Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

They Need More Lifeguards… For The Out-Of-Water Hazards

, , , , , , | Working | June 25, 2020

When I was fourteen or fifteen, I worked in the snack shack at my local swim club. This was my first real job, so I didn’t have a lot of experience, but I learned quickly. The snack shack was run by a separate company from the pool, so technically, they were my employers. But I will tell you, it sucked.

This place, had anyone actually checked on it, would have broken so many health codes that they wouldn’t have even been able to fit them all on one paper. The entire floor under our grill and fryers was a massive grease pit, and the entire summer, I was scared it would catch on fire and explode.

One time, I swore I saw a mouse disappearing into the bread drawer. Halfway through the summer, there was a fly and maggot infestation. When food went bad, we usually scraped off the ick and still served the good parts!

Toward the end of the year, the company basically gave up on us and stopped sending restock items. This meant that, on Labor Day, by far the pool’s busiest weekend of the year, we were out of fries, onion rings, bread in general, hamburger buns, waters, sodas, candy, and tuna.

And, to top to all off, they took an extra three weeks after the snack shack closed for the year to get us our pay, and they likely wouldn’t have paid us at all if I hadn’t put up a fuss.


This story is part of our Labor Day roundup!

Read the next Labor Day roundup story!

Read the Labor Day roundup!

Drowning In Frustration

, , , | Working | June 18, 2020

The pool I work at hired a new employee who previously worked at a famous water park in our area. Since she had that background, we assumed she’d be a great employee. When I first met her, she was caked in makeup with eyelashes up to her forehead, and she was about to teach a swimming lesson. Surprisingly, none of it came off, so I asked her where she got her mascara. She then tried to play it off like her eyelashes were natural, which was warning number one. 

She has a shift on Saturdays from four to eight, but a month into working, she advertises that she wants the shift covered because she recently had a concussion and her grandma is sick.

Legitimate reasons, and I’m sure if she had talked to our boss, it would’ve been covered no problem. She didn’t, though, because she only wanted the six-to-eight part covered. No one wants to only work two hours on a Saturday night, but I’m already working noon to four, so I offer to work the entire four-to-eight shift. I hear nothing later and just assume she’s changed her mind.

A week or so passes until I’m working with the girl and she brings up the topic of her Saturday night coverage.

Girl: “It’s just been a hard decision for me because I don’t feel well, but I need the hours. So I’m trying to just get rid of two hours of my shift, so I can just have a break because it’s hard with my concussion.”

Me: “I understand, and I really want to help out. What if I worked four to six? It’s more convenient for me and you would still get those two hours.”

Girl: *Pauses* “Mmm, I have to think about that.”

I was stunned by this response because that was as good as she was going to get. I didn’t live nearby at all and didn’t want to work noon to four, have two hours off, and then be back from six to eight. I decided to drop it and cover someone’s opening on the next Saturday, instead.

On Friday night, around 11:00 pm, I was lying in bed and I just got a feeling to check our work’s email. I opened it up and, sure enough, that girl replied to my old email recently with, “Thanks, [My Name], you’re the best.”

So, I basically had to work a 6:30 am to 8:00 pm shift, and I was not happy. Luckily, she didn’t last long.

The Terrible Trilinguals

, , , , | Friendly | April 21, 2020

I’m babysitting two small children, a five-year-old and a three-year-old. These two children are trilingual, while I am not. By virtue of spending a lot of time with these kids, I can understand a moderate amount in German and a small amount in Russian but can’t speak in either language. 

Today on the agenda is swimming lessons, and when we finish, I herd them towards the elevators so we can head back to their house. As we get there, we approach a family who is speaking Russian. The five-year-old is always psyched to find other people who speak her languages, so she strikes up a conversation with the two little girls.

As happens with regularity, the mother turns to me and starts speaking to me in Russian. I explain that I’m their babysitter and I’m woefully monolingual. The five-year-old then launches into an explanation — in Russian — of who speaks what language in her family, since not everyone speaks all three.

She makes a mistake and I correct her in English, which leads to some weird looks from the mother of the other family. I explain that I can understand a little bit, but I don’t speak it. The mother asks why I don’t speak it or learn to speak it, and the five-year-old interjects with a bit of Russian I don’t understand. 

