kis·met \ˈkiz-ˌmet, -mət\ - noun; often capitalized
1. fate.
"We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language.
That may be the measure of our lives." - Toni Morrison

"Growing up Southern is a privilege, really. It's more than where you're born; it's an idea and state of mind that seems imparted at birth. It's more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, football, and country music. It’s being hospitable, devoted to front porches, magnolias, moon pies, coca-cola... and each other. We don't become Southern - we're born that way." - Unknown

15 March 2011

:: a work story ::

I work at a pool as a lifeguard and swim lesson instructor. It's a pretty good job while I'm in school. But as I've said before, "Lifeguarding is a three-ring-circus extraordinaire".

For your reading pleasure:
{1} a list of things life guards wish they could tell you
{2} two stories from a {semi} normal tuesday night

1. Rules are rules. No, I don't care what the "other lifeguard" allowed you to do. I will enforce the rules because it's my job. I'm sorry someone else wasn't doing theirs.

2. Did you look in the mirror before you left the house? I don't know who told you that (tight/skin-colored/skimpy/too small/too big/old+see-through) swimsuit was a good idea. Really, I don't.

3. While on the topic, a bra+tank top/underwear+shorts is never a good idea. The second you get in the water (regardless of the color) your clothes will be immediately see-through. This is not fun to look at. Clothing material ≠ swimsuit material. It never will.

4. Yes, I just yelled at you/your child. No, I don't feel bad about it. Not one bit. Follow the rules, and I won't yell. It's as simple as that.

5. Parents: do us all a favor and just put your children in swim lessons. It's such a pain to try to un-teach the incorrect technique you instilled in your children.

6. If you come talk to me while I'm on stand, I'm not listening to a word you say. I'm supposed to be watching the pool. I can't stop, turn, and carry on (what I'm sure is an extremely important) conversation with you. If you need to talk to a lifeguard, go to the guard room.

7. Don't feed your children right before you come swimming. I really don't like cleaning up puke.
7a. Put swim diapers on your little children; i.e. 3 and under (even if they are potty trained). I also don't like cleaning up poop.

8. The people who do funny things (like trying to make out underwater and singing/whistling while swimming laps) make longs shifts ever so much more entertaining. Thank you for doing amusing things. We appreciate the laugh.

9. We are not babysitters! I have the whole pool to watch, not just your children. That's your responsibility.

10. Most parents are idiots. They say things like, "I left my five year-old to look after my three year-old while I read/sunbathed/exercised/etc..." And then they wonder why we had to jump in to save the both of them.

Two brief anecdotes:
one: a man cut his hand pretty badly playing basketball. he fell on the gravel outside and had gravel and dirt stuck in the cut. i scrubbed it out a la dad+uncle foy style*. success.
two: there is a really large, really hairy man who regularly frequents the pool. we call him the "whistling man" (self-explanatory). today, he was alternatively backstroking and breaststroking, and singing at the top of his lungs. i could not stop laughing.

*both my dad and uncle foy are doctors. when they scrub cuts/scrapes it hurts worse than when you actually cut yourself because they open the wound back up to scrub out all of the nasty stuff. it hurts like the dickens, but it won't get infected.



Danielle and Trev said...

Love. Especially singing man. Seriously though. Everyone bring your kids to the pool. We're incredible babysitters.

Sharon said...

I have had my fair share of fun cleaning those same types of cuts. Thank you Dad!

Breanna Taylor said...

Oh, this list was so bittersweet! There are some things I miss about the pool, and some things that I am so glad I don't have to worry about anymore. I did a list similar to this on my blog-- but yours is so much better said! Love it.

Karen said...

Love it!

lotusgirl said...

Elizabeth and I enjoyed this immensely! Heehee!