Thought Catalog

10 Things Only Lifeguards Will Understand

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Autumn Mott

1. That one kid.

Everyone knows that one kid. The one kid you see walking up in the parking lot and you debate if this job is really worth it. The one kid you know you’ve said “If they were drowning, I wouldn’t save them” about.

2. “Why don’t you get a real job?”

Every Lifeguard has heard this at one time or another. Yes, I’ll admit it. Sitting on a chair, watching people swim doesn’t exactly sound like a real job. But I am certified to save your life. I am certified to pull your unconscious body from the water, and pump blood throughout, while restoring your oxygen, and yes that it a job.

3. Yelling at adults.

You’d probably never guess, but kids aren’t the only ones who break the rules at a pool. Yes I am an adult, but there is nothing more awkward than telling a man more than twice my age that he can’t hang on the basketball hoop.

4. Hoping kids get hurt.

Ok, this one sounds bad, but every Lifeguard has at some point wished a kid would get hurt. Sometime, kids just do not listen to the rules. You could tell the kid four million times to stop running on the pool deck, and they just keep running. But, you know if they fell and just scrapped their knee a tiny, little bit, they’d never run again.

5. Praying for rain.

If you’ve ever worked an outdoor pool, you’ll get this one. There’s nothing better than mixing up a hot, busy day with some thunder and lightning.

6. Tan Lines.

This is another one for the guards who work outdoor pools, those glorious tan lines. Whether it’s a one-piece tan line or the ever-dread t-shirt and shorts tan line, they’re all bad. And nothing beats the sunglass tan line.

7. We’re not babysitters.

It seems like some parents nowadays seem to forget that Lifeguard are not in fact, babysitters. They’ll drop their kids off at the pool and come back to pick them up hours later. Yes, I will save your child’s life if need be, but that is the extent of my care-taking.

8. The job beyond guarding lives.

Oh, you thought I just watched people swim? Oh no. I just had to take out trash, wash down tables, oh and I had to clean up the poop all the eight-year-old boys thought it would be funny to smear all over the bathroom walls. A little more exciting than watching people swim.

9. Having favorites.

Everyone knows you’re technically not supposed to have favorites, but it’s hard not to show favoritism to the family who always buys you sodas or leaves you their leftover food after lunch.

10. The gossip.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my many years of being a lifeguard, the only person who gossips better than a Country Club mom is a Lifeguard. We’ll gossip about what the Country Club mom gossiped to us about, then we’ll gossip about the Country Club mom. TC mark

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