He’s Going Swimmingly

, , | Right | February 23, 2018

(I am a lifeguard at a community pool. A man has just come up to me, concerned about another patron.)

Patron: *pointing at the older man who is swimming laps* “Is he dead?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Patron: “He looks like he’s dead in the water.”

(My lifeguard stand is higher than his eye level, so I can see that the man is moving, but this patron can’t.)

Me: “No, he’s alive… I think… Thanks for being concerned with him, anyway.”

Unfiltered Story #105417

, | Unfiltered | February 13, 2018

You know when your writing down something and you’re overhearing a conversation at the same time, then you wrote down something you didn’t mean to because you heard it in the conversation? Happens to me quite a bit except sometimes I’ll say something I didn’t mean to, I just saw the word and it’s added to the conversation. This was one of this hillarious mistakes.

I’m in the guard office and I reach for a magazine. To my surprise, I instead pull out a cake covered with plastic wrap on a plate.

Me: What? How?

Coworker: Oh, I’m so sorry! That’s mine, I came in and had to rush to my lesson, so I quickly put it there. Sorry.

Me: Oh that’s okay (hands it back to him)

As I’m handing it back to him, I looked down and see a magazine with an article about Kim K’s 72 day MARRIAGE. This is when my brain diverts because what I meant to say was:

Me: That’s okay, for a second I was like score! Free cake!

Instead, what I said was:

Me: That’s okay, for a second I was like score! Free marriage!

Then picked up a magazine and started to read it because I didn’t realize what I said. Meanwhile, my coworker is still holding the cake and looking at me confused. That’s when it hits me.

Me: …Did I say marriage?

Coworker: Uh, yeah.

Me: Oh no, oh no. Sorry. That’s not what I meant. I don’t want to marry you.

I had to explain to him what Jude happened to the best of my abilities. Luckily, he found it funny and wasn’t creeped out anymore.

It’s Time To Sink Or Swim

, , , | Right | February 5, 2018

(I work as a pool lifeguard. I am 18, but I know I look younger. As part of my job, it’s necessary for me to question someone’s swimming ability if I believe they may not be capable of swimming in the deep end, for their own safety. This altercation takes place when I spot a boy who looks like he is struggling, swimming with a float in the deep end.)

Me: *to the boy’s dad* “Excuse me. Can your son swim?”

Dad: “What?”

Me: “I was just asking if your son could swim. He has a float in the deep end, and it looks like he’s finding it difficult. If he can’t, then he needs to stay here in the shallow end.”

Dad: “Who are you to be asking if my son can swim?!”

Me: *slightly taken aback* “Erm, I’m sorry? I didn’t mean to offend you.”

Dad: “Who do you think you are? Yes, my son can swim, and probably a lot better than you can!”

Me: *getting agitated* “I’m only doing my job. It looked like your son was struggling, and as a lifeguard, I have to make sure that—”

Dad: *cutting me off again* “He’s just not very confident at the backstroke at the moment; my wife is helping him with that. He probably has more swimming certificates and qualifications than you! And what makes you think you have the authority to tell me what to do? How old are you, 16?!”

Me: *getting pretty angry now, but trying not to lose my temper* “Actually, I’m 18. And I’m a lifeguard, so it’s in my job description to care for and manage the customers who swim in the pool. And since you said yourself that your son isn’t comfortable swimming on his back, can you please keep him in the shallow end while he does so?”

Dad: “How dare you?! I’m going to be complaining about you to your manager! You have no f****** right to speak to me like that!”

(Having run out of patience with the dad, I radio through to my manager and ask him to come onto the poolside and deal with the situation, so I can get back to watching the pool and doing my job. As the dad gets out of the pool to talk to my manager, his wife, son, and daughter gather around the poolside watching the argument. My manager argues with the dad for a good few minutes, until I hear this sentence.)

Dad: “I don’t care if he’s a lifeguard; he looks 16 years old at the most, and I, therefore, won’t let him tell me what to do. My wife’s a f****** certified swimming teacher, so she knows what she’s doing!”

