View of Cactus pool lanes
The city pool in Scottsdale — where I no longer swim because it’s a 40-minute drive.
I go to the YMCA that is five miles from home.

When I went lap swimming yesterday at the YMCA, a brouhaha broke out at the pool.

Definition of brouhaha


In order to swim, you have to make a reservation for a one-hour block.

The Y has three lanes — a very small pool. Two of the lanes can accommodate two swimmers. So there are five swimmers per hour. The center lane only has one swimmer so it’s the coveted lane. You don’t have to share if you’re there.

Yesterday there were seven swimmers. Then it became eight.

The lifeguards don’t like confrontations so they list the five reservations for each hour on a white board. I double checked to make sure I showed up at the correct time. I did.

Two of the swimmers, an old man and woman, were really upset. The old guy was standing in the center lane waiting for a woman swimming laps to stop and get out. I got in one of the shared lanes and began my laps.

There was a loud discussion about the woman swimming in the center lane. Apparently she came 30 minutes early and she had a reservation at the same time as me and the old man. There’s no rule against getting in an empty lane if it’s available. But the old man was furious.

“I wasted 10 minutes waiting for the center lane,” he yelled at the lifeguards. Another woman joined him and they stood in the pool arguing with lifeguards for a good 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, I swam back and forth, head down minding my own business.

Finally a lifeguard came out with the names of reservations on a clipboard and asked me what my name was.

One person got out. The upset older man and woman wasted most of their lap swimming time pondering over if it was legal to get in the pool in an empty lane before your allotted time.

If the lifeguards were more proactive the brouhaha could have been avoided. Check people in and mark them off on the white board.

Life is too short — and an hour is a short time to swim. Why waste it?

What are your thoughts about the man and woman who were upset and arguing with the lifeguards?

20 thoughts on “Brouhaha

  1. If I couldn’t swim I’d get upset, if I couldn’t swim exactly where I wanted I’d suck it up. But yeah…lifeguards should be checking people in

  2. So a brouhaha. If they involve physical contact, they become a ruckus. If blood is drawn, it becomes a fracas. If bones are broken, it becomes bedlam. If someone goes to the hospital by ambulance, it is a brawl. If police are called in, it is officially a riot.

  3. I just want to know why a YMCA has only 3 lanes? Budget constraints? The belief that everyone in Arizona swims in their own pools so they have no need to provide more? And, unless that old guy owns that YMCA then he was just a cranky, entitled guy who assumes he has the privilege of telling others what to do.

    • It is annoying that people show up without reservations with such limited lane space. But yelling at the lifeguards isn’t a solution. We’re lucky somebody wants that job!

Leave a Reply