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Old June 13th, 2008, 01:48 PM
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Default Lifeguard Shortage

Terry heard a news item on the radio about the upcoming shortage of lifeguards at the nation's pools this summer.

In the past, we have granted 200,000 visas a year to young folks from abroad to spend the summer as lifeguards at US pools and beaches. Those of you who read my Bulgaria Chronicles remember that we met our friend OG while he was here doing just that.

Now, apparently to appease the anti-immigration groundswell, the number of visas granted this year will be cut by 140,000 to just 60,000. As a result, the report says that many pools will be unable to open or will have their hours cut back severely, because American kids refuse to take on lifeguarding jobs. There are apparently a number of reasons for this, including the fact that high school counsellors advise college-bound kids against lifeguarding, because it's not a strong enough resume item when they apply for college. In the parlance of the education industry, "It weakens their package." Other reasons include relatively low pay and fears about skin cancer.

The young folks who do come over are predominantly from Eastern Europe, they're not destitute, they work hard, and they go back home at the end of the summer when their visas expire. Most of them are students in their home countries. Their time with us, in general, enriches both them and us, as our experience with OG has proven beyond words.

Those who think that cutting this program back as part of our xenophobic zeal is a great idea had better be careful what they wish for. This is a clear case of throwing the baby out with the pool water, and leaving us high and dry.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Lifeguard Shortage

AR,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Terry heard a news item on the radio about the upcoming shortage of lifeguards at the nation's pools this summer.

In the past, we have granted 200,000 visas a year to young folks from abroad to spend the summer as lifeguards at US pools and beaches. Those of you who read my Bulgaria Chronicles remember that we met our friend OG while he was here doing just that.

Now, apparently to appease the anti-immigration groundswell, the number of visas granted this year will be cut by 140,000 to just 60,000. As a result, the report says that many pools will be unable to open or will have their hours cut back severely, because American kids refuse to take on lifeguarding jobs. There are apparently a number of reasons for this, including the fact that high school counsellors advise college-bound kids against lifeguarding, because it's not a strong enough resume item when they apply for college. In the parlance of the education industry, "It weakens their package." Other reasons include relatively low pay and fears about skin cancer.

The young folks who do come over are predominantly from Eastern Europe, they're not destitute, they work hard, and they go back home at the end of the summer when their visas expire. Most of them are students in their home countries. Their time with us, in general, enriches both them and us, as our experience with OG has proven beyond words.

Those who think that cutting this program back as part of our xenophobic zeal is a great idea had better be careful what they wish for. This is a clear case of throwing the baby out with the pool water, and leaving us high and dry.
Hmmm....

Why does this smack of an attempt by the "politically correct" crowd to ensure that the denial of visas will have maximum impact on American citizens?

Well, no matter. I have recently heard a barrage of advertisements on the radio in which "Hizzoner" Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston, is pleading for businesses to offer jobs to teens who want to work. There have been other reports that the recent jump in unemployment is due to businesses not having the resources to hire summer help. Well, let's make some lemonade out of this bunch of lemons by hiring our own teens to fill the lifeguard jobs!

That said, I do agree with your comments about students from Eastern Europe who come here benefitting form the experience. If nothing else, a summer spent immersed in the American beach scene should help them to improve their mastery of the English language. I'm far from an "English Only" bigot (indeed, my own godson is in Morocco to polish his mastery of Arabic, with my blessing, even as I write this!), but the reality today is that English is the new lingua franca -- the global language of science, engineering, medicine, commerce, navigation, travel, and tourism and a major language of international diplomacy -- so those who do not master it are and will continue to be at a major economic disadvantage even within their homelands.

Norm.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 11:05 PM
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Well, that's fine, except that the whole point is that while we'd love to hire our own teens to take lifeguarding jobs, the teens simply won't apply. I thought I was clear about that in the OP. Maybe you're suggesting that we institute a "lifeguard draft."

Just Google "Lifeguard Shortage" and read about it in city after city, town after town.
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Old June 14th, 2008, 12:21 AM
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Wow! This hits me on SO many levels it's scary!

1. I was a lifeguard on Lake Michigan and in Florida during my teens and early twenties.

2. My late husband was a Bulgarian who fled the Communist regime and came to the U.S. to take whatever job came his way and ended up extremely successful as a restaurant magnate in Detroit.

3. I work at a fine upscale resort restaurant in Harbor Springs, Michigan and we have Eastern European workers every summer. We currently have 2 Ukranians, 2 Bulgarians, 2 from Kosovo. These kids are university students in their countries, studying chemical engineering, criminal law, language arts, pre-med, and history. They are DISHWASHERS, SALAD/PREP PEOPLE, BUSBOYS.

4. Any of the above workers is more well-versed in world politics, geography, languages, MANNERS, respect for elders/bosses, more grateful for simple kindnesses than any of the local kids we have working for us.

5. The cost, the effort, the determination these young people have to get to the U.S. to get entry level jobs amazes me. Some return year after year during their college years. The U.S. must be doing something right to create this desire.

6. Although the image of the United States may be dimished in parts of the world, if we can provide jobs, housing, opportunites, and mostly FRIENDSHIPS with the youth of other countries, it will serve us well in the future.

belgique
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Old June 16th, 2008, 09:53 PM
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Belgique, very well said!! I also feel we could do well to get our American youth off their duffs and tell them to get a haircut and a job ( I know that not all of them are lazy ingrates, but we have a lot that are). I have worked from the time I was 12 and I gained so much knowledge and life skills doing those early jobs that some kids nowadays think are beneath them. I detassled corn, lifeguarded, scooped ice cream, handed out change at the arcade, was a car hop at the local root beer stand and waitressed.

