My week Casey McGlue and Patrick Castledine Lido managers

SATURDAY

P: I got up at 5.30am this morning, as usual. The first thing I do every day is have a swim. It's an outdoor pool heated by the sun, and it's usually over 70 but it felt freezing today. I always check the chlorine and bromine levels of the water, then open the turnstiles at around 6.30am for the serious swimmers. A few turned up for a dip and a cooked breakfast, then we closed at 10am for our morning meeting. That's when we sort out maintenance and train the lifeguards. We've been open four weeks so far this year and already had four savings. The accidents tend to be children grazing themselves on the concrete, but last year, one kid jumped on a girl's back when she was in the shallow end and we had to call an air ambulance in to do a spinal lift.

SUNDAY

C: I do the later shift. It's very different because the morning swimmers are civilised. The ones in the afternoon don't come to swim; they come to get a tan, to socialise, to cruise. It was really hot today, so when I opened the gates at 12, there was a queue. By one, you couldn't move. We're between posh Dulwich and not-so-posh Brixton, so we get all sorts, all classes, all colours. People like it here because of the relaxed atmosphere. We don't have signs up all over the place telling them what they can't do, but you have to be aware. Punters come in drunk or stoned, children climb over the walls, and there are health risks everywhere - concrete, railings, wasp stings. Today, the boiler went in the restaurant kitchen - I fixed it and stayed cleaning up until after midnight. The rubbish is unbelievable - crisp packets, cans, ice-cream wrappers. Last season, we sold five and a half million portions of chips, and cleared them up afterward.

MONDAY

P: "Dangerous", the night security man, was there when I arrived this morning. Someone thought it would be a bit of fun to break in during the night and have a crap in the foyer, so we had to clear that up. It's usually kids, but "Dangerous" knows how to deal with intruders. He watches them break in, strip off and swim, then steals their clothes while they're in the water. When they come out, he won't let them out of the door but makes them climb back over the wall and run home in their pants. Quite often when I get here in the morning, my desk is covered in clothes, trainers and mobile phones. They come in later looking sheepish, asking for their stuff.

TUESDAY

C: When it's hot like today, people bunk off work, or set up office by the pool with their laptops. A few children skive off school. Today, I had to ask some of them not to roll a seven-skin spliff right outside my office, but you can't be too strict; they could come back at night and wreck the place. We've been dubbed The Giro Oasis because so many of our customers are unemployed, but sometimes we get people who should be in care. A few weeks ago, a man came in, tripping on something; he slashed one of our lifeguards with a knife. Others are just eccentric. One bloke phoned up a while back asking if he could hire the whole pool so he could swim in the nude with an orchestra playing.

WEDNESDAY

P: The head of the Civil Service and a Secretary to the Cabinet were there this morning, having their usual pre-work swim. Some people phoned up asking if they could bathe topless and I had one or two enquiries from blokes about thongs. We have quite a big gay community who use the pool.

THURSDAY

C: When it's hot, the phone goes all day with debtors, asking for their money back. We had to borrow a lot to get started and when it's like this, they imagine we must be coining it. I spent the afternoon rotating the lifeguards around the pool to keep them awake, sorting staff wages and shifting money between the tills and the safe. With 1500 people coming through each day, the toilets can get really disgusting. I normally let the "Pool Vac" loose and it bounces off the sides of the pool, clearing up the plasters, hairbands, leaves and wedding rings. Today, it was being repaired, so my mate came down with his scuba gear to sweep the bottom. I spend a lot of time blagging credit and favours from friends, especially at the start of the season when we're strapped for cash. This year, we stripped the pool ourselves and borrowed money for the paint. The pool takes a week to fill and the water costs about four grand.

FRIDAY

P: Every week, we have a barbecue where people can have a floodlit swim. Tonight, we have more than 200 people, but because of the Lido's booming acoustics, we have to wind up at 11.30pm. This pool is our baby. Even when we're not here, we think and talk about it all the time. I learnt to swim here when I was three, and my mum lent us lots of money to get it going. We had no idea what we were taking on. It's a vertical learning curve and a 24-hour operation. I'm going out after the barbecue tonight, but I'll call in on "Dangerous" on the way back. At the end of the day, it's our responsibility if someone's lying face down in the pool tomorrow morning.

Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Sport
football
News
Hillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

    £17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test