By Heather Skyler
I was 15 when I got my first job as a lifeguard at the Dunes hotel in Las Vegas, a place that no longer exists because it was imploded in the early 1990s. I had worked very hard to earn my lifeguard certificate, dragging grown men from the deep end and learning the cross-chest carry. But the job itself turned out to be less exciting than the lifeguard class. I swept leaves and sat in a lifeguard chair, and stacked and unstacked lounge chairs, and sat in the lifeguard chair, and scooped leaves out of the pool, and sat in the lifeguard chair. It was the type of pool where people lounged around with cocktails and not much serious swimming was done. No saving was necessary.
Often, that job was tedious, and the pool manager was a bit creepy and always wanted to put oil on my shoulders. Also, it was hot: 115 degrees hot.
But sometimes it was fun, and I earned my first paycheck and learned about the menial and occasionally boring nature of entry-level work.
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