I had an eye opening experience this past week when my very spoiled and lazy 23 year old neice joined us on our recent trip to Florida. Her sense of entitlement blew me away. The girl has been unemployed for 7 weeks (due to her crappy attitude and non-existant work ethic), yet her mother allowed her to come along in spite of the fact she had no money. The girl stayed out until the wee hours every night, then wanted to sleep until past noon. Then she had the nerve to insist we should change our plans and do things that more suited her taste and adjust to her nocturnal schedule. Then when I refused she would throw a tantrum.

I would definitly support a lifeguard draft in her case, except allowing people to drown, just to teach her a lesson, probably would be a bad idea.

I am voting for kicking her out of her mother's house, cutting the apron strings and letting her deal with the consequences of her own laziness.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 01:13 AM
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Beenie-Weenie,

Work ethic. Hmmmmmm. Wonder why NCL has/had such horrendous reviews in the recent past of especially their American flagged ships?

Why is it that a relative handful of ships sail under the US Flag today? There are numerous reasons but at least one is that many American workers refuse to compete with the rest of the maritime world when it comes to wages.

Don't quote me but I believe back in the sixties the then head of one of the then larger Maritime Unions told his members who were demanding big time raises and benefit increases, that he could definitely satisfy their demands but that he couldn't guarantee their jobs after their demands were met. They won the wage and benefit package shortly before they were laid off because American flagged vessels changed their registration to foreign countries (back then usually Liberia). That, in oversimplification, is why there are virtually no cruise ships registered in this country.

Todd
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Old June 18th, 2008, 10:16 PM
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My kids, grandkids and I just returned home today from a 4 day camping trip at Oconee State Park, SC. There was a large lake there with a nice swimming area, a swim-to floating dock that had a regular diving board and a 10ft high one. Four lifeguards were on duty from 11AM to 5PM each day. It was nice to see these fit, clean cut, friendly teens all doing a great job at a crowded campground. They didn't slack off at all and even had signs on each chair, "do not talk to the lifeguards while on duty". My oldest granddaughter has had her first pre-puberty crush...... 8)
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Old June 19th, 2008, 02:09 AM
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I wanted to be a lifeguard a few years back. When Babewatch -- I mean, Baywatch -- was on TV...........!

Dean
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Old June 19th, 2008, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie
Belgique, very well said!! I also feel we could do well to get our American youth off their duffs and tell them to get a haircut and a job ( I know that not all of them are lazy ingrates, but we have a lot that are). I have worked from the time I was 12 and I gained so much knowledge and life skills doing those early jobs that some kids nowadays think are beneath them. I detassled corn, lifeguarded, scooped ice cream, handed out change at the arcade, was a car hop at the local root beer stand and waitressed.

I had an eye opening experience this past week when my very spoiled and lazy 23 year old neice joined us on our recent trip to Florida. Her sense of entitlement blew me away. The girl has been unemployed for 7 weeks (due to her crappy attitude and non-existant work ethic), yet her mother allowed her to come along in spite of the fact she had no money. The girl stayed out until the wee hours every night, then wanted to sleep until past noon. Then she had the nerve to insist we should change our plans and do things that more suited her taste and adjust to her nocturnal schedule. Then when I refused she would throw a tantrum.

I would definitly support a lifeguard draft in her case, except allowing people to drown, just to teach her a lesson, probably would be a bad idea.

I am voting for kicking her out of her mother's house, cutting the apron strings and letting her deal with the consequences of her own laziness.
My family did that to me when I was 25. Best thing they ever did. Forced me to get off my duff get a job and an apartment. I was angry for a while but now I'm grateful.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Lifeguard Shortage

Doing my part training up a new crop of life guards. 8) That said, I just returned from a Cavalcade at a scout ranch. If I heard correctly, staff coming in from remote areas barely pull a profit for a 9 week camp stint. Inflation has played havok with the folks since transportation to the site is a major expense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AR
Terry heard a news item on the radio about the upcoming shortage of lifeguards at the nation's pools this summer.

In the past, we have granted 200,000 visas a year to young folks from abroad to spend the summer as lifeguards at US pools and beaches. Those of you who read my Bulgaria Chronicles remember that we met our friend OG while he was here doing just that.

Now, apparently to appease the anti-immigration groundswell, the number of visas granted this year will be cut by 140,000 to just 60,000. As a result, the report says that many pools will be unable to open or will have their hours cut back severely, because American kids refuse to take on lifeguarding jobs. There are apparently a number of reasons for this, including the fact that high school counsellors advise college-bound kids against lifeguarding, because it's not a strong enough resume item when they apply for college. In the parlance of the education industry, "It weakens their package." Other reasons include relatively low pay and fears about skin cancer.

The young folks who do come over are predominantly from Eastern Europe, they're not destitute, they work hard, and they go back home at the end of the summer when their visas expire. Most of them are students in their home countries. Their time with us, in general, enriches both them and us, as our experience with OG has proven beyond words.

Those who think that cutting this program back as part of our xenophobic zeal is a great idea had better be careful what they wish for. This is a clear case of throwing the baby out with the pool water, and leaving us high and dry.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Lifeguard Shortage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster
If I heard correctly, staff coming in from remote areas barely pull a profit for a 9 week camp stint. Inflation has played havok with the folks since transportation to the site is a major expense.
Indeed, I've heard this as well. Many of the contractors also require them to pay their own logding, although they generally arrange for a number of them to share apartments to help hold costs down. Even so, the overall expenses tend to make $9 or $10 an hour less attractive to them than it was even a few years ago.

That, combined with the visa issue, figures to make for quite a squeeze.
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