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Which One Is The Entitlement Lane?

, , , | Right | November 3, 2017

(In my experience lifeguarding, there are some scary categories of customers. For me, the worst is when I have to deal with an angry lane swimmer. Hell hath no fury like a former competitive swimmer having their workout affected. My first job is at a small indoor pool, only 25 meters long and three lanes. Each lane is for a different swimming speed. This one day, the lanes are quite busy, with at least three people in each lane. A swimmer I have never seen before comes out of the change room with a bunch of swim gear. He stares at the pool for a while until he comes over to me.)

Me: “Good morning, sir. How may I help you?”

Customer: “I’m a fast swimmer.”

(I wait a bit to see if he’ll add more, but he doesn’t.)

Me: “Okay, well, the middle lane is the fast lane. Do you need any equipment?”

Customer: *stares at the lane* “You see, I’m a fast swimmer. I’m going to be a lot faster than everyone in that lane.”

Me: “Oh, well, the people that are swimming there are really good with working out swimming in the same lane. You see how they are travelling in circles? If you hop in, I’m sure you can figure something out with them.”

(The man doesn’t say anything but continues to stare at me. Thinking he doesn’t like that option, I add more.)

Me: “Or, one of the people in that lane has been swimming for a while; they might be done soon. You could start with a warm up and then wait and see?”

(Again, the man doesn’t say anything.)

Me: “Or, I know the ones in the slow lane don’t swim for very long. If they leave, you could use that lane, but if more people come in, you would have to accommodate them.”

(The man still stares at me awkwardly and I don’t know what else to say.)

Me: “Um, that’s all I can think of for now.”

Customer: “So, you’re not going to kick them out of the lane for me?”

Me: *taken aback* “Uh, no. They got here first and have been swimming for a while now. I don’t even know where I would put them if I got them out of that lane.”

Customer: “But I’m a fast swimmer.”

Me: “Sorry?”

(The customer just emitted an impatient sigh as he stormed past me. I then watched him go up to swimmers, and I thought he was asking them if he could join in the swim. When he stormed out, one of the customers let me know afterwards that he was actually asking when everyone was done swimming.)

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