I find life guarding to be extremely unrewarding drudgery, but every so often it pays off. Take this weekend for example. Just like every other day I spent the day standing in the hot sun from about 11:00 to 8:00 yelling at little chilren to stop running, to slide feet-first and the like. I got sunburned, again. One parent took a grudge against me and complained behind my back to my supervisor. I never found out the reason. I got into trouble for it anyway. All in all, it was going pretty poorly just as I generally expected.
At around 3:00, however, something happened. I was on break and was checking the clock for when I would have to go up again when I saw a very small child climb into the lazy river. The water in the river was at least six inches above the kid's head and the current was pretty strong. (I have no idea what was going through the her mind when she did that.) The guard on duty at that station wasn't paying attention at the moment (it was after all, a very hot day that sunlight can do horrers to your brain if you're not carefull). I raced over, jumped into the pool and picked the kid out of the water.
It's going to be hard for me to forget the expression that was on the little girl's face when I saw her in the water struggling to breath. She looked more surprised than anything. I guess she didn't expect that the water was over her head. I'm entirely not sure about it about, but if I hadn't been watching at that exact moment she could have gone halfway around the river without anyone noticing. She was so small and inconspicuous. Helping people like that is what makes the whole job gratifying.
Oh, and I have some questions for anybody who would care to offer their opinion. Mainly do you think these rules are too strict or unnecessary? I get the impression that some of them are but I'm really the only one at the pool who does.
First of all dress code: Every one must wear proper swim attire and cannot wear any clothing whatsoever into the pool aside from a pure white teeshirt.
Secondly, the lazy river: Everyone, and that means everyone must have their own tube and must stay in it at all times. This includes adults who can easily stand in the three foot deep water. And forbids parents from helping smaller children who might have trouble with their tubes.
Am I right in thinking that these are a little supefluous or am I just a bad lifeguard? Your opinions would be welcome.
I'm the only one at the pool who does his homework on a laptop during breaks. It's actually kind of nice to have something mentally stimulating to do during those really boring sits.