Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thoughtless Thursdays

It's Thursday again, which means...drum roll please...I am officially done as a lifeguard at the Y, I will still be working as a swim instructor though.  And, I've been anxiously waiting for this day to not-so-kindly complain about my boss again.

Lets see, we'll start with Monday.  On Mondays I would guard till 330 then go workout and come back to teach a swim lesson at 515.  This schedule worked out perfectly and this past Monday I was back in the office by about 450.  When I walked in another instructor and my boss were having a discussion about a few different things.  This instructor is also a lifeguard but is giving up her guarding hours because of the ridiculous things we guards have to deal with.

One thing the instructor brought up is the lack of "respect" some of the guards have for their job, meaning they come in very late or sometimes (or very frequently) don't come in at all.  This causes quite a disruption in things because unlike other businesses, we cannot run understaffed.  If there is no lifeguard that means the pool cannot be open.  And if there is a class scheduled in the pool that means the class will not run that day.  The other lifeguard brought up one particular person who is consistently late and has had more than his fair share of no call/no shows.  Kim (our boss) says she has heard of the problems and will address them.

Well, fast forward to Wednesday.  I was scheduled with said "problem lifeguard" at 8 am.  I came in 10 minutes early and relived the opening guard who was supposed to be going home.  However, our small warm water pool opens at 8 but, big surprise, problem lifeguard was no where to be found.  There is an arthritis class scheduled for 8 am so I had the opening guard call to see if problem lifeguard was on his way.  The phone in our guard office wasn't working so he went up to the front desk to make the phone call.  The instructor of the class came into the pool where I was at and wanted me to open the pool (it's in a completely different room) so they could start class.  I explained that the lifeguard had not shown up yet so we couldn't open it.  She then tries to tell me she use to be a lifeguard so it will be okay for her to be in there with no guard.  Uh, no lady.  First of all, you USE to be a lifeguard which means you are no longer certified, so if something were to happen I am the one legally reliable.  Second of all, you are like EIGHTY years old (I am not joking) and you move at a snails pace, there is not a chance in hell that you would be able to react in an emergency.  Well, she was not happy that I wouldn't open the pool so I tried to calm her down and tell her that the other lifeguard was trying to get a hold of the lifeguard that was suppose to be there.  Thank goodness that lifeguard strolled in at about 815 because if he had been any later I think there would have been a riot from all the little old ladies who wanted to have their arthritis class. (They can't do it in our regular pool because it is too cold).

When Kim showed up later that day, and after problem lifeguard had left, I let her know what happened because I knew the instructor for the class at 8 was upset and would probably go to Kim to let her know.  Guess what Kim's response was? "Well he's only on the schedule a few times in October." OMG ARE YOU SERIOUS!?! You just had a conversation with the other lifeguard on Monday about knowing how often this guard is late or doesn't show up and he does it again two days later and you aren't going to do anything about it!? I. was. pissed. A good manager/supervisor/director or whatever would know that it was time to let this problem employee go.  What is the point in keeping a guard on the schedule when they are totally unreliable?

I'm trying not to ramble on about this forever but I just want whoever reads this to know I am not the only lifeguard that has an issue with our boss.  The other lifeguard that was discussing things/arguing with Kim on Monday when I was in the office ended the conversation by saying "the lack of leadership reflects poorly on the others working here" (or something along that line). Damn straight it does. I am not ashamed that I have high standards and when I quit there I will gladly forward my feelings on to the YMCA president in a nicely detailed letter, which oddly enough, is already being done by someone else to be sent to Kim's direct boss.

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