Everyone that has been to a pool or beach has experienced the evil person in red that is always telling people to stop running, no chicken fights – Telling people to follow the rules that keep them from having fun. Well it works both ways and I have some information from behind the scenes. I lifeguard at a country club pool facility on the weekends and let me tell you, I have to enforce and follow rules that are not my idea of a good time.
1. At my pool, I am not allowed to use a whistle to get the attention of rule-breaking patrons; I have to scream over splashing, laughing, and crying to get someone’s attention. Why can’t a use a whistle? “Because it distracts the tennis players that are serving at the courts by the pool.” God forbid we stop a child from running and smacking their head on the pavement because someone is going to hit their serve into the net.
2. No jumping. Our pool has an eight-food depth and people can’t jump. Why? No idea. I am a 22 year old telling a 65 year-old man to not jump in the pool and when he asks “why?” I honestly have nothing to say because some rules are stupid. Yes, I said it. Some rules are stupid and the lifeguard has to enforce them anyway.
3. Pool Breaks. This is something parents always ask me about because they think their child is some kind of Olympic swimmer. We do a 10-minute pool break every hour. Why? Because kids are crazy. They will stay in the pool for 8 hours holding their breath as long as possible, horse playing, not eating or rehydrating, not using sun block, or not using the bathroom. This is a recipe for children passing out, feces in the pool (the worst part of my job), and bawling tears (the worst pool experience for everyone trying to relax, that I have to mediate).
So for those of you that hate on the strict lifeguards. Yes, some of the rules are dumb but it isn’t our fault. Instead of complaining to us or trying to break a rule when we aren’t looking, just bring your concerns to management. In the end, they are trying to run a business and they will appreciate your negative feedback more than the lifeguards trying to make a buck.