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?