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Parenting Doesn’t Always Start Swimmingly

, , , | Right | February 25, 2021

I am a lifeguard. When I am just starting, I notice a man and his young daughter. At our pool, if a child is under six years old, they get a red wristband and a parent or guardian has to be with them in the pool at all times. This man is not in the pool with his daughter, so I approach to remind him.

Me: “Excuse me, sir. Your daughter is under six years old, so you are required to be with her in the water for safety reasons.”

Guest: “Oh, okay. Sorry, I’m new here and didn’t know.”

Me: “That’s quite all right, as long as you know for next time.”

Guest: “Hey, where’s your nearest bathroom?”

Me: “Just behind you in the men’s locker room.”

Guest: “Would you mind watching her for a minute while I go to the bathroom?”

Me: “Um…”

I am a little stunned someone would actually ask me that. His daughter is still in the pool.

Guest: “I guess not, huh?” *To his daughter* “Hey, sweetie, I need to go to the bathroom, so you need to get out of the water to wait for me, okay?”

The girl climbs out of the pool while her father goes to the bathroom.

Guest’s Daughter: “Can I get back in the water now?”

Me: “Not yet. You have to wait for your dad to come back.”

The man came back and got in the water with her. Everything was fine after that. He wasn’t rude or anything; I was just a little lost as to what to do. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have let him leave his kid alone on the pool deck. I did stay near in case she needed help, but to leave your kid alone? He confuses me.

God Doesn’t Want To Be Brought Into This

, , , , , | Right | January 2, 2021

I’m head lifeguard at an outdoor pool. One of my duties is to make sure the pool is still safe for customers when storms approach. If the lifeguard on duty sees storm clouds, they call me if they don’t see me already heading out, as my house is in view of the pool. I follow very simple guidelines; if I see storm clouds, I announce the risks and warn everyone that the pool may be closing. If I hear thunder, I make a show of evacuating the pool and starting a large clock for fifteen minutes; if no risks are shown by the end of the clock, I allow them back in. If rain starts or I see lightning, the pool is closed for the rest of the shift. If there is another shift scheduled later on in the day, I reevaluate the risk then and reopen if necessary.

This particular day, I see lightning at 1:00 pm and the next shift is from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. I’ve been assisting the families with packing up their belongings and watching children as their parents get the cars ready while the lifeguard on duty is cleaning up the office and locking up.

I am shouting as families are finishing up packing cars.

Me: “If the storm has stopped by 4:00 pm today, please feel free to come back! If not, please come back any other day and let us know you were here today for a rain check on the admission fee!”

I start filing the admission forms in the rain check binder when a family van drives up and a mom comes running towards me. The lifeguard is returning equipment to the lockers at this time.

Mom: “I want entry for me and three children.”

Me: “Ma’am, I cannot allow you entry while there is a storm active.”

Mom: “Oh, this little thing will blow over. Give us entry.”

Me: “Ma’am, lightning just struck nearby not ten minutes ago.”

Suddenly, some thunder cracks.

Me: “And that’s thunder right there. Even if it wasn’t raining, that means I couldn’t allow you entry. Please do not make an issue of this. It is for the safety of you and your children.”


As if on cue, lightning strikes a tree just outside the pool’s premises. The tree is close enough to the equipment lockers that I hear a shriek and rush over, ignoring this woman, to check on my lifeguard. I find her huddled behind all the lockers, shards of bark embedded in the door of HER locker. I immediately take a picture of that door and help this girl into the office to let her calm down. I then turn to the woman and show her the picture.

Me: “Ma’am, God just tried to kill my lifeguard to stop you from swimming. I don’t know what else to tell you, but the pool is closed and will remain closed until I can get someone to look at that tree.”

I closed the office window in her face and shut the blinds. As the gates were already locked, she could do nothing but try to shout at us, but the wind drowned her out.

When she finally calmed down, I ended up driving the lifeguard to a nearby clinic to have her checked out in case she was hurt. She ended up being fine, but the pool was shut down for two weeks as the lightning strike ended up frying out the filtration system.

The crazy mom? She ended up reporting me every day of the shutdown for not letting her kids into the pool.

Swimming In Crocodile Tears

, , , , | Friendly | December 8, 2020

Most people drop their school-age kids off to swim at the community center indoor pool, but I stay to monitor my child. He is in the pool and I am standing on the deck.

A little girl runs over to me, sobbing.

Kid: “Waaaah! I want to swim but I don’t have a bathing suit!”