The mother starts laughing, while the five-year-old gives a cheeky grin. The mother tells me that the kid told her I’m a bad student, which is why I don’t speak it. I also laugh, because that assessment comes from her trying to teach me Russian words for months but giving up because she didn’t like my decidedly American pronunciation. Good thing she wasn’t grading me.

Free Ice Cream Does Not Mean Free To Abuse

, , , | Right | April 13, 2020

(I work at the local swimming and sports center, manning the bar section where we do kids’ parties. Once a year, we hand out free ice cream to children that have earned their swimming diplomas. We school in three levels of swimming. This customer has three kids, one in each level of schooling. It is a few minutes after his second kid has gotten an ice cream. I recognize the father the minute he calls out to me.)

Me: *serving another customer* “Here’s your change, sir, and here’s your free ice cream, little lady.”

(I head out to the swimming section to serve a kid’s party and then return to be stopped by the customer.)

Customer: “Hey, you son of a b****! I have been waiting here for twelve minutes and I demand you give me my ice cream now!”

(Staying calm, I explain how it is usually busy with the free handouts and three kids’ parties.)

Me: “My apologies for the long wait. Could you please be a bit more patient? I will help you as soon as I can.”

Customer: “That won’t do. I demand my ice cream now! My son will be out here with his C-level diploma and I won’t have him waiting in line this long when my girls already had to!”

Me: “Well, I’m terribly sorry, sir, but it is policy that the children show their diplomas to us; otherwise, anyone could say their child got it and ask for free ice cream, even if they failed the exam.”

(The customer bursts into a raging fit about me not trusting him and how he is a pillar of the community. He is cursing and calling me names, ranting about how I should respect him, at which point I lose all my respectful demeanor.)

Customer: “Get me my d*** ice cream now, you annoying little brat!”

Me: “Well, sir, seeing as your two daughters have had to wait in line, you should be well aware of how things go around.”

Customer: “I said if you don’t get me my ice cream right now, I will take my business elsewhere.”

Me: “So, you will stop waiting in line here when it was your turn after two or three other customers, though you would not have gotten your ice cream seeing as your son is not here to show his diploma, which would mean you would have to wait all over again, and will go somewhere else to get him his ice cream, where you will have to pay for it. My dear sir, I do not care who you are or where you’re from, but from what I can tell, you have just wasted ten minutes of everyone’s time by stopping me from doing my job, you have embarrassed your daughters by acting in such a foul manner in front of them, and worst of all you just gave me the option to ignore you from now until forever. So, go to this other store where you will have to pay, and take your son and your daughters with you, or wait in line like every other respectable parent in this place. I don’t care either way.”

Customer: “How dare you talk to me like that?! Don’t you know who I am?”

Me: “Like I said, I do not care who you are, especially if you disrespect me or my colleagues.”

Customer: “Even so, I am a paying customer so you should treat me with the utmost respect.”

Me: “Sir, you have not paid for a single thing yet; you got your ice cream for free. If you are referring to the swimming lessons, that has nothing to do with me. Now, if you will excuse me, I have paying, respectful customers to serve, and children to tend to. I’ll know when you have made your choice.”

(I walk off taking orders, once again ignoring the customer completely.) 

Other Customer In Line: “How could you not jump over the bar and punch that guy?”

Me: *jokingly* “Because I can’t jump high enough.” 

(The other customer and I chuckle at that. When the customer’s son’s exams are done, I see the customer standing in line at the bar with his son in hand, ready to show the diploma, when it is their turn to be served.)

Me: “Well, then, young man, which ice cream do you want?”

Customer’s Son: “I want a [Brand] ice cream, please.”

Me: *handing over the ice cream* “There you go. Sorry for the long wait; I had a very obnoxious man earlier who was holding up the line.”

(All the customers who had witnessed the event laughed out loud when they heard me, as the man stormed out with his kids, cursing all the way to the car, and probably on the way home, as well.)

Pooling Together All The Bad Behavior

, , , , | Right | April 3, 2020

(I’ve been working at this pool for over five years, and since I’m now in college I only work when back home on breaks. A colleague warns me about a new patron who thinks he’s above the rules. A few days later, I get to meet him.)

Me: “Hello, sir!”

