Wednesday, July 19, 2006

An oldie, but a goodie...

I don't really have much of anything new and interesting to tell you, so I figured I'd just bust out a story that gives me a chuckle every time I think about it...

As soon as I could legally work, I trained and sought employment as a lifeguard working for the city department of parks and recreation. It was a fun job that I worked year-round and I loved it most days. There were occasional days when I would want to strangle many a pool-rat child, but more often than not I really enjoyed myself. I enjoyed it so much that I would frequently work 80 and 90 hour weeks, working all 7 days and padding my paycheck with extra hours spent coaching swim team, teaching group swim lessons, contracting out private lessons, and working specially booked after hours pool parties. Like I said, I really liked what I did. I liked it so much largely because of the people I worked with.

I worked hard, and I was rapidly promoted. And I spent three of my six years on the job with one of the cushiest jobs in the department... And EVERYONE knew it... But because I was good at my job, and I knew how to treat my staff, it was a good deal all around. Unlike some other facilities, my pool was always immaculately clean, the chemicals were on the money, the paperwork was all in order, and the supplies were fully stocked.

I worked as a city lifeguard for 6 years. Five of them good.

At the beginning of the fifth year, the job of my department supervisor was given to the father of a friend of mine. You'd think that would be a good thing... It wasn't. The guy who was put in charge had NO CLUE what he was doing, and he alienated everyone who did know how to make things run like clockwork. (Myself included.) He instituted policies that made NO sense, wasted staff time, effort and energy. It also pissed me off, ROYALLY. At the end of the summer season my fifth year, (what I thought at the time to be my last year because I was intending to stay in Chicago the following summer.) Well, at the end of that season all of the mid-level staff members were asked to complete performance evaluations of people who were both under their supervision as well as evaluations for those who supervised us. And since I was not one to let things slide... And since I thought it was my final year on the job I was VERY VERY honest on my evaluation of my supervisors.

Well, the sixth busy season rolls around and I still needed a job to get me through the summer, so I checked into getting my old job back. Well, the supervisor I reamed in my evaluation was still in the position to decide what, if anything he could do with me... He was displeased by my evaluation of him, so we sat and went through it, word for word. And in my SUPERIOR BULLSHITTING skills, I made him rethink his original perception of the negative comments I left for him the year before. I gave it my all, because I knew that if I didn't I'd be up a creek with no job and no income for the summer... As it turned out, THE INCOMPARABLE DICKNOSE BOUGHT IT! Bought every word of it. But at that point the jobs were all assigned. So I couldn't have my regular cushy job... But he offered me a regular guard job with head guard pay and none of the head guard hassles... I took him up on it.

The hitch? I had to work under a head guard who was insufferable, incompetent, and useless. So basically I knew that if I took this position I would almost certainly spend my hours at work trying to quell the competent staff who were always getting their orders from the idiot above them. (Basically, the staff was mine, the pool was mine, the head guard duties that sucked went to the head guard, and when she tried to pass orders down the chain of command, I would alter them slightly to make sure there would be no mutiny among the staff. I also found ways to amuse myself and the other guards at the expense of the idiot "in charge."

So one day while performing the basic opeining-up procedures, before the idiot in charge arrived. (Yeah, I had a key to get in before she was there, because like I said, it was my staff, it was MY pool.) So as I unlocked the facility and readied it for use, and started sweeping the deck, I noticed something strange. An object on the deck...

Now it's not altogether unusual for kids to see that everything is locked up, and that the staff has gone home for the day, and so they decide to hop the fence and get some unsupervised swimming in. But there's a catch... When they go swimming unsupervised with the pool all locked up, the bathrooms are all locked up too.

That object I see on the deck? Its a GIANT, and I do mean GIANT, TURD. No, I'm not kidding... It was huge. Stop whatever else you are doing. Hold out your right arm with your elbow at a 90 degree angle. Now imagine that nothing past your wrist exists... Now imagine that nothing past your elbow exists. Now take that forearm that you have left floating in front of you, and imagine its not your forearm, but a great big turd... YEAH. It was THAT BIG!

