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.”

Mom: “WELL, GOD WANTS US TO SWIM! A LITTLE RAIN FROM HIM ISN’T A SIGN THAT IT’S DANGEROUS!”

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.

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Starting A New Year’s Resolution Early

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 31, 2020

I happen to be in London during New Year’s Eve. I decide if I’m ever going to do the big fireworks thing, this will be the time, so I get tickets for the show. You have to get there about three hours early for your designated spot on the river.

I’m standing there, waiting for the show, when I notice a man and woman next to me. It kind of looks like he’s leaning into her as she speaks into his ear, which makes sense since there is some loud music. But then, I realize he’s using her HAIR as a scarf to protect his face from the cold, as it’s cold and we are getting a breeze from the river. I feel terrible for him since there are about two hours until the show.

Me: “Hey, man, do you want to borrow my scarf?”

Man: “No, that’s okay.”

Me: “Okay, if you’re sure. Can I ask why you don’t have a coat?”

His girlfriend gives me a look that says, “Oh, we have so been over this,” that makes me laugh inside.

Man: “Well, I thought we were going to a club after, and I didn’t want to carry around a coat.”

I let a little more time go, but he starts to shiver. I start unwrapping my scarf.

Me: “Are you sure that you don’t—”

Before I can even finish the sentence, he grabs the scarf out of my hands.

Man: “Yes, please!”

He used the scarf until the end of the show and then we wished each other a happy new year. Sir, if you are reading this, please know that I smile a little whenever I think of this story and it reminds me to be a little kinder to everyone around me.

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It’s Snow Problem To Take It Slow

, , , , | Working | December 18, 2020

This happens around ten years ago, a few days before Christmas. It is one of the years when the UK receives a fairly hefty snowfall — by British standards, at least.

Since we so rarely get snow, we are always poorly equipped to handle the conditions. Almost nobody has even heard of winter tyres or snow chains, and people either drive far too slowly or far too quickly, making the roads chaotic. Salting and plowing happen on main roads, but back roads and side streets are rarely attended to.

This particular evening, my family and I are in a taxi to see some family friends for a Christmas party. The route from my parents’ house to the friends’ is pretty much ten minutes’ drive along a dual carriageway, and one we know well.

We’re all a little surprised when the taxi driver takes an unexpected turn down a narrow, winding country lane.

My dad is sitting up front.

Dad: “Why aren’t you taking [Obvious Main Road]?”

Driver: “The traffic along that road is really bad due to the snow, so I’m taking a less-travelled route.”

And, to be fair, the road is very quiet. However, because it’s quiet, no other traffic has created any tracks in the snow, making the road even more slippery than it would have been otherwise.

Despite the conditions, our driver is going quite fast. In all honesty, his speed would have been a bit too fast for normal conditions.

Dad: “Can you slow down a bit? We’re not in a massive hurry, and we’d like to get there in one piece.”

And for a mile or so, he does ease off. But as the road becomes a bit less winding, he picks up the pace again. Just as my dad starts to ask him to slow down again, the driver turns into a corner.

The car, instead of simply rounding the slight bend, spins a FULL 360 DEGREES, coming to a halt in the middle of the road. It is extremely fortunate that the road is a little wider and so quiet; otherwise, we’d have almost certainly hit either the trees at the side or another car.

My dad, surprisingly calmly, reiterates his request that the driver slow down lest he kill us all, and thankfully the message is received, and the rest of the journey is completed safely and sedately.

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Very Pool-ish Behavior

, , , , , , | Right | November 20, 2020

We are going through a heatwave. In response to this, the pool I work at, which is part of a larger non-profit organization, decides to allow free entry to the pool for the hottest hours of the day at the weekend.

The free admission is a set time from noon to four pm. Anyone who comes in before or after those times must pay the entrance fee in order to swim.

I end up getting stuck at the check-in desk right after four o’clock and am greeted by many unhappy families who expected to get into the pool for free. I explain to them each time that we only had a set time where admissions are free, and since the time has passed, they will have to pay for using the pool. Most people argue, or shout, or threaten to have me fired if I don’t let them in.

However, one woman, after I tell her she has to pay, bends down and tells her children to run into the pool — fully clothed — which she then tries to use as an excuse to chase after them and evade having to pay.

It doesn’t work.

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That Snow Way To Behave At The Doctors

, , , | Right | November 19, 2020

I work in a very small office; just the doctor and me. Most of the time, I get to work about twenty minutes before we open, and my most frequent issue is people showing up way too early and then trying to follow me inside.

This morning, a patient is banging on the door incessantly for several minutes; I start timing her about a minute in.

I’m doing my best to ignore this woman. We are not the type of office to come to for a medical emergency. It’s still about ten minutes until open and I’m finishing up my pre-work tasks.

The patient continues to bang loudly on the door. I finally lose my patience and go up to the door, unlock it, and crack it open so I can speak with the woman, who has her grown son with her. They immediately try to push me aside to come in.

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but we don’t open up for another ten minutes, and there are some things I still need to finish before I can let you in. Besides, the doctor is not here yet.”

Apparently, this was the wrong thing to say, because she is instantly furious.

Patient: “How dare you keep us waiting out here?! My son has a cast and we came early so he could walk over the icy sidewalk and take his time!”

This is the icy sidewalk that I have just finished shoveling and salting.

Patient: “You should have let us in immediately because he has an appointment right now!”

Me: “Ma’am, the appointment is in about ten minutes, and as I said, the doctor is not here. Also, the closed sign is up and my lights are off, indicating that we are closed. I will let you in this time because it is cold out, but please remember in the future that the doors will not be unlocked until a few minutes prior to our listed opening times.”

Patient: “I cannot believe this! You are horrible at this job!”

The patient’s son steps in and starts to tell me how rude I am being to his mother. I’ve had enough at this point, so I put my sign-in sheet on the counter and ask the son to sign in. He’s still berating me. I finally get them back to a room, while they’re still b****ing at me, and then I send the doctor a heads-up text, explaining what happened.

When the doctor gets to the office, he heads straight into the exam room, where the patient and her son start telling him that I screamed at them and physically threw a clipboard at the mom’s head. I’m listening to this crap and just fuming at my desk.

The doctor, of course, took my side, although he still worked with the patient that day. We thankfully have not seen this power couple since, although another (perfectly nice) family member continued to come in until they moved away.

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