How do you feel about reading while lifeguarding?

So I am a lifeguard, on my 3rd year right now, and I have been working 6 months at this local pool that is very small. It is only 4 lanes wide (25 meters long) and the shallow end is 2 feet deep while the “deep” end is 4 1/2 feet deep. I work the morning shift so it’s only lap swim my entire shift and since it’s around 6am there’s really only a few people in the pool at a time, typically 1-3 swimmers in the pool at a time. So after 5 months it would get pretty boring, even with the radio the boredom gets to me when there’s routinely 1 person doing laps at a leisurely pace. So I started reading a book, I would sit in the guard chair with the guard tube under my arms and hold the book in front of me, so after half a page or so I would look up and check on the person swimming. It’s not like I don’t check the pool or kick my feet up, I still look prepared, I constantly am surveying it and look up, if anything I feel more focused when I am reading and lifeguard than when I’m 3 hours in and I’ve gotten so bored I just stare off at the wall. I should also note this pool only has 1 guard on at a time so it does get very boring not having someone to talk to. Also if there a young child in the pool or there’s more than 1 swimmer per lane I never read. Recently a new swimmer who comes in the morning has complained to my boss and now I’m in big trouble. I was wondering what are you thoughts on my situation. Should I be punished and restricted from reading during the dead hours?


You are supposed to watch swimmers not read books. You are a liability to that place. I hope they don't fire you.


Your job is to watch. It's a pretty simple concept.


Don't, always pay attention