The Glorified Babysitter

The Glorified Babysitter

A note for parents and all pool patrons this summer.
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Every day at exactly twelve noon, we open the doors to the local community pool, and there you are waiting with your children. You take them in, give them a quick kiss and a five dollar bill, then you leave. We do not see you again till seven or nine at night when you finally come back to pick your child up. For anywhere between seven to nine hours your school-aged child is here alone. You silently think it is okay though, because there are lifeguards here, and it is their job to watch your child. There is one problem with your philosophy though: about twenty other parents think the same way. Now, all of the sudden there are twenty children here with no adult supervision. We can no longer properly do our jobs. Now, instead of being lifeguards, we are glorified babysitters.

Now, instead of guarding other people’s lives - people who paid admission into the pool believing that they were protected - we are scolding your child for throwing grapes at other pool patrons. We spend our day yelling and blowing our whistles at your children who won’t stop running or who are towel-whipping each other. Then after about the third time yelling at your child, we get “fed up” and make them sit in time out. Now, after making your child sit for the third time, we begin to get frustrated, and so we kick them out for the day. But now, you become offended because your little angel has been kicked out of the pool. You argue that he was just trying to have some fun or that he didn’t try to break the rules. We politely and professionally explain that we had to yell at your child multiple times throughout the day (and most likely for the same thing). We have to remind you that we are not your child’s babysitters, but instead, we are the pool’s lifeguards. We watch you as you grab you child and make your way towards the exit, and in a huff you exclaim, “Well what do you lifeguards do anyway?”

This is probably the most important question that you have ever asked us, but we never get to answer it because you are always storming out in a huff. You never let us explain what exactly our job entails and why we are not babysitters. Right now though, we finally have the ability to answer. In order to become lifeguards, we all underwent months of extensive training to learn various life-saving techniques to not only save your child but you as well. Our training does not stop once we pass the initial course either. We practice our skills every week in order to keep them fresh and strong. Every two years, we get re-certified to learn the latest techniques. Our job is to save the little girl who jumped off the diving board but couldn’t swim. Our job is to administer a life-saving shock to the grandfather who just had a heart-attack. Our job is to save the infant who is choking. Our job is to give CPR to the teenager who stopped breathing and had no pulse. Our job is to save the teenager who smacked his head off the diving board. Our job is to save the distressed swimmer. Our job is to save not only you and your child but every single pool patron. Please, let us do your job.

Sincerely,

A Disgruntled Glorified Babysitter

Cover Image Credit: Pine Grove Community Pool

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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5 Reasons It's Always Worth It To Be A Summer Camp Counselor

Summer camps have a special place in my heart, and I'm here to share that with you.

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Since I was 15, I have been a counselor at various summer camps. I have been a Program Aide at Girl Scout camp, a counselor at church camp, and a counselor at a day camp. These were all camps that I attended as a kid, so they already had a special place in my heart when I got a chance to work at them.

After being a camp counselor for five years, there are things that I have learned on the job that has helped me in life. Being a counselor has also helped me grow as a person. It's helped me gain skills that I don't think I would have learned in other jobs. I'm here to share what I love about the job of being a camp counselor.

1. You get to be the leader/role model

As a kid, there were many counselors in my life that I looked up to. They were people that I strived to be alike in my life, but now that I'm older, I get to be that person for the kid. What I say and do will influence how the kids around me act. That comes with a lot of stress, but it's also empowering. You can be a positive influence in a kids life, and hopefully, teach them important life lessons.

2. You can be your goofy self

One thing that I love about working with kids is that I can be silly around them. Kids won't judge you for being silly because they're silly right alongside you. They feed off your energy, and it can help them explore the world around them through communication. Plus, when was it not fun to be silly?

3. You get to hang out with kids all day

This reason might turn people off from the job, but it's a part of why I love being a counselor. Hanging out with kids tires me out at times, but they also motivate me to keep going. They're little balls of energy, and I feed off of other people's energies well. The kids also help me feel youthful and like nothing matters. Everything is fun to them; they help me keep a positive outlook on life.

4. Your coworkers become your best friends

Working at a summer camp can be difficult at times. It's emotionally and physically draining as well. But having a good support team helps with that. The counselors that I have worked with in the past have become my best friends, and I still stay in touch with some. They're there for you when no one else is, and they understand what you're going through. You know that their feelings for you are genuine, and they want to help as much as they can.

5. You get to watch the kids grow

Over the summer, I get to see the same kids every week at my camp. I get to see them grow as people over the summer and it's a rewarding experience knowing that I was able to help them. Watching them become leaders and grow into little helpers by the end of the summer is one of my favorite things.

I'm excited to have the opportunity to work at a summer camp again this year. I know that it'll provide an opportunity to grow as a person and I can't wait to see my favorite kids again.

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