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Drowning In Joy

, , , | Related | March 17, 2020

(When my brother is little, we call him Grins because he always has a huge one on. All the time! One day, we go to the pool and get in. He doesn’t know how to swim yet so I am tasked with carting him around the pool.)

Me: “Now, Grins, make sure you don’t grin because the water will go into your mouth and make you choke! Lips closed!”

Brother: “What, I can’t be happy?”

Me: “You can, but… just smile with your mouth closed! Okay?”

(He didn’t and started sputtering. After a while, he decided to go down the water slide without telling anyone… with a big fat grin on, of course! I swam up to him and caught him before he drowned. And yes, he did eventually learn to swim, but he didn’t like swimming anymore. I still don’t know why he just couldn’t keep his mouth closed.)

When Managers Go Off The Deep End

, , , , | Working | March 16, 2020

(I work at a pool as a lifeguard; I almost ALWAYS work during the opening and/or midday shifts. One day, I am scheduled to work a closing shift, and my manager comes in about an hour before closing to get something.) 

Manager: “Wow, [My Name], you’re here really late!”

Me: “I know! It’s been a while since I’ve worked this shift.”

Manager: “So… why are you working closing?”

Me: “…”

Manager: “…”

Me: “…”

Manager: Wait! Did I schedule you to work this shift?”

Me: “Yes. Yes, you did.”

Manager: “…”

If Parenting Is A Sliding Scale Then He’s Drowning At The Bottom

, , , , , | Right | March 15, 2020

I have worked as a lifeguard over the summer for several years. One part of the pool is a water slide. The rules for the slide are that people have to be over 42 inches and must be able to swim on their own. One lifeguard is always at the bottom of the slide just in case, but we aren’t allowed to catch kids. They have to be able to get out on their own.

One day, there’s a dad with his three kids at the pool. I am working the slide, and I chat some with the very polite dad as his kids climb up the stairs to the slide. His youngest son is terrified, but he eventually ends up going down. He panics at the bottom, though, and starts drowning. I immediately scoop him up and help him up the stairs.

Normally, we would tell them they can’t go down anymore because of the rules, but I don’t say anything because I don’t know if he can swim and he just got scared. The kid goes back up, still scared, but not as much. I end up having to save him a second time.

I tell the dad, “Hey, your son needs to be able to swim on his own for this ride. He can go again a third time, but if I have to save him, he won’t be able to go down anymore.”

The dad blows up. He starts cussing at me and telling me I’m not doing my job correctly, and meanwhile, his kid is going down the slide for a third time. I am ignoring the dad at this point, and I scoop up the kid who is drowning for the third time in a row. The dad starts yelling at his kid, too.

He says, “You’re gonna have to handle your own s*** because she doesn’t give a f*** about you!”

I just kind of stare at him, like, yeah, I just saved your drowning six-year-old son, but I don’t care at all? The guy ends up going to my managers about it, who tell him I did exactly what I was supposed to. Good times.

Parenting That Does Not Hold Water

, , , , , | Right | January 30, 2020

(I work as a head lifeguard at a city pool. A large man, about six feet tall, 180 pounds, has his four-year-old daughter on his back and they are going back and forth in the shallow end of the pool. His wife is sitting on the side with her feet in the pool, watching. Suddenly, he says, “Watch this!” and tells his daughter to hold her breath. He falls over backward, literally laying on top of his daughter, his body holding her underwater.)

Me: *running over to the man* “Sir! You need to get up now!

Man: *comes up from under the water* “What’s the problem?”

Me: “Sir, you cannot lay on top of your daughter while she is underwater! It’s not safe! What if she needed to get a breath?”

Man: “It was only for a few seconds; she’s fine. She’s a trooper!”

(The girl is coughing; she obviously swallowed some water.)

Me: “Sir, you cannot do that again in this pool. You would not lay down on top of your daughter on the living room floor would you?”

Man: *looking bewildered* “Well, no, of course not.”

(I look at his wife, and she is rolling her eyes. The man goes off swimming with his daughter.)

Wife: “He does stuff like this all the time. Sometimes he’s such a meatloaf!”

(I walked away but kept an eye on him the rest of the afternoon. He behaved!)

Drowning In Butts

, , , , | Learning | December 15, 2019

(I’m taking a basic lifeguarding class at a public pool. This is the only pool in the area that offers these classes, so the other students and I don’t know each other very well because we come from different towns. It is a mixed-gender class, and I am a man. We’re learning how to use the life hook — a lifeguarding tool that you slide under a drowning person’s body and use to pull them to the edge of the pool. It’s my turn to practice with the life hook, and the “drowning” person is a woman. I successfully hook her and pull her to the edge of the pool, and then help her climb out. When she gets out of the pool, she immediately storms into the pool manager’s office. About ten minutes later, the pool manager comes out and asks to speak with me. I head into his office, and my “drowning” classmate is sitting there.)

Pool Manager: “Can you tell me what happened between you and [Classmate] earlier today?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Pool Manager: “[Classmate] tells me that you touched her butt multiple times today while she was in the pool. Is that true?”

Me: “What? Of course, it’s not true.”

Classmate: “Don’t lie! You know you grabbed my butt!”

Me: “I don’t know how I could have done anything like that. I don’t think we’ve even been within ten feet of each other besides the life hook practice.”

Classmate: “Exactly! You grabbed my butt with the hook!”

Pool Manager: “Wait a minute; what’s this about a hook?”

Me: “That’s what we’re learning about today. We were practicing using the life hook. [Classmate] was the one I was supposed to be rescuing.”

Pool Manager: “Wait, wait, wait. [Classmate], do you mean that he touched your butt with the hook while you were playing the drowning person?”

Classmate: “YES!”

Pool Manager: “Did he successfully pull you to the edge of the pool so you could climb out?”

Classmate: “Well, yeah, I guess.”

Pool Manager: “[Classmate]… that’s how the life hook works. You hook it underneath a person’s body so you can pull them to the edge of the pool.”

Classmate: “Well, he didn’t have to grab my butt to do it.”

Pool Manager: “[My Name], you’re free to head back to the class. [Classmate], please wait here for a minute while I talk to your instructors.”

(The next day, guess who we found out had been removed from the lifeguarding class?)