A Lifeguard’s Saga – Ep. 19 – Intimidation

Here’s what I find funny, sarcastically speaking, about this job. Supposedly, you work to save lives, but in reality, you work to save people from killing themselves most of the time. Be it either willingly or not, most of the people who venture into the sea have eyes in their faces and a common sense that tells them if they’re good to dive into it or not.

And then there’s yet another level of something that I can’t attribute a proper name, but it’s something in between arrogance, ignorance, and impunity through wealth. You’ll get the picture soon after.

It was around 1:30 PM, and a couple of friends passed by the bar to get some coffee. The weather wasn’t great and there weren’t any people swimming, barely any at the beach at all, so I went there to greet them and talk a little.

Once the conversation was over, I was heading to my outpost when a client stopped me to chat at the counter of the bar. Big fellow, huge tufts of hair in his nostrils and his mouth still with leftovers from the orange juice that he had drunk earlier on. He asked me if I was the Lifeguard on duty, which by the outfit that I wear, that much is obvious, and proceeded to tell me the same story that I’ve already heard five hundred times. That he comes here since his childhood, swam around here, caught five fish at once with his bare hands, swam to shore after being dropped in the sea by boat, you name it. He always reinforced with a “do you understand?” to which I nodded while taking glances at the sea. He was obviously nervous and I felt that unease as he tried to impose himself over me. The guy in the bar gestured me to let it go and I winked at him subtly. Then the point came, “so you don’t need to worry about me when I’m swimming in the sea” which means I don’t care what flag you have hastened, I’m still going in and I don’t like being called out.

Praia 16 6 2018

Do you know what my basic, most animal instinct was, to react to this situation? I fell the urge to knock him down right there. A right hook to the chin as he was leaned against the bar’s counter was my first thought as he concluded his speech and made clear his point. If he moved unpredictably, it would certainly have been so.

Thankfully, I remained calm and told him only that the flag was green and the sea was calm, he could venture out there however he liked. And just like that, I turned around and went back to my post.

Later on, the guy who works at the bar came to my post and told me that the man mentioned above was on meds for his nerves and had already caused some disturbances before, including with a former partner of mine. That, and that he had an incredible amount of wealth, hence power for any possible trouble that he may cause, through his lawyers.

Moral of the story guys, don’t let other people stomp on you be it through this example or any other. Keep your posture, remain polite, and indirectly tell them to fuck off. If such people disregard the nature of the beach’s flags or your indications, warn them once and then call the police or the respective authorities if they don’t comply, thus shifting your responsibilities of that case to them.

Having your duty well-performed means that you’ll have a clear conscience, once those steps are done, whatever happens to the people who consciously defy your indications, is out of your responsibility and that’s how we should play this out.


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