This post could go multiple directions based on the title. I think, though, I’ll focus on the different bosses I’ve had during my years as a lifeguard.

My very first boss of my entire life was about six years my senior. I was seventeen at the time. He was good looking, single, and an idiot. Therefore, he became my boyfriend. He was my boss for two months, and my boyfriend for two years. Waste. Of. Time.

As the pool board didn’t really approve of his methods, he was soon replaced by a college girl who was more interested in the upcoming rush events with her sorority than in saving lives. It was pretty obvious she knew she was a temporary hire and couldn’t care less if she were hired back the following summer.

Then came Ms. G. What a lady. I have to be honest that I didn’t care very much for her at first – she was one of those “adult guards” that irritated me so much as a young life-saver. Plus, she had a knack for writing memos when she had a problem with the way any of us were handling our jobs instead of just talking to us about it. But she grew on me. Considering she was my boss for two or maybe even three more summers (and is still my sister’s boss) it’s a good thing we ended up getting along so well. She’s a sweetheart who is much more relaxed than I gave her credit for at first. She schedules half hour breaks for guards like, every three hours or something. Not even my idiot ex-boyfriend did that!

And then my husband and I moved to Mobile, where I was still in school but needed a summer job. Turns out the only thing I was qualified to do was lifeguard (still feels like that’s about all I’m qualified to do), so I took a job at the local country club as the Assistant Aquatics Director – a fancy title for what amounted to “head lifeguard.” The aquatics director I worked under was also a high school football coach. He had his good moments, but I think he can best be summed up by his favorite quote: “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.” There was no relaxing at this country club, not to mention the fact that working at a country club where you are not even close to being a member is very degrading and stressful. So many people with such high standards. Unrealistically high standards, particularly when it comes to teenagers. So Coach had a lot of work to do to keep us all in line (despite my non-teenager status), though he did tend to go overboard on occasion. He yelled at me once from one end of the pool deck while I was in the other. I can’t remember what on earth he was yelling about, but it really upset me. That was my first opportunity to stand up for myself and I think I did a pretty good job. And then, at the end of the summer, I quit, and haven’t been back. Mobile Country Club, I fear we’ll never meet again. I just don’t think I’ve got Country Clubs in my future, unless they want me to lifeguard for them!

Well, folks, that concludes the Lifeguard Chronicles. I hope they were enjoyed! Until next time… -LH

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