That’s Some Real Crappy Parenting

, , , , | Right | August 25, 2020

I’m working at a closed beach advising people against swimming since the water quality is unsanitary. There are signs, but most people are shocked when I tell them they shouldn’t swim since they ignored the signs; others just don’t care.

I approach a woman with three little kids — between three and five years old — and give her my usual spiel.

Me: “Excuse me! Hi, I’m with [City] Parks and Rec! I’m just here to let you know that the [County] health department determined the level of bacteria in the water is unsafe and is advising against wading or swimming.”

As I’m speaking, she turns away like she’s only half interested in what I’m saying; meanwhile, her kids are splashing around in the water.

Mother: “Okay, thanks.”

Realizing I’m being brushed off, I move to a pair of kids in the water. I give the same spiel and they start asking questions, as kids do.

Kid: “Why can’t we swim?”

I can’t really enforce anything.

Me: “Well, it’s not that you can’t swim, but there’s gross stuff in the water and it’s better if you don’t.”

Kid: “Like what, though?”

Me: *Pause* “Sewage.”

The mother from before sees me talking to more people and approaches me, her kids still in the water.

Mother: “So, what is it that’s going on with the water?”

Me: “Well, there’s a sewage leakage nearby that frequently affects the water quality here.”

Mother: “So, when did they decide that it wasn’t safe to swim?”

Me: “I think the decision was made sometime last week.”

Mother: “Oh, well, we were here four days ago and it was fine.”

Me: “The health department decided that it’s not ideal for swimming at the moment.”

She kind of just nodded and walked off. Later, I looked over and noticed she had joined her kids in splashing around in the sewer water. She even dunked one of them under. The internal facepalm was real.

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