Me: *deciding enough is enough* “First of all, I am 18, as I told you before. Secondly, will you stop swearing? It’s rude and unnecessary. Finally, if your wife is a certified swimming teacher, she should know better than to let your son swim in the deep end if he isn’t confident or strong enough, which you already clarified he isn’t.”

(The dad stood in a stunned silence for a moment, then left the pool, his family following behind him. Later, I spoke to my manager, and discovered that not only had the dad and his family caused trouble at the pool before, but that his wife was actually fired from her job as a swimming teacher a few months back for, funnily enough, consistently allowing kids who weren’t yet capable enough swimmers to swim in the deep end to boost their confidence, despite being told multiple times not to.)

Drowning In Hope

, , , , , | Hopeless | January 27, 2018

I am a swimming teacher. I just found out that one of my colleagues has suddenly passed away and that the family forgot to inform the club; we thought she was still recovering from a mild illness. I’ve known her for about 20 years, first as her student and later as her colleague. [Teacher] was a quirky one — for example, she would periodically dress in 100% pink, socks and shoes included — but she was a great teacher. If any kid was considered absolutely hopeless, she could manage to turn him or her into a decent or even good swimmer. I suddenly remembered an incident from about ten years ago.

We had a group of great swimmers going in for an exam. The kids were all around age 15, and had several certificates and diplomas. My dad, their teacher, decided to give them a special exam — a part they could not fail — and asked two parents to be drowning victims. The parents didn’t tell anyone about it, not even their son, who was in the exam. All teachers were informed… but my father forgot to inform [Teacher].

The parents pretended to fight on the side of the pool and “suddenly fell into the water.” They started splashing around, and we suddenly had a drowning situation. Their son was most confused, because he knew his parents could swim. He quickly realized it was part of the test, however, and was embarrassed.

However, because we forgot to inform [Teacher], she immediately went into lifeguard-mode, jumped into the pool, and started saving the parents. We tried to call her out of the pool, but [Teacher] wouldn’t faze easily; people needed to be saved.

When [Teacher] finally understood it was just part of the exam, she got out. One of the members of the board tried to get her out as well, but because of the chaos, he fell in, as well. To this day, my dad and the member of the board won’t tell me if this was planned or not.

The exam turned into a complete chaos, with [Teacher] shouting instructions from the side, three “victims,” kids trying to figure out how to save them, and several other teachers shouting to [Teacher] to just let the kids do their thing.

Like I said, the kids couldn’t fail and it was good test for them all, us included. And it was nice to know that [Teacher] would never just ask, just do. If this hadn’t been a test, these two parents would’ve been safe and sound, thanks to her quick thinking.

Grumpy Grandma Gripes Over Girl’s Goggles

, , , , , | Right | January 15, 2018

(I work at my local pool as a lifeguard. During this rotation I’m in charge of the slide. I notice a little girl about to go down with goggles on; we don’t allow kids to wear goggles on the slide.)

Me: *to the little girl* “Sweetie, could you take off your goggles?”

Little Girl: “Okay!”

(She goes down and doggie paddles slowly to the exit stairs as she speaks to her grandmother.)

Grandmother: *to little girl* “Hey, [Little Girl], where are your goggles?”

Little Girl: “The lifeguard said I couldn’t wear them.”

Grandmother: “Well, that’s outrageous.” *to me* “Why can’t she wear goggles?”

Me: “The slide makes the rider go too fast for the goggles to stay on, which causes them to fall to the bottom of the diving well. Then, I have to go get them.”

Grandmother: “That’s nonsense! You cater to us; it’s in your job description. Let the people have a fun time.”

Me: “Actually, my job is patron surveillance, not aquatic party planner.”

Grandmother: *storms up the stairs to the slide* “I’ll prove these things won’t fall off.” *goes down slide, and the goggles fall off*


Grandmother: “Would you get that for me?”

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