(Thermo)Dynamically Reacting To A Crazy Request

, , | Right | September 23, 2017

(I’ve worked at many different pools, but the number one complaint I get, no matter what pool I’m at, is that “the pool is too cold.” Some people don’t understand that a pool is not a bathtub, and we can’t turn up the heat on demand. Since the pool is so big, and filters gallons of water in and out, it literally takes days to cool down or heat up the pool. Furthermore, health and safety policies dictate that we have to keep the pool within a certain temperature range. My response to this complaint for years has been to explain these facts, and tell them what the temperature reading was at the last pool test. One day, at one of the biggest pools I’ve worked at, an elderly woman enters the pool and makes a big show of acting like she has just stepped into ice water.)

Patron: “The water is so cold today.”

Me: “The last temperature reading said 85 degrees.”

Patron: *confused* “What does that mean?”

Me: “Our policy aims to have our pool between 83 and 87 degrees in order to operate. We’re actually above the minimum level.”

Patron: “So, you have two more degrees to go.”

Me: “Uh, yes. Two more degrees until the maximum.”

Patron: “So, turn it up.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Patron: “It’s far too cold to be comfortable. Get someone to turn up the heat.”

Me: “Ma’am, if we turn it up too much, then the competitive swimmers could overheat.”

Patron: “You just said that you could go two degrees higher, so just go to the back and turn up the switch.”

Me: “Uh, I’m actually not trained to—”

Patron: “And hurry up; I’m only here for half an hour today.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but there is no way the heat will increase that much in so little time.”

(I’m about to explain to her why this is, when she sees a maintenance worker come onto the pool deck.)

Patron: “Oh, you’re useless. I’ll just ask [Worker]; he knows what to do.”

(She gets his attention and asks him what she asked me. I continue to guard, but I listen in, expecting him to say the same thing I did. To my surprise, I hear him say, “No problem,” and he walks away. The patron smiles smugly at me and begins her walking workout, while I stand there confused. Ten minutes later, he comes back, and I approach him before the lady sees him.)

Me: “Did you really turn up the heat for the pool?”

Worker: *smirks* “Oh, no, that’s just a line I shoot them so they’ll get off my back.”

(He then walks over to the lady.)

Worker: “How’s that?”

Patron: “Much better; thank you.”

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