The Lifeguard

MVWJ was at a YMCA working at the pool. I got this job right out of college thinking it would be a great in-between gig. I had been working at pools off and on throughout high school and college, teaching and lifeguarding. The boss hired me and the summer went by with relative ease until my boss decided to give me five days of 5am opening shifts and then quit. Since the pool was way understaffed and the head of the place didn’t have time to find anyone eles this meant I was the sole guard for seven hours. I had to keep a constant eye on the pool to make sure that no one drowned. This meant no eating, drinking, bathroom breaks or being able to have any sort of downtime. I started letting an unqualified co-worker watch the pool for less than 20 minuets so that I could eat and go to the bathroom. Then my boss told me she didn’t think I was working as much as I said I was. I told her I quit because I was so insulted and run down. She quickly backed off and begged me to stay telling me when they found a new manger things would get better.

Like a fool I stayed and soon after I got extremely sick. Since I was the only guard the pool would be closed until the high schoolers got off classes. The members were pissed and I would get constant calls asking if I could come in. Since I was bedridden and the Board of Health wouldn’t let me the answer was no, but they called everyday for two weeks. When I finally got back they had hired a new boss, who had no sympathy for how I had been over worked for months. So he had me work pretty much the exact same way except I got a 15 minute break after four hours of constantly supervising a pool where the deck temperature was 88 degrees. Whenever they could find someone to work with me they were either crazy or never showed up on time. One 40 year-old guy who worked there wouldn’t stop talking about my body. My boss finally talked to him and then he started acting aggressively angry towards me. A few days later he chased a supervisor of mine around threatening to hit him.

Another co-worker of mine who was a 45 year-old mom (I was 22) gave me the biggest overshare of my life. She out of the blue told me she went to an amusement park with two tampons in. Then she told me they got dislodged on the roller coaster and the she had to stand pantsless in a public bathroom while washing her shorts. I dont think my horrified expression went unnoticed, but it didn’t phase her at all. Finally, I decided to go get a lower paying job and regain my sanity and it worked. To this day I can’t believe how they treated me or why I worked there for so long.

Comments (13)

pffJanuary 17th, 2011 at 4:50 am

ew who puts 2 tampons in? 1 feels very uncomfortable enough! :P anyway that was totally un called for. i dunno why coworkers feel the need to share everything :P

clever nameJanuary 17th, 2011 at 11:15 am

EWWWW! Jeezey Creezy, why do some strangers think everyone is their best girlfriend! Keep your nasty stories, baby daddy drama, money problems, and abusive background to yourself. Maybe it was because I was a hairstylist, but some of the stuff people told me…I don’t know how they thought I was not judging them. When they would tell me things like how they are making a man pay for a kid that is not his, oh yeah. You are smart, girl!

JChiefJanuary 18th, 2011 at 7:09 am

I didn’t know you could stuff more than one in. The lady sounds like a pencil-holder.

JeffJanuary 18th, 2011 at 7:54 am

You can’t run a pool with only one lifeguard. If the Y couldn’t afford to hire a second person they should simply have closed the pool. But, they probably got a lot of their operating revenue from pool memberships and that’s why they didn’t want to close it. So they should have come up with the money to hire a second lifeguard and cut the budget somehwere else. It’s not like lifeguards make *that* much money.

hellcatJanuary 18th, 2011 at 12:15 pm

@JChief and if you somehow manage to get more than one in, how do you get the first one out? I’m a girl and I still have these questions. It just sounds messier than it’s worth.

twelve12January 19th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

FAZE. PEOPLE. Not phase. I see this all the damn time and it makes me crazy!

JChiefJanuary 20th, 2011 at 6:14 am


Irregardless, your out of line with you’re rant. Maybe……you need….to chill out………”just some thoughts”….

JennaJanuary 20th, 2011 at 6:22 am

@twelve12 you shouldn’t let little things like that phase you.

AdamJanuary 20th, 2011 at 6:29 am

Yeah its probably just a faze.

TedJanuary 20th, 2011 at 8:08 am

irregardless isn’t a real word

JChiefJanuary 20th, 2011 at 10:00 am


I KNOW it’s not a real word. Look at my post again. Notice any other errors that are all too common? It was a joke, son.

TedJanuary 20th, 2011 at 11:08 am

Ah, sorry, irregardless stopped me dead

red36February 6th, 2011 at 8:52 pm

This must be common with YMCA pools! I worked at one and had nearly the same thing happen to me. Except there was a supervisor there they just refused to take over guarding so I could have a break!

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