Life Guarding: The Ugly Truth
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Life Guarding: The Ugly Truth

"Excuse me, lifeguard, is this the type of water that can make me drown?"

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Life Guarding: The Ugly Truth
Hancock College

The sun is shining, the pool is full and the parents have left their children unattended for the rest of the day. I am sitting on my guard stand trying to enjoy the music (that I've never heard before) that is playing over the speakers at the water park. Kids are running, babies are crying, dads are asleep in the pool chairs and I am getting paid. What a wonderful job I have, right? Not really.

The kids don't know how to walk.

The minute that children enter the water park they know no speed other than fast. They must run to every destination. God forbid they get there in two minutes instead of one.

People can't swim, but that is my problem.

Allow me to tell you a story. Little Johnny's mom is laying out in a pool chair getting a tan, but little Johnny can't swim. Little Johnny wants to jump in the deep end, and his mom isn't looking. So what does little Johnny do? He jumps in the deep end of the pool. I blow my whistle, jump in and swim little Johnny to the side of the pool. Little Johnny's mom takes a break from her sunbathing to yell at me, not her kid, for the event that has occurred. This is the rational thinking of water park goers.

Calling a "code brown."

It happens more than you think. A kid is having so much fun swimming that he doesn't want to get out of the pool to walk 500 feet to use the restroom. That's okay, my swimming pool is the perfect substitute for the toilet. Until he realizes that what he has done causes everyone to have to evacuate the pool for thirty minutes while we fish it out with a skimmer, and shock the pool to rid it of his bacteria.

The kids we refer to as "pool rats."

They have been here since the beginning of time. They know every lifeguard's name and every inch of the water park. They know just how to get by with breaking the rules, and just how to annoy a lifeguard to the point of almost walking out. Not to be confused with the regulars, who are typically nice, respectable families with season passes.

Do you want to see my tan lines?

There is absolutely nothing in this world more attractive than my sunglasses tan line across my face, the one piece tan line on my back, or the flip flop tan line on my feet. Yes, my arms and legs are tan. No, my torso is not. In fact, my torso is the color of sheet paper. Shout out to all the lifeguards who are allowed to wear bikinis, you are truly blessed.

I've smelled like chlorine for four years.

No amount of shampoo and conditioner can rid me of my chlorine stench. I am permanently scent-branded by my place of employment. If you are a lifeguard with previously blonde hair who know has green hair, I am truly sorry for your loss.

I am constantly asked questions that can be answered by simply using your brain.

Questions regarding the depth of the water, the location of the bathroom and whether or not you have to know how to swim to be a lifeguard are just a handful of the questions that I get each day. My favorite question of all time still remains: "Excuse me, lifeguard, is this the type of water that can make you drown?'

Life-guarding is a fantastic summer job — don't get me wrong. I am enjoying myself 95 percent of the time, but during the other 5 percent I am considering retiring early.

Disclaimer: I really do love my job.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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