Lifeguard with priorities

    • 4 posts
    March 22, 2023 6:30 AM EDT

    In these columns we sometimes talk about the crippling effect of a purely rule-driven basic attitude and, in case of substantive failure, formalistic defense mechanisms. And then like to quote the USA as the country of 'form over substance': the dictatorship of the rules, the bankruptcy of common sense.

    Well, this week I have a summer season story that shows that it can be done differently. To the standing applause of the American public.

     You will  get your first summer job with lifeguard class. The world has never heard of you .

    You desperately need the money - because not much more is paid in the outsourcing setting of the American lifeguard industry - for your summer school studies. But you also get a bit more in return than a meager paycheck - you are also trained in the rules of the for profit game.

    And those rules mean that you focus solely on the beach sector for which you are responsible, no matter what . So blinkers are compulsory clothing. Interfering with what happens in the adjacent non-guarded (paying) plot is strictly prohibited, under penalty of dismissal.

    Yet, when he was faced with a life-threatening situation outside of his beach sector, the adrenaline proved stronger than the compulsory doctrine. Without hesitation, he invaded the Verboten area and helped with the life-saving work. And was consistently rewarded for this with immediate dismissal.

    He immediately became nationally famous. Because the citizens of Hallandale's Beach - the scene of the crime - didn't put up with it.

    I don't know if the fact that it all happened on the 4th of July, Independence Day, also played a role; the American Declaration of Independence is a jewel of inspiring and substantive thinking.

    But, surprise , surprise , bravo, bravo, a real popular uprising forced the lifeguard hiring management organization to reverse its hasty decision and to offer Lopez his 'old' job again.

    An offer for which Lopez, and a number of his colleagues who immediately resigned in solidarity, consistently thanked.

    ' Thank you, as in no thank you' , is the expression here.

    One Lopez swallow doesn't make a summer in 2012. But it's still wonderful to hear that a generation is on its way that can show us, however incidentally, that in the end - when two lives but also a temporary but personally important job are at stake - common sense and some personal courage can prevail over the rules.

    Maybe while we're on the beach this summer, it's good that we also think about it from an accountant's point of view when we see - whether or not off-limit - a drowning taxpayer.


     USA lifeguard helps save 69 people from flooding in USA

    A lifeguard from the American Lifeguard Association (USA) has deployed his lifeguard skills in USA after devastating floods.

    Harry Barea was working for Surf Lifeguard USA as a North Island lifeguard during the RNLI's low season when the City of Auckland declared a state of emergency after flooding caused chaos in late January.

    The USA lifeguard and a team of volunteers set out to rescue 69 people from the raging floodwaters using their lifeboats.

    Barea said: “Due to heavy rains and flooding, I received a call from the flood rescue team of Mairangi Bay Surf Lifeguard Club to provide assistance and of course I accepted the offer.

    “As a team using the coastal lifeboats, we moved 69 employees and customers from their workplace to safety that night. It was an honor to help the community during these unprecedented times.

    This post was edited by Jackson hank at March 22, 2023 6:33 AM EDT
  • March 24, 2023 2:05 PM EDT

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    • 710 posts
    April 2, 2023 7:08 AM EDT

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