A much longer time ago than I thought, I wrote a post called Pool People. You see, for the last two years, I have worked as a lifeguard, and more recently, as a swim lessons teacher. Pools attract all kinds of people.
Last time, I listed 10 kinds of those people.
We’re back, ladies and gentlemen – with 10 more!
Moms with Stuff to Do
You know them. Black leggings, loose t-shirt, uggs – maybe a pair of lace-up shoes if they were feelin’ real fancy – this is not these moms’ last thing they’re going to be doing today, and it may not even have been the first. They’ve got their kid in this Saturday morning swim lesson and they’re gettin’ ‘er done. They might be nice, they might be mean, but one thing is always true: you are not their priority this Saturday morning.
Old Women, Variation 1: Here Alone
Old Women at the pool alone are typically concerned with one thing: keeping themselves moving. None of these women are there for the recreation, they’re there to get some low-impact exercise into their life. They’re typically very sweet, but, much like the moms with the miles-long to-do list, talking to you is not a big concern for them.
Old Women, Variation 2: Here with Family
This subset is very chatty. But their chattiness falls into two categories: the, “I’m here having a good time so I’m chatting with you, the lifeguard, very pleasantly” or “you are withholding something I want from me and I AM HERE TO HAVE A GOOD TIME!“
So it’s kind of a grandma-roulette kind of situation.
The Kid with the Questions
I don’t mind answering questions, don’t get me wrong. It’s an unwritten part of my job description. Usually, it means this kid is more likely to actually follow the pool rules, because they’re asking me about them. What does bother me is when they decide it is imperative to ask me a question while I’m teaching or on stand.
Look. The guard office is right over there. I know you know where it is because you asked to borrow a pair of goggles earlier. Look, there’s Tristan, picking up kickboards off the pool deck and VERY available to answer your question.
I’m not blowing you off, kid, this is just the actual worst time to ask me if you can dive into the zero-depth, and then try and ask me why the answer no, and what would actually happen if you broke your neck?
Bad things, child, bad things! Just don’t do it!
The Parent with the Questions
Once again, I have absolutely no issue with having questions. I totally want them to be answered, and I am MORE than happy to be the one enlightening you. But the thing that parents have making them a real problem that kids don’t is an upbringing by Western Society.
No, Karen, I canNOT have a full conversation with you right now! I also cannot make eye contact with you while you try to have this conversation, and it’s not because I’m being rude, it’s because I have to make sure none of these children drown!
The Needy Kid
“Can I have a ball?”
“Can I have some goggles?”
“Can you turn on the pool toys?”
“Hey! Hey, lifeguard. Can I use one of those pool noodles?”
“Can I have a towel?”
Yes. Yes. Just … please. Go away.
The Entitled Patron
If we were to blanket-statement this, this is almost always a parent. However, entitled (and unjustifiably so, I might add) patrons can and do come in all shapes and sizes – sometimes as the needy child.
They don’t like your rules. And they aren’t breaking them because they like that rebel rush, they’re breaking them because they’re stupid. And they want you to know that they think they’re stupid. And if you kick them out because they are blatantly, continually, and belligerently breaking the rules you didn’t make, they will tell you how stupid it is of you to kick them out.
They’re just an all around good time.
The Inexplicable Teenagers
Sometimes during open swim, teenagers will be there. Not with their families, MAYBE with their friends … just, there. It’s odd, because most teenagers think it’s lame to go to the indoor pool. I’m not sure why. They just do. The only teenagers we’re used to seeing poolside are the staff. So you just notice when a teenager is there. And you kind of wonder why.
The Swim Team Kids
These kids create a kind of dilemma. When they incorporate into open swim before or after practice, they sometimes do things that are TECHNICALLY against open swim rules – using the diving blocks, for example. But you know that these kids know how to use the blocks and will do it well. But it’s against open swim rules. But you can’t give them a pass on it. But then they get mad, and you kind of get it.
They’re typically good kids, but they do cause a moral and ethical dilemma. Small-scale. And yet.
Ah. I simply cannot believe I neglected to include this man – oh, I’m sorry, I suppose this could technically be a woman (but I have never seen it be so) – in my first edition of Pool People.
Hot tub and sauna.
That is where they hang out.
For two reasons:
- Something about the warmth makes them feel that is an acceptable area of this public place, full to the brim with children, for them to masturbate.
- Both the hot tub and the sauna are right outside of the women’s locker room.
They seem to think they’ll get a glimpse of something. This ends up fruitless, because the women’s locker room door/pool entrance has been specifically designed so that you can’t see past the door. But still. Um, ew.
Also it tends to skeeve one out to have to take chems for the hot tub when you know for a FACT shady business has been going down in there.
There is a sort-of subset of the perverted patron that is the couple with no boundaries who are all over (and, um, kind of, within) each other. That’s, like, SOMEWHAT more acceptable to me because they are obviously consenting to that treatment from each other, but also. Still. Again with the public place. And the children. I don’t need you making new children in front of these children, dudes.
So, on THAT note, you have Pool People, the Sequel! It’s a good job, I swear. There’s just … a diverse sample set of human beings who end up there.