I put this out here for the group discussion while already having an answer but like to see if there is a perspective I  might have missed.

I have a guard who when working a non safety position one day asked me if she could check her phone due to a sick 2 yr old son. she now checks her phone while in a safety position and tells other guards she has permission. I counseled her and she feels she has a legitimate right since the other guards don't have children and her son needs medication. she says she just checks it when it vibrates and makes calls when on break. i've noticed she takes a lot of bathroom breaks in between bumps slowing down the rotation.

 look forward to your responses and thank you in advance

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It is interesting we did not have these problems as often before cell phones.  I worked with a mother with a child with severe diabetes.  She sometimes called when she was on a legitimate break, but she had to work out a system so it did not interfer with her guarding and teaching duties.  She managed.  We were occasionally contacted (~once a month) with a geniune emergency, and we were usually able to accommodate her, but it was usually a trip to the hospital or other quite serious situation.

While I feel for the mother, I think that anything more than a short-term accommodation is unnecessary.  I think you gave her an inch and she is taking advantage.  Does she need the job?  Can she make better arrangements for her son?  I'm sure if the problem is serious, it is having an effect on her concentration and vigilance.  You can only work with some people so much, even though you want to do more; safety is compromised.

How about having the caregiver call the pool and have you pass on the message for her to return the call when it is appropriate.  I'll bet this reduces the calls a lot.  If it is still a problem, restrict it only to emergency situations, reduce her hours, put her in a non-safety position permanently, or ultimately she has to make a decision about her ability to work.

Having been there with sick kids, I have been on the other side.  It is very difficult sometimes, but it can usually be worked out.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/20/us/20lifeguard.html?_r=1&

I was quoted in this article...

Just wanted to chime in.

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