It seems strange to think about previous years at our pool when lifeguards were able to work more than 30 hours a week and occasionally complain about working too much. Unfortunately, due to some strange rules (think of Liam Neeson’s “Good Cop/Bad Cop” from the Lego movie,) lifeguards are now forced to count their hours, not in an attempt to earn more, but rather to avoid any reprimands for going over 25 hours. Good Cop: “Show up early for your shift, buddy.” Bad Cop: “But don’t clock in yet!” In a sense, lifeguards are now rewarded for fewer hours and less dedication. Not sure we’ve grasped the new improved mindset, but my fellow co-workers and I get a good chuckle over some of the Good Cop/Bad Cop ideas. Let me tell you right now, everyone I work with will take the reprimand if there is an emergency. There are rules, and then there is training.
I drew this cartoon about the “punch in” clock back in the spring, when it was truly possible to think about the logistics of the last minute clock out to get paid more. Not that anyone ever did this, but now that we are living with the threat of the “reprimand from on high,” we guards have to practice our timing skills to punch in at the last minute to be certain that we don’t go over the 25 hour limit. The cartoon is ironic now and in some ways, funnier. So far, I don’t think anyone has gotten a reprimand, but we have had a few close calls.
After laughing at all the “cut-corner-chaos” this month, last week my supervisor asked if I could sub for swim lessons at the last minute. Everyone else was either maxed out or unavailable. After I taught that evening, my supervisor thanked me and I jokingly asked her, “Do I get a commendation for this?” She chuckled and replied, “Sure, what should it say?” I’m not one who usually goes around celebrating me; however I do appreciate the humor of odd circumstances. So, I asked her to just give me a reverse write-up, never dreaming that she would follow through. But on Tuesday, she presented me with a “Reverse Write-up” award, printed in bright blue letters with a big smiley face! She hung it on the door to the guard room so that everyone could have a big laugh.
I really have to give a commendation to everyone I’ve worked with in the aquatics field--from supervisors, swimmers, other lifeguards and swim coaches. Their great sense of humor is the source for all these cartoon characters. I guess now I’ll just have to figure out a way to include the “reverse write-up.”