Situation: A student lifeguard/instructor has had enough of her Deck Supervisor. She walks in the door, throws her bag on the table, and releases her frustration to the room.
Note: As I was pasting in this monologue from the original source in March 2017, I had an urge to do some and made some changes. The original monologue, as posted in 1997 on Scenes for High School Drama Students, is copied from below.
She just stands there. Stands there! You know, on the right side of the guard chair. Hands on hips, whistle with its nasty cord all twisted around the manicure that is overdue for change. She's watching us. Not the kids. Us! I want to scream across the pool, "your class is right beside you, not over here!" When I'm at that moment, I always get the look from Paul, you know that give-her-a-chance-she-is-new-look. And then I'm splashed right back into reality.
What everyone doesn't know is that I was right. People have been musing since she started a couple of weeks ago about what she writes on the clipboard. (Pulls out clipboard from bag.) The one that she never lets out of her site and always locks in her locker. Locker not fully locked today. (Pause.) You learn some tricks when you're around the building as long as I have been around.
So, look what she put. What am I going to do? Here. Right here she put that I had my kids play with those rings that sink for the last ten minutes of class. A fun deep diving exercise. And here. Two days ago. She writes that that my kid almost knocked out another kid with the Ring Buoy. Health and safety concern. I didn’t know that a seven year old could throw that hard, plus the other kid swam right past the mock victim while the Ring Buoy was in motion. He came out of no where and should have been watching where he was going. Where is that in the report? And, look at this, four days ago here are the notes with the two year old fell into the deep end. Not my fault. Guarding the shallow end at the time. Bob, who was guarding the deep end should have prevented that one. But, nothing about Bob in these notes. Actually, as we flip through to the Bob section, nothing about him at all. (Flips through the pages, realizing the notes on the other lifeguards/instructors.) Looks like I don't have anything to be worried about. There were a lot more bad things on the other lifeguards then there were on me.
Why can't Donna come back and be our Deck Supervisor? She was fun and caring and nice to the kids. She didn’t take notes on us. We should take notes on Mary and add them to this clipboard. You know, she did let a little kid fall off the aqua table today. (Pause.) What do you mean how am I going to sneak this clipboard back into her locker before the shift tomorrow? I have my ways.
September, 1997, March 2017
(Walks in and throws her bag on the table.) She stands there, on the right side of the guard chair. Her hands are on her hips, and her whistle is twisted around her fingers. She is watching us. I often wonder what Mary is actually looking at. She should be looking after her own class.
(Flops down on the couch.) Mary has been working at our swimming pool for about a month now. She is our Deck Supervisor, which basically means she runs the pool. Everyday when I arrive for work she is sitting at the edge of the pool in the same blue chair with her clipboard on her lap. There is usually about one or two swimmers in the pool at this time. Looking bored out of her mind, Mary watches them swim back and forth, back and forth. Occasionally she uncrosses her arms to brush a curl of short dark hair out of her eyes. Mary is always wearing that ugly green Speedo that looks like it is going to fall apart. The only reason why it hasn’t become an object for the garbage yet is because it has Deck Supervisor in big white letters on lower left side. That doesn’t matter anyway because she also always wears plaid shorts and it covers the title up. I know that she has other bathing suits because I have seen them in her big bag that she leaves in the middle of the office. Then there is her voice. She has this loud, screechy voice that echoes in the pool. (Laughs.) Even the parents are afraid of her, not to mention the kids.
Mary never lets that clipboard out of her sight. The other lifeguards think it is because she has been taking notes on us. They think that, but I know that she has notes on us. Why else would she be watching us teach our classes so closely? (Slowly and quietly.) There was one day when she left and forgot to take her clipboard. I was the only guard on duty, and nobody showed up for the adult swim - which is not a surprise. Anyway, I needed a class list for the Otter class that I would be teaching the next day, and Mary had it on her clipboard. So, while I was looking for the list I accidentally saw the sheets with all of her observations. There were some good things, but there were some bad things too. She put that I had my kids play with those rings that sink for the last ten minutes of class. Now that was a fun deep diving exercise. Then she had that my kid almost knocked out another kid with the Ring Buoy. I didn’t know that a seven year old could throw that hard, plus the other kid swam right past the mock victim while the Ring Buoy was in motion. He came out of no where and should have been watching where he was going. And then there was the case where the two year old fell into the deep end. Now that was not my fault. I was guarding the shallow end at the time. Bob, who was guarding the deep end should have prevented that one. I’m not worried though. There were a lot more bad things on the other lifeguards then there were on me.
Things were much better when Donna was our Deck Supervisor. She was fun and caring and nice to the kids. She also didn’t take notes on us. I do think that Mary should spend more time watching her own class instead of taking notes on us. We know what we are doing. (Thinking.) Maybe we should start taking notes on her. You know, she did let a little kid fall off the aqua table today.