Sunday, July 16, 2006

That. Is annoying

One of the sprogs had her sixth birthday party today, and her parents decided to have it at the city pool.

Nice idea, and everyone seemed to have a good time, but during the festivities, I noticed a phenomenon that is really beginning to annoy the crap out of me.

Apparently, when you rent the city pool, you get a city lifeguard as part of the package.

I assume that this woman has a face, but that would be a guess on my part because I never, ever saw it.

I don't even know if the woman has eyes or not, because she spent the whole frickin' deployment with a cell-phone stuck to her ear. On top of which, she seems to to have difficulties with multi-tasking, because talking into the phone grafted to her ear seemed possible to accomplish only while she was staring at her toes.

Now, given the number of medical professionals and public-safety-type folks present, if a yard-ape had experimented with water-breathing as a possible alternative life function, Ms. Lifeguard would have been dead-arse last in the pack even if she had been paying attention, but that isn't the bloody point.

The point is that not only was she drawing a paycheck to be a lifeguard -- not to be Chatty Cathy -- but accepting that paycheck also means she voluntarily took on a set of responsiblities and obligations.

I don't care if you are the multi-tasking Queen of the Briny Deep, godsdammit: LOOK ALERT.

Had a three year-old running around who is apparently missing the fear chromosome, 'cause there weren't nothing this little darlin' wouldn't try, by God. Been hitting the Big Kids Water Slide from the word go.

But she's also been wearing a set of water wings the entire time I was there.

Towards the end of the party, the little sprat heads up the slide, only this time she's not wearing the wings.

And there's Little Miss Cell-Phone, about ten feet away, never looks up from her toes, never takes the cell-phone out of her ear, nothing, not even when the water-wingless bairn shot off the end of the slide and into the water.

Granted, there was a teenager there to do the catching and all, but is it asking too much TO BLOODY WELL GIVE A FLYING FLING?

Dare To Care, dammit. At least, do me the favour of pretending like you give a warm bucket of rat expectorant, because, you know, YOU'RE GETTING PAID TO.

After all, you're only, like, GUARDING LIVES.

I could be lifeguarding the pool at the International Life Guard Association Annual Splash Meet, and even though every-flaming-body there could be multiple years more experienced than me, I'd still be heads-up, eyes-bright and all professional looking.

Because that's what I'd be getting PAID FOR.

And it's not just this lifeguard. Everywhere I go, people with important jobs seem to be more interested in yacking on their sodding cellphones than in doing what they're getting a paycheck for.

School crossing guards: Yackity, yackity, yackity.

Store check-out clerks: Yick, yick, yick.

Suzy Soccer-Mom, behind the tiller of the USS Plymouth Nimitz, going down the Interstate at 80 EmPeeAitch, jacking her jaws into the bloody cell-phone.

Judas Tap-Dancing Priest. I have this incredible urge to get a nail-gun, and start nailing cell-phones to ears.

You! Yes, you! Put down the fecking cell-phone and PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU'RE DOING, before I take away the cell-phone and shove it so far up your tuchkiss that the antennae will tickle your sodding sinuses, am I clear on this?

ARRGGHH!

LawDog

25 comments:

Rick T said...

A. MEN!!!!!

And a double order for those morons with their text devices... Head down, typing away, oblivious to the world..

Rorschach said...

Amen brother!

Did you happen to have words with the idiot, or perhaps her boss?

Melissa Trible said...

I'm glad no larval-stage humans were *harmed* by her negligence.

Anonymous said...

I have not disagreed with anything you have posted yet, and I sure as hell aint gonna start now!

MorningGlory said...

Speaking as a former lifeguard, she should be at the very least fired. And banned from the city pool.

Speaking as a supervisor of workers, cellphones should NOT be allowed while on duty.

Speaking as a Mom, I would have been forced to let her know, in no uncertain terms, that the cellphone needed to disappear until the function for which she was being paid to supervise was over. And if she gave me any lip, I'd have called her supervisor IMMEDIATELY.

Geez-Louise. There's no excuse for this kind of idiocy.

MG

kateykakes said...

I'm the type of person that would politely remind her that she's getting paid to do a job and not yap on the phone, and if she's on the City payroll, I'd make sure they were aware of it too.

CDH said...

