get involved with more complicated relationships.  On the other hand a child should be developing the skills to deal with these, although I think adding in the online aspect is a bit of a minefield.  You can’t wrap them up in cotton wool forever though.

Age eight seems a bit weird.  It’s his account, but it’s not his account.  He’s not running it.  Have they signed him up so he can play games on Facebook without it showing on their profile?  Or maybe just because it’s convenient to tag him into things they’ve done?  Or is it even to help her progress on Candy Crush or something?  I’m not sure and I’m not sure I want to get into a discussion with her about it.  I don’t want to be judgemental, but I am genuinely puzzled about the whole thing.  Any ideas?

Parking Across People’s Drives

Why do people think it’s ok to park across other people’s drives?  For the last 24 hours someone has been part blocking our drive.  Our car is out of action at the moment, so it isn’t a problem, but if it was it would be a bit awkward getting on and off.  I don’t know even whose car it is, so I couldn’t even guess at where to ask for it to be moved.

I never park in front of someone’s drive, even for a few minutes, unless I have business with the house which that drive belongs to.  Even when visiting friends, I won’t block their drive unless I know that they won’t be needing access while I am there.  Maybe I’m a bit over the top about it – I’m a bit of a goody two shoes about parking generally – but, it seems to me that it’s simple good manners.

Sometimes I see people parked across my drive while they are on their mobiles.  Generally, I don’t mind that too much as long as I’m not about to go out.  I’d rather they pull over than answer the call while they are driving.

There is a Yodel delivery man locally that often parks across our drive when he delivers to other houses.  Strangely he’s only once delivered to us.  Normally, this wouldn’t take long and wouldn’t be such a big deal, but a few times he has really picked his moment and has parked across when I am going out and running a bit late.  He is quite a large bloke and moves around take slowly and the whole thing seems to take an age when you are champing at the bit to get off and out.

It’s people who are visiting our neighbours that really annoy me.  Surely they should park across their drive if they have to park across anyone’s.  They might be expecting it to be just a minute at the door, but if they get talking or invited in, it could be different.

Apart for the lack of consideration, it’s the sheer laziness of it all.  There are places to park legally and without blocking drives on our road.  You might have to walk 20 yards, but what of it.