Posted by: Marie | May 23, 2014

(927) It’s all in the timing

Post #927
[Private journal entry written on Thursday, August 23, 2012]

Yesterday, I received an email from Sabeena in response to the email I sent asking about the possibility of their CASA organization creating an alternative training schedule:

Good morning Marie,

Thanks so much for contacting me. The staff has not talked more about your particular situation since we know you aren’t free for a year. But even if we can arrange something else, I know that you won’t be able to miss “most” or even half of the in-person training.

Here at CASA, we pride ourselves in producing great CASA’s, and have a reputation of conducting a great training program. It is simply not the same program without attending our training sessions. Watching videos, or meeting with the other professionals on the case for a quick summary of their roles, will not convey the full depth that the training sessions do.

I realize we are being inflexible, but for now we are able to keep these high standards and requirements, because we have enough candidates. Many people themselves are turned off, in addition to being turned away, because of our schedule. Sometimes, years later, they return when the timing works for them.

I hope this puts our position in perspective. If your situation has not changed in a year, may I suggest that you contact other nearby CASA programs? They may have different training requirements or schedules (some programs offer training during the day or over the weekend).

Please let me know your thoughts!

Sabeena Adams

I responded within a few hours:

Hi, Sabeena –

I appreciate your thoughtful and gracious response . . .

I am glad to receive the assurance that your organization is committed to maintaining high standards in your training program. I wouldn’t want it to be any other way! I’m sure it is a challenge for all of you to know where to draw the line between offering flexibility and maintaining quality.

I stand committed to applying to your CASA office next summer . . . my selection of your organization, in particular, was made carefully. I currently have no plans to apply elsewhere, although I appreciate your suggestion of applying to other organizations.

Here is how I’d like to leave things with you in the months between now and next summer, if it works for you:

If, for some reason (i.e.; a significant number of applicants have the same scheduling issue I have) you are compelled to create a Mon-Fri daytime training program or a weekend training program (a full-fledged version) to be offered in the fall of 2013, I will be tickled to sign up for it. In the meantime, I’ll assume that is not going to happen and I will work on finding a way to address my scheduling issue and the resulting reduction in income so I can attend the established training program scheduled for the fall of 2013. Worse case, it may take an additional 6-12 months for me to do that.

How does that sound to you?

By the way, do you happen to already know the dates and times of the training program scheduled for the fall of 2013?

I look forward to staying in contact!

– Marie Smith

After hitting the “send” button, I forwarded this last exchange to Edward, just to keep him posted on things. This morning, Edward responded:

Dear Marie,

You’re doing a wonderful job engaging in a manner valuing both you and these folks. Well done.



And, Sabeena responded via email this afternoon:

Hi, Marie,

Thanks for the response, Marie. I’ll take an educated guess and say that the training sessions all happen exactly 6 months apart. Sometimes we need to start a week earlier or later according to holidays and other events, but we don’t move the dates much more than that. So mid-April and mid-October every year.

I like your suggestions on how to proceed. One recommendation I would make is that before you start re-arranging your schedule to fit ours, we should start you on the application process. Submit your final application, have an interview, do the background checks, I will do the reference checks, etc. If all goes well, then you can consider what you need to do to attend the training sessions.

What do you think? Maybe submit the application next summer?

I look forward to hearing from you,

Sabeena Adams

And I responded late this evening:

Hi, Sabeena –

You make an excellent point about my completing the application process before I start re-arranging my teaching schedule. It is something I hadn’t thought much about.

Each year, on July 1st, I start taking day/time slot reservations from my students for the fall teaching schedule. Therefore, I would need to know that I had been accepted into the CASA program, as well as the exact training schedule, no later than July 1st, 2013.

In order for me to have that information by July 1st, by what date do I need to submit my application? What is the earliest you can accept it without the age of the background check becoming an issue? I’d prefer to submit it earlier rather than later . . . it is 90% ready to be submitted now, so I can submit it anytime, really.

Thank you for keeping the dialogue going!

– Marie Smith


And in other news . . . I was at my studio this afternoon, waiting for Kris and Bella to show up for Bella’s 2:20pm lesson . . . no show.

I waited until 2:30, and then I called Kris and left a voicemail asking if I had misunderstood our plan for today’s lesson. That kicked off the following communication . . .

3:00pm text from Kris: I thought we had agreed to start that in sept bc I wk thursdays now in aug? Was going to bring her tomorrow?

3:21pm text from me: Hmm. I didn’t know about your thurs work conflict. I’ll resend the aug 11 em that shows what I thought we agreed on – it is the same em I printed and gave to Bryan on friday. Look it over and let me know what needs to change. What time are you thinking for tomorrow?

Then, at 3:27, I resent the Aug 11th email that listed all the dates and times from August through the end of December.

7:00pm text from Kris: Your right bryan forgot to give revised schd to me but Thursday’s don’t work until 2nd wk of sept I had wrote down tomorrow at 12:30? If tomorrow doesn’t wk that’s fine or if need to change time ok too. We can be there as early as 11:30?

I always reserve Friday until 4pm as “time off” and therefore, I don’t schedule lessons before 4pm. The only exception is if I am taking Saturday and/or Sunday off for my own scheduled activities; then, in that case, I will teach earlier in the day on Friday (as was the case last Friday because my sister was in town for the weekend).


Photo by Martin Chen

Additionally, I have a therapy session scheduled for tomorrow morning and I won’t be back from City #1 until 11:30 at the earliest . . . and I always allow several hours after a therapy session to pull myself together emotionally before attempting to interact with people. I know for sure that I didn’t promise to do a lesson at 12:30 on a Friday, especially not tomorrow. Kris is obviously living in some fantasy world where all she has to do is think about changing appointments and it magically happens . . .

Yeah, dealing with her disorganization is getting old . . . it’s getting old fast . . . I’m not going to put up with it for much longer.

It is common for people to forget about a lesson or two when they first start because it takes them a while to get in the groove of a major change in their schedule. But, this is way beyond that . . . this is ridiculous. I can’t figure out how she has been able to hold a job in the professional arena . . . I find it hard to believe an employer would put up with this kind of behavior . . .

The only reason I can figure that she gets away with this kind of behavior is because she is cute . . . she is a very small, very attractive woman . . . she has a rockin’ body . . . she is outgoing and exceptionally smart . . . I think she is able to play the “cute”/”attractive” card and people – especially guys – just melt. It’s either because of that, or it’s because she thinks and talks so quickly that she leaves people reeling in confusion. Maybe it’s a combination of the two.

Anyway, at about 8:15pm this evening (after I finished teaching for the day), I called Kris and we rescheduled Bella’s lesson for tomorrow evening (Friday) at 5:15pm. And, we decided to skip next weekend because of it being Labor Day weekend, then we tentatively moved the following Thursday afternoon lesson to Friday evening to accommodate Kris’ work schedule (contingent upon an anticipated change in my schedule for that Friday evening). After that week, we will go back to the Thursday afternoon schedule as [almost] originally planned.

I inquired if having lessons on two of the next three Fridays evenings would cause problems with their family plans to go to their cabin on the weekends . . . Kris assured me it would not be a problem. I asked her to write down the lesson days and times . . . she assured me she was doing that and that she would do better with keeping the schedule straight.

I’m not so convinced. I guess time will tell.

Quotes 837


  1. Well, (to be unfair I guess), I’m not optimistic that Kris will get better at keeping appt’s.

    • I guess I’m the eternal optimist when it comes to other people . . . I want them to be reasonable, I keep giving them chances to behave reasonably . . . LOL.

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