Well the reason they do it is that WE let them get away with it. Call her supervisor and get her fired. We are far too accepting of this type of behavior! Maybe it's the taboo against being a snitch/tattletale/whatever, but sometimes it needs to be done. Besides, if bad behavior allowed to continue it becomes 'accepted' and that much harder to change later...hence the problem with overly permissive parents and bratty kids, but that's another tale.

Oh, and there are lots of good kids out there...I see them all the time, but the brats are so much easier to notice the good ones get lost in the mix.

Anonymous said...

Take solace, all that radiation bounding into their brains will surely kill them sooner than they'd otherwise die.

Anonymous said...

I've had this neat idea. Although it is pretty illegal, it satifies my sense of annoyances with people who drive and talk on the cell phone. Although their driving skills are mostly non-existant when they're talking. Get a cell phone jammer. Mount it in your car, with a switch near the driver. Just flick it on and off every once in a while. Cell phones will lose their calls all over the place. Better yet, put a switch that will automatically and randomly turn the jammer off and on. Then you can soothe your annoyance and not even know it!!! Now if only this were legal...

Anonymous said...

Yessir, the insurance world looks at cell phones while driving just like drunk driving. Lobbies throwing money around have kept that law off the books so far I dodge cellies just like I dodge drunks... get far, far, away!

JebTexasLHB@netscape.net

Kimberly said...

AMEN.

I'd love to use the above mentioned suggestion of the cell phone jammer here on the roads of the pacific northwest--the drivers here are bad enough without the cellphones.

Anonymous said...

"Take solace, all that radiation bounding into their brains will surely kill them sooner than they'd otherwise die."


That's actually a myth. Sorry dude.

Billiam said...

You tell it! You're spot on. I drive semi, and the number of people, not only on their phones, but, not using hands free devices is way out of hand. Yet, for a lifeguard? I don't know how you restrained yourself from kicking her stupid butt off the planet. She doesn't deserve that kind of responsibility.

Anonymous said...

This story reminds me of a experience I had once. I was at a water park one day swimming. I saw a little girl in one of the rides who was about to drown. She was a little kid around 6 or 7 but nobody was watching her. I didn't see any life guard on duty either. I could tell she was in trouble by just looking at her. I pulled her out & got her on solid land again but it ticked me off that nobody was there to help her. She was in a pool that was 9' deep & couldn't swim. Her older sister told her that she'd watch after her but instead of doing so, she started chatting with her friends. I was just 16 at the time.

Contrary to popular belief, drowning folks DON'T scream for help like crazy. They are too distracted by trying to surface.

Anonymous said...

"That's actually a myth. Sorry dude."

So let me get this straight, some studies show it to be a problem, some don't. In other words, "they" don't know. Yet you feel yourself to be enough of an authority on the subject to make the "myth" proclamation......fair enough. I do however ask that you back your proclamation up with firm science, being sure to stick to the Scientific Method.

Anonymous said...

I got my proof from the Showtime show called Penn & Teller BullSH*T. It was a episode about how a lot of safety fanatics are going crazy.

Anonymous said...

One thing I've always found amazing: Lifeguards are hired to actually SAVE people's LIVES, and we only pay the lifeguards minimum wage. No wonder you can't hire good help.

David said...

LawDog I just hate when you go all ambivalent on me. :)

I've stopped answering my phone in the car because no one seems to hear "I'm driving call you back". Especially my wife. She also hated when I'd fade out because I'd pay more attention to driving than the phone. I may not multi-task but driving's got priority.

Just wish I could get a 'keep right except when passing or I'll shoot' law.

Anonymous said...

Having almost been killed or at least badly mangled by way too many drivers with cell phones ("Cell phones don't kill people, people kill people."), I want a law that makes cell phone use the same as drunk driving. Friends ask for my cell phone number and I don't give it to them. The phone is off while I'm driving, and most everywhere else, and I can't figure out how to access messages, anyway! If they want, they can leave a message on my home phone - those I can get to. OldeForce

english kanigit said...

This kanigit has been a lifeguard for 5 years. He still is. I have recently stopped working all regular shifts and all non-emergency sub shifts. I've been there the longest and won't hesitate to come in for training or when needed... despite still making $6.75. Due to the constant level of fatigue I am at I cannot consistently stay alert sitting on the stand. Sitting, in an indoor environment, 90°+, with the constant sound of running water? Not even NoDoze will help... and that's on a good day. The few shifts that I do work, I normally stand on the elevated platform instead of sitting. That's just to stay awake.

