First, I’d like to thank you for guarding the integrity of the swimming pool in my folks’ neighborhood. I know they feel safer because of you.
On that proud day twenty years ago, the day they handed you the thin cotton t-shirt with the banded collar and sleeves that reads “Pool Monitor”, who could have known the proud years of service that would follow? I know I couldn’t have because I was in college writing a paper on The Authoritarian Personality (classic Adorno, you should read it).
Your recent service is to be especially praised. When my wife fell asleep in the sun by the pool, enjoying a brief moment of peace away from family, work and other worries, you made sure to check on her. You made sure that a man she’s never met came up to her, woke her up, and interrogated her, which, I’m sure, was for her own good.
I must say though, that I’m a bit disturbed. You asked her, as she rubbed her eyes and looked around to see if anyone else was nearby, her name, where she lived, what car she drove, whether she had kids—you asked all that but you forgot to ask her social security number. I’m fairly certain you can do better.
When she asked to be left alone, when she was clearly nervous about a strange man approaching her and wagging a finger in her face, you made sure to reassure her of your status as an authority finger by standing over her, wagging your finger more vigorously, and showing her the now-tattered shirt that is your badge of office.
I’m sure it was only a small oversight on your part that, when she could not get you to go away and had to make up a story about being pregnant, you didn’t ask for a copy of the lab report, or better yet, take a look at her cervix. Fred, I know you can do better.
I feel bad that I could not have been there to see your performance, as I would have had some specific words, and perhaps actions, in response to the service you performed, and while some might have considered these potential actions to be a bit of an over-reaction, I can assure you that they are less than you deserve.
So, Bravo! Fred. Well done. My wife now feels uncomfortable at my parents’ pool, especially when alone. Keep up the good work—it would make my day.