Thursday, 18 June 2009

And then there was me and the cat

After the other day I wsasn't sure whether I was really in the mood for working yesterday - luckily it was one of my lifeguarding (ha!) duty days so I was being paid to sit in the sun and watch thirty swiss teenagers beat the crap out of each other in the pool and trying to drown each other. Now while I am not opposed to the thought of drowning (it's meant to be quite peaceful), I am getting paid to look after them, so I did my duty and distracted them with retrieving toys from the bottom of the pool and practising snorkelling which calmed them down for all hour. It does get a bit tedious telling the same kids the same thing over and over again "Because I said it's the rule, because it IS dangerous" (despite the fact that their parents are watching them jumping from the edge onto a rubber ring and nearly cracking their head against the concrete edge, but what do I know, I'm only a qualified lifeguard?) but I know they are just testing me because I am new his year.

Their tactics to wind me up include: doing something again which I have just told them they can't, trying to think of new things that are more dangerous than the last to see what they can get away with, rounding up a few friends to go and play on the trampoline (away from the pool) and then get all ten of them to jump on it at the same time from the edge, answering back, taking the piss out of my german/swiss skills - you know, just the anticipated actions of teenagers that think what they have dreamt up is the most original idea ever thought of before.

My tactics at the moment are not as lengthy, but lets just say, the whistle is reserved for REALLY bad stuff so they know I am serious and a new one I thought up the other day - hold up my mobile phone and pretend I am taking a picture of them about to misbehave to give to my boss (who they are v.scared of), which works really well as they are always checking where I am and a mobile phone can take pictures from quite a way off. Of course, i don't need to take an actual photo but it's quite fun to phase them out and play with their heads for a change. Stalking individuals is also good - when they think you are just following them, they get really freaked out. Wonder if the ones predisposed to paranoia will crack - hmm, will have to watch that develop.

Don't get me wrong, I used to do Youth work back home and I enjoy the interaction and thinking up new stuff to entertain the kids so they don't get bored, but get bored very easily of the kids who think they can wind you up. These days what they don't realise is I have a lovely lovely pot of pills for anxiety which basically meant that while I am aware of the dangers and am still capable of doing my job, I don't give a crap about the amount of times they try to push me - I am completely calm! This must be really frustrating for them and I do feel quite sorry for their poorly thought out ideas (plus the fact that I can understand more swiss than I can speak so I usually know what they are plotting.)

Yes, I think I really am going to enjoy this job.

Taking care of people's safety for nine hours does get mentally exhausting - I just don't seem to be able to concentrate like I used to. So this morning I am mega tired and don't feel motivated to do anything, hence I am now curled up with my laptop and the cat. I'm thinking of maybe doing something useful like, ohh, lets say housework and eating something (is 2pm too late for breakfast?)

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