Our pool is at a respected university and we normally have more than two guards on a given shift. Our pool is not that busy; typically just alumni, seniors and physical therapy stuff. And then there's rentals. They could be anythings from a bunch of old ladies who's bridge club decided to give kayaking a try, all the local hellions from your 'social improvement program of choice' or the local high-school where the bucks want to show off for the does. Much to our detriment. Our patron/guard ratio must always be 10/1 or less. If it goes higher we call in more people. Judging by industry standards this definitely above average. I've known guards at all different types of pools and facilities. What makes it or breaks it is the management and their attitude. Period.

With some I've been truly disgusted and others have honestly impressed me. One thing I know: when I have children of my own or kids under my care, I will be their lifeguard. I will be their supervisor. I will be the first person to verbally (or otherwise if necessary) twist the head off the pool's manager as we are leaving should the situation require it.

If a victim is going to be saved it's because the guard noticed them on the surface. Something about their posture, the actions of the (potential) rescuee or those around them or the Forceňá just tips them off. Once that person sinks below the surface, if they have not already been noticed by a guard, there chance of rescue and resuscitation are almost nil. Typically the rescuee is found by another patron who's been watching to see how long they can hold their breath. It takes a while and it's heart breaking to watch. Fun turns to curiosity, curiosity gives way to puzzlement, puzzlement in turn leads to concern, concern morphs into fear and fear may become action. Like I said, it's heart breaking and it takes several minutes to watch. Something like 8 minutes and 52 seconds on the last training video of this type I saw.


If you see a situation like this (and care enough) go to the management and work your way up the food chain from there. Go high enough and apply the necessary pressure and changes will occur...

ek


[/RANT]

english kanigit said...

*quote*Contrary to popular belief, drowning folks DON'T scream for help like crazy. They are too distracted by trying to surface.*/quote*

Unfortunately they're more distracted trying to breath.
Breath anything...


Water included. :(

Tom E. Gun said...

If talking on a cell phone is so dangerous, then talking on a police radio during a high speed response must be far more dangerous....

joated said...

You're spot on with your criticism of the LG, but I would like to point out:
"a three year-old running around who is apparently missing the fear chromosome, 'cause there weren't nothing this little darlin' wouldn't try, by God. Been hitting the Big Kids Water Slide from the word go." Considering your tales of childhood, here is proof possitive of your parental responsibility!

Anonymous said...

I. HATE. CELL. FREAKING. PHONES.
What is it that makes people feel this apparently overwhelming compulsion to be continuously "connected" with the rest of the globe? On the highways. In restaurants. In theaters. In the store where I work...while I'm helping them. And - I swear on the graves of John Moses Browning, Samuel Colt, Frederick Winchester, Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson, I've actually witnessed it many times - even in public restrooms. In Stalls. With the door closed. And trousers pooled on the floor atop shoes.

The mindlessly recited reasons people belch out to justify their need to keep their photo capable, text messaging, walkie-talkie enabled, custom ring-toned, person communication device strapped to their hips at all times, are essentially these: 1.) In case of emergencies, and 2.) For business. Sure. And which were you attending to with your ass propped on the hopper, or while you were cutting me off with your triple lane change?

Everybody pay attention, please. Focus on what you are doing. During idle moments, try thinking instead of babbling. Cell phones were once considered a status symbol, owned almost exclusively by the important, the powerful, the movers and shakers. Now they're nothing more than another telltale sign of the self absorbed, the attention deficit, and the rude.

Ya know, there are times when I think maybe Ted Kaczynski had some valid notions.

Archer

A Soldier's Girl said...

The mindlessly recited reasons people belch out to justify their need to keep their photo capable, text messaging, walkie-talkie enabled, custom ring-toned, person communication device strapped to their hips at all times, are essentially these: 1.) In case of emergencies, and 2.) For business. Sure. And which were you attending to with your ass propped on the hopper, or while you were cutting me off with your triple lane change?

I'm waaaay late on this, but my husband's deployed and I keep my cell phone on 24/7. If I see an AT&T number, you can kiss my ass if you think I'm not going to answer it. I'll turn it to vibrate at work (where I'll get fired if it goes off on the floor) and in church.

Don't just assume that someone who irritates you has some overblown ego that you need to puncture. You might get waaaay more than you bargained for.

Sorry for the response to stuff that's months old, but I'm slow.