On Sunday I looked up the pool schedule and then called the front desk at the Y to double check. I don't want to claim that the website had a credibility problem, but the schedule had a note saying that the winter 2007 childwatch schedule will be posted soon. Plus, they always have 4pm-5pm blocked off on Sundays for birthday parties, but if no one has booked the pool they allow lap swim. The guy at the front desk told me that there was indeed a party, but after 5pm all 6 lanes would be open. I was surprised because according to their schedule, 3 of the lanes were supposed to be reserved for the Special Olympics. I should have remembered that the front desk appears to use a random answer generator to respond to questions.
As soon as I got the Y, I glanced at the pool and thought it looked awfully crowded for a birthday party that had allegedly just ended. When I walked out on deck I saw that the Special Olympics was indeed using 3 of the lanes like the schedule indicated. Surprisingly enough the schedule on the website had been accurate! Must have been a coincidence.
However, the last three lanes were blocked off by a horizontal rope, and no one appeared to be using them. Well, there's just no way that I'm going to complain about the Special Olympics using the pool (although I think the dude at the front desk should have been able to tell me that they were going to be using 3 lanes), so I thought I would just soak in the hot tub for 5 minutes and then go home. Another woman came into the hot tub and expressed similar thoughts. Shortly after that an elderly lady came out and walked right up to the teenage lifeguard and demanded to know what was going on with the unused lanes. At that point the lifeguard admitted that he had forgotten to set up the line lanes. It looked like everything was going to be peachy keen, and we all started swimming. Except for one thing: I think the front desk genius must have switched answers, and begun telling people that family swim was happening. Or maybe they changed the website. Either way, all of a sudden there were a ton of kids in the three lap swim lanes.
I think we were all getting a little bit frustrated, and when the 4th child, who was wearing a bikini, a ton of makeup and jewelry, tried to get into our lane, the hot tub lady very bluntly asked her if she knew how to circle swim. She said no and scurried off. However, that still left 3 other kids (I'm talking about 6-7 years old) in our lane struggling to get across the pool. The hot tub lady got frustrated and left. I realized that I wasn't going to get a meaningful workout and decided to just use the kickboard. This gave me a good opportunity to see what was going on.
There was people jammed packed into the Special Olympics lanes. I mean to the point at which it was really hard for people to swim because there wasn't any space. Furthermore, the signs on the lanes said lap swim so there were other lap swimmers standing over the Special Olympic lanes so they could try and jump in when people left without realizing that the lanes weren't available. The whole thing made me incredibly angry. I know that pretty soon I'll see signs hanging up at the Y saying how they are sponsors of the Special Olympics. Here's a thought: if you're going to be a sponsor, why not just give the Special Olympics all 6 lanes? You could either close the pool for that time or you could keep the pool open an hour later (since it normally closes 3 hours earlier on Sundays). Yes, I know there's cost for the Y either way, but isn't that what a sponsor is supposed to do? The idea is to treat the Olympians with respect, not crowd them like sardines.
As for bikini girl, she snuck in after hot tub lady left and proceeded to do handstands in the middle of the lane right by the lifeguard. Of course when I questioned the new definition of lap swim, the lifeguard was quick to explain how lap swim worked to the bikini girl. Not surprisingly she immediately left.