Courtney Burns has worked as a lifeguard since she was 15 but guarding at the O’Pake pool is nothing like her fast-paced summer job.
“It’s not what I expected… just because it’s so quiet,” Courtney said.
Jobs like Saxby’s in Campion or the Mailroom keep their workers busy, but Courtney Burns has lifeguarded for a semester in O’Pake Recreation Center and hasn’t seen much action. As an indoor pool with no access to the public, there are only a few people who come to swim. Courtney regularly goes her entire shift without seeing anyone and always works alone.
This is a stark contrast to her other lifeguarding jobs where she would be one of 13 attendants putting on water games for campers.
The Maguire Pool has seen a sharp decline in swimmers since Covid-19 initially closed it down. Water sports have time blocks scheduled off for practice, but no one else wants to swim in the sixty-degree cold water. Surprisingly the pool isn’t a bigger deal at SJU considering scenes of Creed II were filmed there.
“It’s a little bit lonely,” Courtney said about her job’s atmosphere.
Her summer job was “laid back” but the pool does not allow lifeguards to go on their phones. It’s unclear whether they can get away with reading books, but there are no swimmers for the lifeguards to watch. Isolated and bored, the lifeguards spend hours alone in a place most students don’t even know exists. Maguire Pool deserves a novelty visit from students who will be pleased to have the space of an entire pool free to themselves. Always check the hours of operation, but if you have questions, Courtney Burns is the lifeguard to ask.