Monday, June 6, 2016

Office Space

by Sandy Kellogg

Aquatic Operations Supervisor, Mount Vernon RECenter
Fairfax County Park Authority
VRPS Aquatics Resource Group 2016 Chair
VRPS 2016 Awards Co-Chair

As an aquatic professional, time at a desk should be limited.  The pool deck and pump room are much more interesting than time in front of a computer!  I spend a lot of time repairing, supervising, testing, cleaning and inspecting.  I am, however, extremely proud of my workspace.  When I started my current position I was shown to my desk.  It’s a good sized desk, with file cabinets on both sides, and several cupboards for binders and catalogues.  It was where it was that surprised me a little.    My office is the corner of the lifeguard office.  Yes, I work at a desk in the same office that people come to ask about lost and found, where lifeguards sit while off chair, where patrons look for instructors, and even where first aid emergencies are brought.  I’ve seen it all!  I’ve cleaned blood off the floor while doing schedules, showed patrons our enormous collection of lost and found while verifying payroll, and assisted in a rescue while interviewing a prospective lifeguard.

What I am most proud of in my workspace is my ‘love me’ wall.  Every conference, certificate, ribbon, name tag and award is represented up there, it’s getting really crowded!  And while I am very proud of all of those things I am more proud to have them up there.  My staff sees them every day they come to work.  They notice when something new goes up, and we always talk about where I have been and what I have done. While I appreciate their support, it is more important that they see what these things mean.  They mean I am a professional, someone who takes what we do and why we do it very seriously.  I have a profession, a career, even a calling, and it’s all represented right there in the guard office.  Lifeguarding can be a temporary summer job, maybe the last year of high school, but it can be so much more.  It can be an amazing career path, a chance to make a difference in people’s lives, to run a facility where child mortality from drowning is reduced through swim instruction.  I continue to learn, grow, teach, write and develop as a professional and I’m proud that they can witness that. Perhaps for some of them Parks and Recreation can mean a chance to have a profession in work that they love, and in work that is worth doing.

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