There it is, plain as day. About 7 feet from the edge of the pool, out in the open. Just lying there... if it were possible for turds to show pride over their position and size, this one would have been smiling, I have no doubt. As such I just left it where it was, and went about my business of cleaning other areas off the facility.

As other staff members strolled in, they came over to me to see what was going on, what they needed to do, and what the hell I was stealthily giggling at. It was then that I turned their attention to the object on deck. I laughed heartily as they strolled over to find out what I already knew. I laughed convulsively as they found out for themselves what I already knew. I EXPLODED with laughter as they responded to what they saw lying on the deck, toasting in the morning sun.

Taryn's response: "OH MY GOD, SICK!"
Brian's response: "OH GOD, GROSS! Did you do that so that we don't have to open? Because if you did I'm jealous I didn't think of it first." (For the record, no, I didn't do it! I just found it.)
Terra's response: "EWWWWWWWW!"
Brittany's response: "EW EW EW EW EW!! That's the sickest thing I think I've ever seen."
Nick's response: "WHAT THE... WHO DOES THAT!?"
My response to Nick's response: "Well, whoever did it, they are about 9 lbs lighter!"

And so you can see that the whole staff has arrived at this point, and there is still a turd on the deck of the pool that we are supposed to have open for public use in about 15 minutes. Then Stefanie (The much detested, useless head guard that no one on staff likes) rolls in.

"Hey guys! What's going on, are we ready to open?"
My response was the only intelligible one. "UHHH, NO."
"Why not?"
"Umm, you see that thing over there on the deck?"
"Yeah, why? What is it, and why is it there?"
"You can go over and check it out for yourself. It's there because nobody on staff here is willing, or is paid enough to deal with it, so we left it for you."
"What? What is it?"
"Go look."

She proceeds to walk out and see what's there. She comes back and looks at me.

"What do we do?"
"I don't know why you're looking at me, I am not cleaning it up... I'm lower on the pole here... I don't think that GIANT shit falls in my range of ascribed duties."
"But we've got to open! What do we do?"
"YOU have to go out there and clean it up... because none of us are willing."
"But HOW? How do I clean it up?"
"You don't know how to clean up solid shit? You really are useless."
"I'll get your stuff ready and tell you what to do, but I'm not doing it."

I outfitted her with latex gloves, a 5 gallon bucket of disinfectant, a pushbroom, a hose and a biohazard bag in which to dispose of the smiling turd. I told her to put the gloves on, double bag if she'd like, and go out and pick up the turd, put it in the biohazard bag and run that to the biohazard receptacle we have outside the facility that is emptied regularly. You then dump the bucket of disinfectant over the infected area, and scrub it with a broom. Leave the disinfectant sit for 8-10 minutes and then wash it away opposite the pool using the hose.

Well we never got that far.

She put the gloves on went out to pick up the turd and apparently it broke up in her hand. And then a wasp, (which she was terriffied of) flew up to her. Prompting her to flail wildly. And she flailed so wildly that she ended up with shit ALLLL OVER HER! All of the shit that didn't end up on Stefanie eventually went into the biohazard bag, but oh Stefanie... She was damn near covered in shit.

The rest of the staff, myself included, laughed heartily at her expense, and questioned how exactly a person can get what appeared to be a solid log of shit all over herself in a matter of only a few seconds... We laughed some more, and Stefanie began to cry. And I don't have to tell you, that tears from the despised useless one only further fueled the hyena-like laughter coming from the rest of us. We told her to go home and shower and we'd hold off the opening until she got back. (I devised this compromise because it greatly benefitted the whole staff.) We didn't have to open on time because she wasn't there, so we got an extra hour of paid time on our asses, and she got to shower the shit off of her body in the comfort of her own home. It was a win-win.

And I got a legendary tale that still makes me laugh!

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