Chewing You Out Over The State Of The Pool

, , , | Right | October 16, 2017

(I work reception at a swimming pool.)

Customer: “I want to make a complaint.”

Me: “I am sorry to hear that. What is the problem?”

Customer: “The bottom of the pool is covered in chewing gum. It was like that last week and is still the same!”

(My line manager overhears and apologises profusely for the ‘inexcusable’ state of the pool.)

Customer: “Well, it is disgusting.”

(While the customer was there, I asked my line manager if we had any available staff to get in the pool and investigate. As we were very understaffed that day, I offered to go in early the next day and “dredge” the pool. The customer seemed satisfied with this and left. The next day I got my swimming costume and goggles on and had a good sweep of the pool. What did I find? We had four rows of black tiles on the floor of the pool to denote lanes. They had been there forty years, so had started to chip and discolour. The chips were white and varying sizes, and, yes, they looked like chewing gum that had been trodden in… until you touched it, then you realised it was just tile. I am looking forward to that customer next coming in and complaining, so I can ask him if he has any goggles because I want to show him something.)

Sliding Translation

, , , , , | Right | October 13, 2017

(I am a high-schooler who works as a lifeguard over the summer. I have many stories that I could tell, but the worst starts when a woman goes down the slide on her stomach, which you aren’t allowed to do. I call her over and try to tell her this, but she keeps acting confused and talking to me in another language. I have seen her talking to a kid, so I call him over.)

Me: “Hi there. Do you speak English?”

Kid: *confused* “Yes.”

Me: “Do you know this woman?”

Kid: *still confused* “Yes. She’s my mom.”

Me: “Great! I was wondering if you could translate for me?”

Kid: *even more confused* “Okay.”

Me: “Could you please tell her that she isn’t supposed to go down the slide on her stomach, and ask her to please not do it again?”

(The kid relayed the message in their language, still looking very confused. The woman nodded, and they both went back to the pool. On a hunch, I checked later with my friend who worked at the entrance to the pool. Apparently, he and the woman had a nice little chat, in English, on her way into the pool. I hope she had a great time explaining to her son why he’d had to translate for her!)

Time To Walk Them Through It

, , , | Working | October 12, 2017

(The number one rule at pools is no running. Just don’t do it. I’ve seen some pretty gruesome injuries as a result. One day, I’m lifeguarding, and this kid is just not getting the “no running” rule. We’ve warned him three times and still see him literally sprinting from one side to the other. My coworker finally has enough the fourth time.)

Coworker: *as loud as she can* “HEY, YOU!” *the kid stops and looks like a deer in headlights* “COME HERE!”

(The kid walks, for the first time at a reasonable speed, up to her, looking scared. We can kick people out of the pool, and I’m pretty sure he assumes that is about to happen.)

Coworker: “All right. Can you lift up your left leg?”

Kid: “Uh, yeah.”

(He does so.)

Coworker: “Okay, and put it down?”

(The kid does that.)

Coworker: “Now lift up your right leg and put it down.”

(The kid does all these things and stares at her, confused.)

Coworker: “Great! What you just did is called walking. That is what I and the other lifeguards have been trying to get you to do the whole time you’ve been here. Not because it’s optional, but because it’s safer! Now that we’ve established that you can walk, you better slow down, or you can’t be here anymore. Understand?”

(The kid nodded and never ran the rest of his stay.)

A Sink Or Swim Comment

, , , | Learning | September 28, 2017

(I see a girl who needs help swimming. I offer my services to her parents, and we make arrangements for me to teach her at the pool. After a few weeks, she is completely confident and enjoys going to the deep end. The following happens when we are walking down to the shallow end.)

Girl: *looks up at lifeguard* “You know, I think I want to be a lifeguard when I’m older.”

(This makes me feel very proud as her instructor, as she used to be terrified of the water, and I am about to encourage her in this endeavour. I don’t get a chance to because she looks at me and says:)

Girl: “I think you’ll be dead by then.”

(I was not expecting this comment, so I burst out laughing and asked her how old she thought I was. She simply shrugged. Later, I told her parents what she said and I watched her mom practically double over with laughter.)

H2OMG

, , , , | Right | September 25, 2017

(I work at the front desk of a recreation center that has a pool in it. The pool is scheduled to shut down for annual maintenance, as it does every year. An elderly man comes in and walks up to me in a huff.)

Old Man: “Why are you closing the pool for a week this year?”

Me: “Sir, we always have. It’s an annual—”

Old Man: “Why? What’s wrong with the pool?!”

Me: “Sir, were resurfacing the bottom of the pool.”

Old Man: “Why can’t you just take the water off the bottom, and just leave the rest of the pool open?”

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