Like living with your parents, working as a lifeguard is one of those things that society frowns upon when people are still doing it after a certain age. If you were smart, you took advantage of those younger years to soak up the sun for a summer or two while getting paid. Here’s why you should have been a lifeguard when you were in high school.
1. You got paid to tan
This is pretty obvious, and it may not seem like a big deal. However, after working in an office or being in school through some long winter months with only fluorescent lighting to dimly shine on you, you’ll be longing for those sun soaked tanning days. Days posted out on the lifeguard chair led to beautiful caramel skin, and the chlorine led to bleach blonde hair. Even if you weren’t a perfect 10, the dark tan, lighter hair, and sunglasses could trick people into thinking that you were a poolside beauty.
2. You got to hang out with your friends at work
When I lifeguarded, we rotated shifts so that half your time was spent in the chairs monitoring children’s souls, and the other half was spent screwing around with your friends in the office. When you work in a pool office, you’re left with a lot of free time. We spent our free time tricking kids into thinking that a certain soda (Vault) would give you the same energy as 4,000 fruit roll ups. This lead to a savage like bidding war on the originally priced 50₵ cans of soda. Ironically, we almost accidentally killed a kid while guarding lives when a kid informed us the day after slamming four Vaults in a pool break that he had diabetes. We monitored our manipulation of children after that.
3. It was your best option for you and your resume when you had no other work experience
Let’s face it; at the age of 15-18 you don’t have much of a choice on what people will pay you to do. Hell, 4 years of college and a degree still doesn’t really give you that much of a choice on what people will pay you to do. At this point in your young life, the only other thing you’re good for is babysitting, flipping burgers, or doing borderline illegal manual labor. The catch is that all of these jobs pay the same hourly rate as lifeguarding. Also, the title of lifeguard looks good on your resume. I think it’s mainly because the words life and guard together make you sound like you’re saving lives on a daily basis. Even though most of the time, you’ll just be practicing your whistle twirling skills, getting multiple base tans, and checking out the hot baby sitters.
4. You got to sleep in every day
There was nothing better than sleeping in as a teenager. I would argue that there’s still nothing better than being able to hit the snooze button without felling rushed or feeling guilt. Unfortunately, you don’t get that opportunity very often after your high school summers are over. You could spend summer nights out late with your friends after work, and still get ten hours of sleep before you had to work the next day. Not to mention, your work day would predominantly consist of extended periods of sitting and looking at people.
5. Your boss was just an older kid who previously lifeguarded, or they were someone you were already smarter than
The first boss I had when I started lifeguarding was a really nice lady, but she failed to grasp the idea of technology and really communication in general. She owned a cell phone, but she wanted to have a way that we could contact her in case of an emergency. So she bought a pager. She bought a pager that we would call, only to be called back immediately from her cell phone. She never quite fully grasped the fact that the cell phone she had in her pocket next to her pager was the exact thing that made the pager obsolete. Anyways, the point is that your boss was most likely a pretty laid back person if their summer job was managing at a pool.
If you made the mistake of not being a lifeguard when you were in high school, just remember that it’s too late for you. For everyone that was wise enough to choose the life of fun in the sun while getting paid, congratulations. You were at least, at one point, making the right decisions in life.