A Line in the Sand

The story of the 21 year old Hallandale lifeguard who was fired after saving a life has gotten both better and worse since it was first reported:

The south Florida lifeguard fired for leaving his post so he could save a swimmer outside his coverage zone said Thursday he has been offered his job back. But Tomas Lopez told CNN he does not plan to return to work.

“It’s another chapter in my life closed and I am just going to continue to get my schooling finished and get on with my career,” Lopez told CNN.

The 21-year-old said his phone has been ringing off the hook with journalists trying to get his side of the story. —cnn

That’s good. Drawing a line in the sand, he told them to shove the job, which is the appropriate response on many levels, not the least of which is to preserve his own integrity in the face of a pack of bean counting corporate mutants who have none of their own.

Now get this:

Jeff Ellis Management, the company for which Lopez worked, had said lifeguards cannot go beyond the perimeter of the beach they are responsible for overseeing….[But] Jeff Ellis told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” on Thursday evening that he didn’t approve of the decision to fire Lopez. “Clearly, he should not have been terminated for what had occurred,” Ellis said. “I know that he has tried to do the right thing.”

Can it be that the hue and cry reaction across the nation to this story has moved top management to examine its policies and priorities? That maybe the job of a lifeguard is to guard lives, not corporate profits?

Hell no.

Three other lifeguards quit in protest and two others were dismissed after saying they would have acted as Lopez did.

“They told us we would be liabilities and we had to be let go,” lifeguard Travis Madrid told CNN.

Yep, as a general rule, guys who take their jobs seriously are liabilities to invertebrate corporate goons whose priorities (read: profits) are divergent, if not outright opposed. These lifeguards — bless their sun bleached souls — understand that the ocean can be a dangerous place, and risk their own lives to protect visitors who unwillingly put themselves in jeopardy. As a rule, corporations don’t give a crusty shit about such petty concerns. Not when it might interfere with their bottom line.

I guess this makes Jeff Ellis look a tad hypocritical. Clap your fins if you’re surprised. (* silence *)

Good move Hallandale, bringing these guys in to ensure beach safety. Plan to re-up?

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4 Responses to A Line in the Sand

  1. Ted Williams' Head says:

    What is company policy if a swimmer drifts into the No-Save Zone from the protected area? Do those bozos have any clue about the way tides and currents work? Inquiring (and detached) minds want to know.

  2. Dawgbowl says:

    I’m truly encouraged by the attitude of the young lifeguards. Some of them are just teenagers, yet they have a more mature perspective on values than the owners of the management company. Obviously there are better drugs on the beach than in the board room.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Let’s kill two birds with one. Jeff Ellis should be fired immediately…and then immediately should be selected as Mitt Romney’s running mate…he’s perfect!

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