Saturday, May 28, 2011

We Do More Than You Think

,Today was my first day back to the work force. After a long school year, it was time to put my lifeguard suite and whistle back on and sit up in that chair. This will be my third year guarding and I'd like to fill you in on 15 things we lifeguards won't tell you, according to

1. We clean the bathrooms ...
Everyday my duties include wiping down sinks, cleaning mirrors, and the extremely dreaded chore of cleaning the toilets.

2. ... and run the concession stand

3. We can't watch everyone
 "Even the best lifeguards can miss something while watching a crowded beach with over 200 swimmers. Never assume that the lifeguards will do their job perfectly."
-- Noah, a Jersey Shore ocean lifeguard for more than 10 years

4. Our pool shouldn't smell like chlorine

5. We don't always clear the pool after an "accident" ...

6. ... and if we do, it's not always real
 "At one point, a fellow lifeguard and I sank a Snickers bar so we could have an hour break and make everyone clear the pool. It was the best time ever ... we ordered lunch from a local pizza shop."
-- Alan, a Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, lifeguard for two years

7. We need you to watch your kids

8. We swim after we eat

9. Thunder is our best friend
On days when we know that there is a chance of a thunderstorm, all the guards pay especially close attention to the sky and for thunder. The second we think we hear some, even if it might be a passing truck, we clear the pool. And we're not letting you back in for 30 minutes.
10. We hate floaties
"Arm floaties or swimsuits with life jacket-like belts sewn in are, in fact, dangerous. It's a false sense of security. An arm floatie can pop and strand a weak swimmer far from a wall or shallow water. The life jacket belts can just as easily hold a kid upside down on the surface as right side up. There is no replacement for teaching your kids water safety skills and keeping a close watch."
-- Mary, a San Francisco lifeguard for 10 years

11. The thought of doing CPR scares us

12. We know when you drop your kids off
"If you're leaving your children at the pool for more than four hours every day, we're going to be on a first-name basis and know your entire life story -- even if we've never met you."
-- Greg, a Texas lifeguard and pool manager for five years

13. We have rules for a reason

14. We care about tan lines
Although highly discouraged by medical experts everywhere, tanning is a part of sitting in the sun all day. So it makes sense that lifeguards are the unofficial experts.

15. We're still kids ourselves
 I started life guarding when I was 16 years old.

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