22 July 2022

Published July 20, 2022 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.


Genre: Hysterical Faction
Word Count: 100


Retirement has certainly taken the sting out of Monday. Every day is a weekend. Monday’s one of my swim days. Fifty-four invigorating laps. This morning I tingle with anticipation.

Sipping my morning coffee, I check my emails which are mostly deletable spams.

“What’s this? A member announcement from my fitness center? Have my old-fogy dues gone up again?”

My breath catches in my throat as I read. It’s as if I’m staring down a tunnel with no light on the other side.

“ ‘The Indoor Pools, both lap and rec, will be closed until further notice due to lifeguard shortages.’


67 comments on “22 July 2022

    • Dear Fleur,

      I’m getting rather frustrated at the lack of communication from our Parks and Recreation department. I’m not a happy camper, or swimmer, as it were. Thank you for your kind comments and for an intriguing photo.




  • Ouch! Hope they find lifeguards soon! I have heard that there is a nationwide lifeguard shortage, which seems odd – where did they all go? I mean, most of them are high schoolers or college students home on break, right? Or is it since pools weren’t open for a few years there were no new guards being trained? Or it pays more to work at McDonalds?
    Hope you get a chlorine fix soon 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Trent,

      A lot of our lifeguards during the summer are high schoolers. There are some who work through the winter months as well. I know from talking to a couple of lifeguards that they’ve been stretched thin between the outdoor and indoor pools. Our indoor pools have been open for the most part with a two month closure during lockdown. I’ve seen lifeguard training classes going on. So I wonder how much has to do with the pay and few perks. One would think there would be free access to the facilities but this is not the case. I can’t say I blame the lifeguards but for those of us whose main source of exercise is lap swimming this is dismaying. No doubt the regular water aerobics people aren’t happy either.
      Thank you for your encouraging words.



      Liked by 1 person

  • I see “help wanted” signs all over the place these days. Sadly, a lot of people have figured out that living off the government gives them more money than they would make working for an hourly wage. That, of course, can’t continue indefinitely. No society in the history of the world has been able to live beyond its means for very long before things come crashing down.

    And in spite of my doom-and-gloom comment, I did enjoy your story. Frustration, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Linda,

      There have been lifeguard wanted signs up but I understand someone can make more at McDonald’s and the fitness center doesn’t offer many perks. I’ve thought about seeking certification myself but at my age and the time I’d rather be swimming laps it doesn’t seem worth it. Glad you enjoyed my 100 word whine. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      Laughing out loud. Somehow the shower idea doesn’t quite do it for me. But thank you for your suggestion. Happily, the indoor pools are reopening today. 😀 Alas the outdoor pool users aren’t as fortunate. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    This lack of employees hits everything, doesn’t it? Have you managed to reconcile your loss? At least your elliptical can’t desert you… plus you get to get way ahead of me on Virgin River!

    Shalom and lotsa empathetic love,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      For sure and certain, I’m fortunate to have the elliptical and a flat screen. 😉 Also I’m fortunate that the indoor pool is reopening today. I’m hoping there was a raise in this for my favorite lifeguards. At any rate, I’ll be swimming tomorrow. Thank you for the empathy. 😀

      Shalom and lotsa chlorinated hugs,


      Liked by 1 person

    • Na’ama Y’karah,

      Happily, a trip oceanside is immanent. Looking forward to greeting my good friend King Neptune. 😉 Luckily, some kind of agreement was made and the indoor pools are reopening today. I do feel for those with season passes to the outdoor waterpark. I hope they can resolve the issues soon. I’m also hoping my favorite lifeguards received the raises and benefits owed them. Thank you for your empathy…much appreciated, my friend.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Iain,

      Apparently some kind of solution has been reached for the indoor pools, which is where I swim. The outdoor situation has yet to be sorted out. I really feel for the kids who have season passes. So my distress is short-lived. At any rate, I got a story out of it. 😉 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jen,

      For those of us who use the indoor facilities, the problem has been fixed. Woe to those who use the outdoor facilities. Still ongoing negotiations. Thank you for chiming in. Of course my philosophy is “If you can’t fix it, write about it.” 😉




  • Oh Noooo… we have the same problem here, not enough safeguards. And the number of people who can’t swim is rising at an alarming rate. I love to snorkel, swim, paddle… everything water-related. But I haven’t done anything in far too long. I really feel your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gabi,

      I hope you’re able to reunite with the water soon. I’m a water baby. I love to snorkel, although there aren’t many places for that here in the Midwest. I have snorkeled in the Virgin Islands and in Israel. Magnificent!
      My story has a happy ending for now. The indoor pools are reopening today. My swim days are Monday, Wednesday and Fridays…and Sunday. There’s a method to that madness. 😉 Looking forward to a long swim tomorrow.
      Thank you for understanding.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Holy moly, Rochelle,

    54 laps? I assume a 25-yard pool (50 yards per lap). I’m good for 20 (cuz 1K yards). You’d kick my butt in both speed and distance.

    Yes, the Austin TX area is likewise devastated by the LG shortage. Our city (not Austin) P&R pools (I need to join them) seem to have enough LGs, but who needs them? The (retirement) community I live in has 3 lap pools (building another) and no LGs, just warning signs. No one has drown, yet.

    I can relate to the loss and good to see it was temporary (read where you say it opening today), but they should allow y’all to sign a waiver so you can swim in any case. Empty pools are depressing unless I am in it. 🙂

    Now get your gear and head for the pool.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bill,

      I used to belong to 24 hour fitness which was close to where I worked. No lifeguards there. You swam at your own risk. I was good with that. I’d be more than happy to swim without them now. 😉
      One of my more recent swims, the young lifeguard sat on one of the platforms holding her foam lifesaver on her lap staring off into space. Mind you she was wearing sweat pants and a t-shirt. I was glad I didn’t have to rely on her to save me from drowning.
      So yeah, a waiver would be a great idea.
      54 laps. 108 lengths. Yes 25 yd pool. Works out to 2700 yards or 105 miles. I don’t know if I’m faster than you are…just enduring. It’s my time to be alone with myself. I don’t understand swimmers that feel the need for underwater headphones. My music is the sound of the water.
      I’ll be gathering my gear tomorrow. I go on Monday, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays when the water aerobics ladies aren’t taking up the locker room.
      I did swim in a friend’s pool yesterday. 😀 Looking forward to my chlorine fix.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Nooooooooo

    Ugh, what a time for lifeguard shortages! What will the oldies and little nippers do? Perhaps another pool is nearby? Sounds like a glorious retirement though… I hate Mondays! (Not that you are that my dear! Mature nipper, am I right?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Laurie,

      Well I guess you could say I’m a mature nipper. 😉 Aged like fine wine. Not ready to be put out to pasture. There really isn’t another pool close by…at least not for me. I’m lucky. The indoor pools reopened yesterday and I’m headed there this morning. 😀 Thank you for your empathetic comments.




  • I know the feeling. I used to swim in our local pool, until they changed the times and my usual time was used for school children. I didn’t mind at first until I discovered that the free time allocated was unreliable because of the lack of staff.

    Liked by 1 person

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