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Having A Senior Moment, Part 5

, , , , | Right | June 2, 2021

I am a supervisor for a public pool. This year, because of the health crisis, we have a special time set aside on weekdays where senior citizens and patrons with disabilities can come enjoy the pool while it is closed to the general public. There are typically less than fifteen people in the entire facility during this time, so seniors often come in to swim laps (though we are not technically a lap pool). Today, we happen to have a teenage boy with special needs at the pool who came in with his three teenage siblings. The siblings pay the entry fee and head inside, and a woman in her sixties comes up to the counter. She is eyeing the teens with trepidation.

Customer: “I thought this hour was for seniors only?”

Cashier: “It’s for seniors and customers with certain disabilities.”

Customer: *Quickly becoming heated* “Soooooo, why did I just see four teenagers stroll in?”

Cashier: “They are here with their sibling who fits the criteria for our sensory hour. They have the same right to be here that you do.”

Customer: “Well! Just how do you expect me to swim laps with those kids splashing around and ruining everything?”

It is worth noting that the teenagers in question are already in the pool and have been quietly swimming with their sibling and causing absolutely no problems.

Cashier: “Well, ma’am, we’re not technically a lap pool, anyway, so the availability of the lanes depends on whether the pool happens to be empty.”

Customer: “This is unacceptable! This hour is for seniors! Seeeeeeniors!”

The customer storms away, ranting about how she’ll be “speaking to the city about this.” The cashier alerts me to the issue and then we watch, amused, as the woman gets back in her car and proceeds to sit in the parking lot and call our office number. I answer.

Customer: “Are you aware that your staff is allowing teenagers into the pool during senior hour? That hour is for seniors! It’s for us to swim laps without screaming kids around! If you’re going to let people with special needs in, fine, but they shouldn’t be allowed to bring people with them!

Me: “Ma’am, this time is for seniors and patrons with special needs. It is not a lap swimming hour, nor was it advertised as such. The patron in question has every right to be at the pool during this time. Furthermore, it would be ridiculous for us to expect that a patron with special needs come into the pool alone, when their disability might mean that they need help getting around, need to be supervised, or have difficulty functioning alone.”

Customer: “But I wanted to swim laps! They were in the way and making too much noise!”

Me: “Again, ma’am, they have every right to be here. I am terribly sorry that the existence of special needs individuals was disruptive to your highly important schedule, but I will not be talking about this issue any further as I do not feel comfortable discussing another customer’s business with you. Have a nice morning.” *Click*

The woman proceeded to call our superintendent and our city manager to complain about “the huge number of people crowding senior hour.” There were nine people in the pool.

Having A Senior Moment, Part 4
Having A Senior Moment, Part 3
Having A Senior Moment, Part 2
Having A Senior Moment

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