(The patron grunts and pulls his tiny two-year-old daughter, still in street clothes, around to the side of the pool and around the corner, past me and my line of vision. A few minutes later, I hear strange noises and go to investigate. I find him by the metal bleachers, attempting to use our rope lane to TIE HIS DAUGHTER UP LIKE A DOG.)

Me: “SIR! SIR, YOU CAN’T DO THAT! PLEASE STOP!”

(I rush over and untie the girl. He glares at me.)

Customer: “What am I supposed to do? Last time, the guard refused to watch her!”

Me: “That’s because we’re not a daycare, sir. We are lifeguards and we need to watch the pool and swimmers, not your child. There is a daycare center right upstairs.”

Customer: “They charge $35 an hour! You expect me to pay that? YOU JUST WANT MORE MONEY!”

Me: “I don’t care about money, sir. I care about keeping my pool safe. Either leave or take her to the daycare, or she swims with you.”

Customer: “FINE!”

(He begins ripping off his daughter’s clothes right there on the pool deck, leaving her in only a diaper. Diapers are ABSOLUTELY not allowed in our pool; only swim diapers can go in.)

Me: “Sir… She’s wearing a diaper; she can’t go in. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize.”

Customer: “YOU TOLD ME SHE COULD! LOOK, WE’RE GOING SWIMMING TOGETHER NOW!“

(He picks her up and attempts to RUN to the pool. I step in front of him and block his path.)

Me: “Sir! If you attempt to get any closer to my pool, I will have them tear up your membership! You do not yell here, you do not run, you do not bring diapers in, and above all else, you do not ignore the lifeguard! You need to leave for today; you can come back when you’re ready to obey the pool rules.”

(He glares down at me for a minute. I stand my ground, even though he’s three times my size, and he eventually gathers up his stuff and leaves, mumbling under his breath. I talk to my boss after my shift and he tells me to call him down next time the guy comes in, as he’s been a huge troublemaker. A week later:)

Me: “Uh-oh. He’s back.”

Coworker: “Crap. You’re the senior guard; what do you want me to do?”

Me: “Call [Boss] and tell him who’s here.” 

(My coworker goes into the guard office to make the call while I watch the man. Today he has his daughter from before, and an older daughter, who is mentally impaired and cannot move on her own, in a large stroller. Both girls are fully clothed. He walks over to me and holds up a swim diaper.)

Customer: *annoyed* “Is this the right thing for swimming?”

Me: “Yes, sir! Your daughter will be able to accompany you in the pool while wearing that! If you just take her in the locker rooms to change, I’m sure you’ll all have a great time!”

(He grunts and heads back over to his kids and starts taking off their clothes in the middle of the pool deck.)

Me: “Sir? Could you take them into the locker rooms and change them there, please? We—”

Customer: “NO! THERE ARE MEN IN THERE! THEY WILL LOOK AT MY DAUGHTERS!”

(My coworker returns from the phone call.)

Coworker: “There are men out here in the pool…”

(He ignores us and continues to change his kids right there. My coworker tells me that our boss is on his way back from lunch and to keep the pool safe until then. The man gets into the lap lane with his daughters, and I decide to let it slide since there’s no one in the lap lanes and to keep the man from blowing up.

He has a hold of both of them for a while, playing with both, and then he deposits the two-year-old on the lane line — which is the plastic rope used to divide the pool into sections — and sticks a foam noodle each under the paralyzed girl’s neck and legs. He then begins swimming laps away from them. My coworker and I sprint over and snatch both girls out of the water before they go under, right in time for my boss to show up.)

Boss: “What the h*** is going on here?!”

(We explain what just happened, and we are directed to go fill out incident reports and leave the kids with my boss. We’re filling them out in the office as man swims back toward my boss and his daughters, emerges, notices the situation, and begins arguing with my boss. There is some yelling that we can’t hear, and then:)

Customer: “Well, f*** you, then! I’m getting my own pool, and I will swim in that and never come back here, and you will be sorry!”

Boss: “Fine with me! Get out and don’t come back!”

(The man leaves and my boss comes to the office, muttering.)

Coworker: “You okay, boss?”

Boss: “Yeah, I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about him anymore; I’m tearing up his membership.”

Me: “Is he really getting his own pool? I feel like he should be banned from pools everywhere.”

Boss: “I doubt it; he probably just wanted to sound important. And if he does, when his kids nearly drown, he’ll see just how important lifeguards and rules are!”