Today I took Elli to the park and we splashed in the wading pool a bit. It was spectacularly cold but incredibly refreshing; I am willing to put up with one to get the other it would seem. It made me sad to look around the pool though and see the waste sitting on the sidelines. By waste I mean the lifeguards. Two of them, guarding a wading pool about forty centimetres deep. Both of them staring at their cellphones, bored out of their bloody minds.
"So Kimmy, what is your summer job?"
"Well, I spend five minutes in the morning turning a knob to fill a pool, five minutes in the evening turning a knob to empty a pool, and EIGHT HOURS sitting in my chair wanting to die, being completely and utterly useless."
"Surely you do something during that eight hours? Interact with the children in some way?"
"Yup. Every so often I tell the children to stop doing fun things because, you know, rules."
That, right there, is a truly miserable way to spend public money. I don't have a problem with hiring teenagers to do things as I am sure there are certainly plenty of useful things we could have these kids do without changing the economic situation in the slightest. They could plant trees, pick up garbage, or run games for the kids. Anything, really, except ten minutes of trivial labour and eight hours of trying to prevent children from having fun.
When people complain about how tax money is spent I want to shout at them that the best thing to start cutting is the people we hire whose job primarily consists of making people unhappy. If we want to find savings a good spot to begin is to be willing to accept it isn't the job of society to provide a bulletproof defence against foolishness. In fact I think we really ought to notice the benefits to society that exist when children learn a bit about being responsible for themselves instead of leaning on the assumption that something will always catch them when they fall.
Maybe I should get Rob Ford down here and show him an actual cut he could make to Toronto's expenditures that wouldn't just gut services.
As a pretty random addendum, what is up with pool rules? I saw a rule recently that read "No street clothes allowed because the clothes might get discoloured due to the chemicals in the water. Pregnant women and grandmothers excepted." Juh?!?