Me: “I’d like to help you, but I don’t work here. Sorry.”

The kid immediately stops crying and becomes perfectly calm.

Then, she runs over to the lifeguard, sobbing.

Kid: “Waaaah! I want to swim, but I don’t have a bathing suit!”

Trying To Pool Together All Her Resources

, , , , , | Right | November 28, 2020

A customer walks into the pool with her daughter who is around nine or ten.

Me: “Hi! Is your daughter here for a swimming lesson?”

Customer: “No, I want to buy my daughter this pool.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, do you mean you’d like to hire the pool for private use? Or would you like to sign her up for swimming lessons?”

Customer: “No. I want to buy this pool.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I think I’m misunderstanding. Do you mean you want to buy a swimming pool for your house?”

Customer: “No, I want to buy this pool. I want the whole thing. How much money does that cost? £500K? More than £1 million?”

Me: “Ma’am, we can’t sell you this pool. You can privately hire the pool for up to two hours at a time for a maximum of twenty-five people. It will cost you £125 to do this if you’d like.”

Customer: “No. I want to own this place. Are you incompetent? Can you not grant a simple request?”

Me: “Ma’am, I apologise but this building is not for sale. Like I said, if you wish to privately use the pool, you can book it here if you give me a da—”

Customer: “No! How deaf are you? I want to buy the pool!”

Her daughter starts shouting that she wants to swim and tugging on her mum’s arm.

Customer: “Where’s the manager?”

I bring the manager out. He tells her exactly what I told her and goes back to what she was busy with, leaving me on my own.

Customer: “Why am I not allowed? You’ll all be rich! I’ll give you more money! Just let me buy it!”

Me: “Ma’am, if you wish to buy a pool, then you can find a company that handles that, but unfortunately, we are unable to sell this pool to you.”

Customer: “We live in London, for f***’s sake! Where am I meant to find a pool company? We live in an apartment! You are so stupid!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry you feel this way, but I cannot sell this place to you.”

Her daughter is now crying and shouting even more.

Customer’s Daughter: “MUM, I WANT THE POOL!”

Customer: “Look what you’ve done, you little rat! You’ve made her cry! Just sell me the g**d*** pool! I’ll pay whatever you want, b****!”

We have a policy that we can deny any customer service to the pool if they become abusive to the staff. She is now verbally abusing me.

Me: “Ma’am, I am sorry I can’t help you, but I do not want you to call me such names. I’m going to kindly ask you to leave.”

We have metal rotating gates that need me to push a button to allow people through to the pool. The woman starts trying to reach it but can’t so she attempts to climb over.

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but you cannot go in. Please can you leave?”

Customer: “Fine, b****, but I’ll be back and I am going to buy you out of business!”

Then finally she left, leaving me exhausted. Frankly, I found it funny how she thought she could buy a council-funded pool.

Just Leave The Doctoring To The Doctors

, , , , | Learning | November 26, 2020

I have just been diagnosed with pretty bad asthma. I have to use my inhaler every hour and check my peak flow, as well, to see if I also need a controller.

I’m at my swimming team practice. I take a puff from my inhaler. Five minutes later…

Coach: *Aggressive* “Why aren’t you in the pool?”

Me: “Because I need to wait fifteen minutes to do my peak flow before getting back into the water.”

Coach: *Indignant* “What exactly is a peak flow? And why do you need to do it every hour?!”

Me: “My peak flow is this.”

I wave the hand containing my peak flow monitor.

Me: “I blow into it, and it gives me a number. I do it three times — actually, four, because the first one doesn’t count — and write it down for my doctor—”

Coach: “Hey, [Assistant Coach], everyone needs to do 100 more, because the first one doesn’t count!”

And he laughs at his own terrible joke.

Me: *Keeps calm* “Well, it’s to make sure I get the most accurate data; it’s to see if I need a controller as well as an inhaler for my action-induced asthma—”

Coach: “It’s not possible for you to have action-induced asthma or to have it acting up from the two-hour swim workout. I know about these things. You would need to keep your heart rate up very high for that, and you aren’t.” 

He acts like he’s won.

Me: “Well, I’m just doing what the asthma specialist said to.”

I imagine his head being separated from his head by a soccer ball as he stands there with a triumphant look on his face.

After practice, I tell my mom what happened.

Mom: “He asked me about your asthma earlier, and I explained it to him. I even asked him if you were performing better with the inhaler, and he admitted you were. But he said it quite reluctantly.”

Me: *Under my breath* “I am going to kill my teacher.”