On Sunday I decided to take my daughters (Sierra is 4 and Brooke is 2) to the afternoon fun swim at our community run pool (The Milton Leisure Centre). I looked on the swim schedule and saw that the pool we go in was open from 1-3:30. Now, children as young as mine don’t get ready to go anywhere quickly, so after 30 min of coaxing, the girls and I finally arrived at the pool to go swimming at 1:25pm. When we got there the counter person asked me which swim I was there for – the 1-2 swim or the 2-3:30 swim? I was taken aback – what do you mean what swim am I there for? We’re coming to swim for 45min – no more, no less. She explained that we could swim from either 1-2 or 2-3:30. Basically the customer service rep was telling me we could either hang around in the lobby for 35min to wait for the 2-3:30 swim, or I could rush the kids into their bathing suits as fast as I can and then swim for what would probably amount to 25 min of swimming. Either way the cost was going to be $5.95 + tax.
Let me reiterate: I was there with two very excited little girls! Little girls who don’t understand why a public swim would be broken up into two different swim times just because a slide that we don’t even use is either open or not open. Little girls who will scream and cry if I drag them out of a pool after only 25min of swimming, and little girls who will drive myself and everyone else waiting in the lobby crazy by their whining and complaining that they want to go swimming.
Usually we arrive just after 2 because that’s how long it takes me to get them there, so I had never been faced with this dilemna. I asked the obvious question: what would happen if we wanted to swim for 45min, crossing the imaginary time line between 1:59 pm and 2:01 pm? She told me I could pay for 2 swims, but I would have to show a reciept to the swimming police at 2 pm. I handed her my debit card and paid a whopping $12.73 for 45 min of swimming. Oh the price we pay for our children’s happiness….
We got changed, and as suspected, we got in the pool at 1:35 – 25 min left of swim #1. We played, we giggled, we had fun. At 2 pm the lifeguards blew the whistle – TOOT! Everyone exited the pool, went to their towels and sat on benches for about 90 seconds. Some people left – but MOST stayed. The lifeguards blew the whistle again and everyone re-entered the pool. I was confused – I couldn’t find the swim police to prove that I had paid a ridiculous amount of money to go swimming for 45min. Being the honest person I am, I brought my receipt to a lifeguard to prove that we had paid for two swims. She had no idea WTF I was talking about! She had no idea why we had to pay twice.
I felt like a chump for paying a ridiculous amount of money for swimming, and I wouldn’t mind paying it if everyone else had to too. But the point is – no one else had to! I was mad: The left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing – and either customer service was ripping people off, or the swim police weren’t doing their jobs. Arrgh! I hate that – if you’re going to have a rule – then enforce it!
The moral of the story is…. if you’re going to go swimming in Milton before 2pm on a Sunday afternoon LIE! Tell them you’re only there for the 1-2 swim because once you’re inside no one gives a flying toot if you stay past 2. That’s certainly what we’re going to do next time we go swimming to avoid the money hungry Town of Milton cash grab.