35 Things You Learn From Being A Lifeguard

1. Kick each summer off right with a blistering sunburn.

2. Is that Chanel No. 5 you’re wearing? Oh no, that’s just chlorine.

3. People constantly ask if you just got back from the beach, you bronze babe.

4. There is no more beautiful sound than thunder.

5. There is no more beautiful sight than lightning.

6. Wearing a bathing suit to work beats business casual any day of the week.

7. If your coworker forgets his sunglasses, let him borrow yours on the stand. Lifeguard code of decency.

8. There is a special, evil delight in blowing the whistle for adult swim.

9. The award for most disgusting spilled soggy snack on the pool deck goes to pretzels, Goldfish, and popcorn in a three-way tie.

10. You become extremely comfortable wearing next to nothing in front of everyone, young and old.

11. The pool is one of the only workplaces that you actually want to return to after hours. You just have to experience the magic of a trespassory midnight swim.

12. The best way for a lifeguard to make bank at a pool is to give private swim lessons. The real entrepreneurs will pick up clients through a strong word-of-mouth campaign.

13. Leftover food from children’s birthday parties will make up most of your diet. Hopefully there are vitamins in Domino’s Pizza and Costco sheet cake.

14. You become a card shark. Poker, Rummy, Egyptian Rat Screw, you name it.

15. Peeing in the pool isn’t that bad. Tons of people do it and we’re all still alive.

16. Sharks and Minnows: action-packed, violent, summertime entertainment.

17. The best shifts are in the middle of the day — no opening or closing duties.

18. You will come up with various ways to count down the minutes you have left on the stand each rotation. Also, you and your coworkers will invent insanely creative games to kill time when you’re off the stand.

19. Pool noodles serve dual purposes. They are both floatation devices and weapons.

20. You become a master at cleaning bathrooms quickly. Not necessarily well.

21. If a kid is doing something annoying, you can make up a rule on the spot requiring him to stop. E.g., to a relentless splasher: “Keep the water in the pool, please!”

22. 30 minutes before closing, people will show up to swim laps. And they will be sure not to leave one minute before they have to.

23. You are an unpaid babysitter.

24. Eavesdropping from the stand is the best way to learn juicy pool gossip. People will forget you’re up there, and you are just a fly on the wall.

25. Sunscreen is the scent of the gods.

26. Anything left in the Lost and Found more than one week is fair game. You are now the proud owner of a ratty towel, 4 splash balls, and half a snorkel.

27. Tan lines are sexy.

28. You may add scientist to your résumé since you are competent in taking readings of pool chemicals and pH levels.

29. Climbing up and down the stand gracefully is an art.

30. You always hope that you won’t ever have to perform CPR (you have to break the ribs!). Same goes for making a sling for a broken arm and back-boarding someone who hits their head on the diving board. Like, you really hope you won’t ever have to.

31. Flings with coworkers are fun. The season ends in September, so there’s minimal risk.

32. Walk, please.

33. Nothing seems gross after what you pull out of the skimmer with your bare hands: hairballs, dead frogs, Band-Aids.

34. Summer is undoubtedly the best season.

35. For the rest of your life, you will never be able to fully relax at a pool. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Here’s your first big summer read — a blockbuster YA novel that will blow you away. Read it here.


featured image – The Lifeguard

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