Performing An Amazing Feet

, , , , | Learning | December 8, 2017

(I teach swimming lessons. Today I’m one-on-one with a girl who is about eight years old. I am currently introducing her the dolphin kick — kicking with both feet together — when she suddenly switches back to the kick she is used to, mid-lap.)

Me: “That looked great at the start, but how come you stopped the dolphin kick in the middle there?”

Student: *shrugs*

Me: “When we’re doing dolphin kick or breaststroke or whatever, you have to do it all the way through.”

Student: *with complete seriousness* “My feet live their own life!”

Me: *after busting out in laughter* “Your brain gives the orders, hun! Make them respect the chain of command!”

Diving Into The Deep End Of Double Standards

, , , , , , | Romantic | December 2, 2017

(I’ve recently graduated and have returned to my old pool job to pay off some student debt. A lot of my coworkers are younger, and they sometimes like to gossip about office romance. I stay out of it, but this one time I have to step in. Note, both [Coworker #1] and I are female, while [Coworker #2] is male. At the time this takes place, no one is in the pool, so we are doing some cleaning jobs.)

Coworker #1: “I can’t believe [Coworker #3] already has a new girlfriend. He and [Coworker #4] only broke up last week. It seems to soon.”

Coworker #2: “Did you know that he was seeing [Coworker #5] on the side up until he met this new girl?”

Coworker #1: “What?”

Coworker #2: “Yeah, he does that a lot. It wouldn’t surprise me if he has someone new in week or two.”

Coworker #1: “How does he get all these girls? He treats them like crap.”

Coworker #2: “Hey, it’s not his fault. The girls make it too easy for him.”

(At this, both [Coworker #1] and I stop and look at him.)

Coworker #1: “What did you say?”

Coworker #2: “Well, it’s beyond his control. The girls are making it too easy for him to get dates and he can’t help himself. It’s not his fault really.”

Coworker #1: “Do you even realize what you’re saying?”

Coworker #2: “What? I’m just stating the facts—”

Me: *interrupting* “I’m sorry; are you really saying it’s the girls’ fault that he’s an a**hole?”

Coworker #2: “What?”

Me: “You’re saying that it’s the girls’ fault that [Coworker #3] treats them like crap.”

Coworker #2: “Oh, no, I was just saying that they are making it too easy for him.”

Me: “So, he’s exempt from blame and allowed to treat girls like trash because they give him a chance?”

Coworker #2: “Oh, no, I didn’t mean it like that.”

Me: “What did you mean, then? Especially when you said, ‘He can’t control himself; he can’t be at fault, really.’? Or even when you said, ‘The girls make it too easy for him.’?”

Coworker #2: “I just meant… I… uh…”

Coworker #1: “Dude, she’s got you there.”

([Coworker #2] got a good lesson on double standards that day.)

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.)

Drowning In Incompetence

, , , , , , , , , | Working | October 29, 2017

(My family lives just around the corner from the community pool and normally I take my siblings, who are 11 and 12, every day during the summer. Today I’ve hurt my ankle, so Mom decides they’re old enough to go on their own. We get this call about an hour after.)

Mom: “Who’s calling?”

Me: *looks over at the phone* “The pool is… What happened?”

Mom: *answers it and suddenly screams* “WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE NEARLY DROWNED 30 MINUTES AGO?!”

Me: “WHAT?!”

(Mom and I drive to the pool, and when we arrive, my brother runs up to me, crying.)

Me: “Woah, woah! What happened, bub?”

Mom: “What happened?! Why is he crying?!”

Sister: “He can tell you.” *points at lifeguard*

Lifeguard: “Why me!?”

Mom & Me: “WHAT HAPPENED?”

Sister: “[Brother] started drowning, and they refused to help him because they thought he was playing.”

Lifeguard: “He was only playing! He’s f****** r*****ed, anyway!”

Mom: *gets right in his face* “HE’S AUTISTIC!”

Me: “What else?”

Sister: “So, I jumped in, tried to pull him out, but he forced me under and apparently that made them jump in for him. The other one just watched.”

Lifeguard: “It’s not our job!”

Mom: “So, what is she up there for, to look pretty!?”

(They apparently decided to ignore my brother, who is severely autistic and was drowning, then kept him out of the water, with some water in his lungs, with no towel or anything, for 30 minutes before they called us. They didn’t call the hospital, get an ambulance, or give medical treatment. Mom was so upset that when we went to the ER, she had a moment and said to get the lungs out of his water. The lifeguard stayed on, even after we complained. We never went back.)

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.)

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