I've had two very recent experiences of unprofessionalism, so thought I would share.
1) my children have started at nursery recently. It's a brilliant nursery, very French, incredibly professional. The children are thriving, despite a difficult start for my youngest who just loves her mummy too much (or so I tell myself).I can't fault most of the staff, or the facilities, or the five course lunches. But there was just one example which unnerved me. It is sorted now, we have talked it through, and I don't think it will happen again, at least in front of me...
I went to pick up my youngest one lunchtime a couple of weeks ago, while she was still settling in. I was stood at the door, holding her, talking to her key worker about what a wonderful baby she is (let's face it, they're paid to like children, so although their eyes may glaze over, it's a good opportunity to talk about my little darlngs). The other babies in the group were being fed. Suddenly I almost dropped my baby in surprise at the noise behind me. One of the nursery workers was shouting at the baby she was feeding. A real temper tantrum shout. He was picking the food out of his mouth and throwing it back at her, giggling. No older than 14 months. So she snapped.
I drew myself up to my full 5ft2 and gave her an evil look, and she had the grace to look embarassed. But it wasn't over. The leader of the section gave her a bollocking, right in front of me. Didn't know where to look.
So as is my way I spent the afternoon at home thinking about it. If it had been my baby I'd have been furious. But I do understand getting annoyed with a baby, yes, even a baby, when they are testing boundaries. But not one I am paid to look after. In front of a parent. And in her situation I would have been mortified at a public bollocking. But still, it niggled at me, and I decided that the next morning I would have a word in the ear of the key worker and ask that she be kept away from my baby until she shows she doesn't shout. So I went in all fired up to be assertive but understanding, and went to the baby room to hand my little one over. Except it was Ms Shouty, so we just kind of avoided each other's eyes and I left my baby in her capable hands.
Since the leader of the section has taken me aside and apologised for what I witnessed, and promised me that it was being dealt with, and I feel much more comfortable with Ms Shouty and the whole situation in general.
2) went to the hairdresser. Usually a friend cuts my hair, but this was not possible, so I picked one at random and went in ready to be pampered (don't you hate that word?) As the bloke was putting my hair into foil he asked me, this person he had known for five minutes, if I had children. Fair enough, they make small talk and I actually quite enjoy small talk. So I said yes, a two year old and a just under one year old. You'd think he'd answer oh right, girls or boys, show some interest, maybe even say what, you gave birth under a year ago? I can't believe it you look fabulous darling. Which would be an exaggeration, lie even, but would have made me feel much better than what he actually said:
Yes, I thought they must be young, look at the state of you, you'e going to have to stop letting yourself go you know, otherwise your husband will say Bye Bye and find someone else. My wife got to the point where she was living in tracksuit bottoms all the time so I looked, and I didn't like what I saw, so said bye bye, and found myself a girlfriend until she picked up her act. Sorry? Yes, she had two children, twins. Yes, a lot of work, but don't you forget, you are a mother, and that's important, but you are also a wife, and that is just as important.
I was speechless.
Then he twisted the knife a little more: plus your children need you to look pretty for them, you don't want to be an embarassment do you?
The head completely wrapped in foil by this time he trotted off to another client to let my hair cook. I sat there, staring at myself in the mirror. I had a cold, a huge zit, disobedient eyebrows and was already feeling pretty low. I am proud of myself for not crying then and there, but angry at myself for not getting up and walking out. But my head was covered in foil and I am stressed and down at the moment, and a bit of a wuss.
Anyway he came back, cut my hair a little (but not too short, you'll look even worse) and I went to pay. After I paid he was hanging around for his tip. I looked at him, did a little oh of course look, put my hand in my bag then got a grip, and said, erm, Non. And walked out. No tip. FFS I shouldn't even have paid. I should have complained. But right now I'm not up to it, so my inner feminist whimpered and licked her wounds, rather than roaring like a tigress at the bloody cheek of the man.
Two very different cases of unprofessionalism for you. What's the worst you've ever seen?