No Amount Of Chlorine Can Wash Away That Kind Of Hate

, , , | Right | February 18, 2019

(I work at a beautiful, open-air pool and spa complex, often frequented by a visiting international A-Grade sports team. We currently have one unwinding in one of our public, open-air spas. Another customer approaches me.)

Me: “Good afternoon, and welcome to [Pool]. How many children and adults will you be paying for today?”

Customer: “Just me, my child, and my friend here.” *motions to her friend*

Me: “All right, then. That’ll be [price]. The changing rooms are immediately left for women and right for men.”

(She pays, changes, stores her things in one of the lockers, and walks out, towel in hand. I should have called for help as I saw her on her way back. I stupidly didn’t.)

Customer: “Excuse me, but there’s a problem with your pools! They’re filthy and filled with s***!”

(Panicked, I look at the team leader, who hears this. She shakes her head no and continues on her path watching the rest of the pools.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but our lifeguards would have immediately noticed if there was that issue and closed the pool down. There isn’t any way this could have been missed.”

Customer: *immediately starts screaming at the top of her lungs* “NO! I MEAN THEY’RE FULL OF FILTH! YOU NEED TO GET THEM OUT OF THE POOLS AND CLEAN THEM IMMEDIATELY.”

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Customer: *with her friend in the back with a s***-eating smirk on her face* “THOSE FILTHY F****** [RACIAL SLURS] IN THE SPAS UP THERE!” *referring to international sports team* “I REFUSE TO HAVE A SPA IN THOSE POOLS; THEY’RE FILTHY AND THEY NEED TO LEAVE SO I CAN HAVE MY SPA! THEY’RE DISGUSTING. FILTH. SCUM. THEY SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED IN PUBLIC SPACES! THEY’RE MAKING THE WATER FILTHY! GET THEM OUT! I WANT MY MONEY BACK!”

(I am completely stunned, but wary of her getting physical, I call up to the personal trainers in the attached gym for security and manpower:)

Me: “I’m sorry, we don’t do refunds, and we are not making anyone leave. This is a public pool for the public and they have just as much right to be here as you do, and if you don’t accept that, then you can leave.”

(Two fairly bulky PTs have turned up by now, along with the complex manager.)

Customer: “I WANT MY MONEY BACK! CAN’T YOU MAKE THOSE FILTHY [SLURS] LEAVE?”

Me: “I’m sorry, no. We don’t do refunds, and I’m going to have to ask you to leave. Now. Your behaviour is not acceptable for this establishment, and you will be trespassing if you try to come back in.” *looks at the complex manager for approval, she nods and motions to the PTs to remove her*

(The customer screamed and bellowed horrific abuse and racist insults all the way out the door. We wound up giving the sports team free access to all parts of the complex and a voucher for dinner at the attached restaurant. They seemed to think it was hilarious and were incredibly kind and good-natured about it all, much to my relief.)

Hard Not To Smile

, , , | Learning | February 15, 2019

(One of my students is autistic. His mother puts him in swimming lessons because of his bad motor skills. He fits nicely into the group of children who are neurotypical. They all accept that he always goes last and always triple-asks what the assignment is. He doesn’t get jokes or wordplays, and we need to explain things in a scientific way, such as mentioning the angle that’s best to hold his limbs — numbers included! Today, at the end of the class:)

Student: “My heart is racing!”

(“Heart” in Dutch is “Hart.” It sounds the same as the English word.)

Me: “That’s because you swam so hard today.”

(“Hard” in Dutch is “Hard,” sounding the same as the Dutch word for “Heart.”)

Student: “Yes, I… Heart! Hard! I get it! I get it!” *runs to another teacher* “Teacher, teacher! My heart is racing… because I swam so hard!”

(He then proceeded to go to each and every teacher to tell his wordplay joke. We collectively thought it was utterly adorable.)

 

She’ll Flatten You In A Minute

, , , , | Friendly | January 29, 2019

(I am a regular swimming laps at the pool and some of the lifeguards who overlap with my swimming schedule recognize me. During my first trimester of pregnancy, however, I am feeling too sick to swim, and take a break. Once reaching my second trimester, I am feeling better and decide to come back to swim some laps. I am generally in very good shape, and at this point in my pregnancy, I’m not showing much. I can tell that I have a little bit extra on my abdomen, but people who are not very well acquainted with my body probably wouldn’t be able to tell.)

Lifeguard: “Hello! Long time no see.”

Me: “Yeah, it’s good to be back.”

Lifeguard: *looks me up and down* “Don’t you worry. We’ll get your tummy nice and flat again soon!”

Me: “Well, it’s going to get a lot less flat first. I’m actually pregnant!”

Lifeguard: “You don’t have to lie. We all fall off the workout wagon sometimes. No judgement here!”

Me: “No, I literally am pregnant.”

(Either way, 20-something-year-old, male lifeguard, maybe you should just not make comments.)

How Dare You Stop My Child From Drowning!

, , , | Right | January 23, 2019

(Due to the coroner’s report on drownings in supervised areas, pools almost everywhere have a rule in place that children six and under need parental supervision in the water. Where I lifeguard, we have a huge Olympic pool and a kiddie pool that gets up to three feet deep. I am working during instructional time and notice a little girl, no older than four, going back into the kiddie pool alone after her lesson. Usually, in this case, I try to talk to the parent, but I don’t see one around. So, assuming the girl just went in on her own, I tell her very nicely that she has to have someone with her in the water. She nods and leaves. A few minutes later, a man approaches me.)

Man: *nicely* “Excuse me. What’s your name?”

Me: *thinking he’s going to ask me a question, gives him my name*

Man: “Thank you.” *walks away*

Me: “Wait, what?”

(I then watched him go up to the office to talk to the person in charge of lessons. I then watched him turn red from screaming and pointing at me, while I was trying not to laugh in the background. He eventually stormed off with the little girl I had spoken to earlier. When I got off rotation, it was explained to me that the man swore constantly, talking about how he was going to jump me after work and f****** end me… all because I was following a province-wide regulation and saving his daughter from drowning. The kicker? He was already on a warning for the comments he had made about the instructor for his daughter. His words exactly: “I don’t want that fat f*** teaching my daughter.” A phone call was made to inform the family that the man was banned from the centre for life. To this day, I still WISH I had been the one to make the call, especially if his wife picked up.)

The Pool Rules Might Need To Be Trunk-ated

, , | Right | January 22, 2019

(I work in a pool that is in a very interesting downtown area. For some reason, that means we have a lot of people try to go swimming in their underwear. This is the exchange I have with a man who is headed towards the hot tub, clearly in grey boxer shorts.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but you need to wear proper swimwear to enter the pool.”

Customer: “I’m just going into the hot tub.”

Me: “…which is a pool, just smaller. I’m sorry, sir, but it is a health and safety policy.”

Customer: “Are you serious? Why does it matter?”

Me: “Sir, bathing suits are more hygienic and are made to withstand the chemicals in the pool. Underwear is not.”

Customer: “Argh, fine!” *storms off*

(Less than five minutes later, he returns in swim trunks.)

Customer: “Okay?”

Me: *confused* “Yes, go ahead.”

(Why did he try to go in boxers if he had swim trunks all along?)

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