A 19-year old staff member at a Vancouver, Britsh Columbia Funtopia was fired after a video surfaced of the employee ignoring a crying child. The video, which was shot by the mother of the child shows a staff member sitting on the padding texting on her phone while the child screams in terror.
Crying kids and even inattentive staff are not unheard of at climbing gyms. But what is surprising is the speed in which the company responded to the video, which went viral after the mother posted it on her personal Facebook page.
“This EFFIN teacher!” the mother, identified as Happy Lani, wrote on Facebook. “My daughter is crying up there and she is ON HER PHONE TEXTING!”
On Facebook, Lani wrote that she noticed the employee was texting on her phone before the lesson started. “It broke my heart not to run and help my daughter right away,” she wrote. “But I needed to capture this as evidence. Trust me I stopped the whole lesson!”
After filming the incident, Lani said she showed the video to a supervisor, who she said was also “shocked.” In a post on Facebook, Funtopia wrote that the parent showed them the video, which the company described as “really disturbing” and “definitely not normal.”
“This particular employee has broken at least three internal rules, starting with no phones outside of the employees room,” the company wrote. “I can assure you that she will not work a single minute more in our location.” This particular Funtopia is stand alone franchise and is not affiliated with a climbing gym.
Some people on social media have questioned the actions of the mother for not immediately helping her daughter. But in another Facebook post on Thursday, Lani said she doesn’t mind the criticism. “All I know is that without my video she would still be employed working with young children,” she wrote.