1 year ago
We chose High Sierra Pools because of the conditions they offer: they hire groups, provide housing and transfer from the airport, lifeguard training conducted in Bulgaria, prior to leaving for the USA. Since I traveled with two friends of mine, it was very important that we would be together. We worked at different pools, but we lived together, which was great. The transfer from the airport and the provided housing are also a great advantage for someone, who is going to a new place so far away from home for the first time and has no idea what to expect.
Another advantage is that the deposit for the housing and the rents are deducted from your paychecks, and therefore you start paying bills only after you have earned some money. In most cases you have to pay a considerable amount of money for deposit and first rent even before you have worked a single day. This way, you only need to prepare pocket money enough to pay for food for the first two weeks, before you receive your first paycheck. In 2015 the wage in our state was $9/hour, as far as I know, it's higher now.
We had overtime opportunity in the first 2-3 weeks. because the lifeguards from the other countries usually arrive later. During these weeks we worked without a day off, which was actually perfect for us, because you don't really feel like spending money, before you have received your first paycheck, or at least that was the case with us. Plus everything seems so expensive at the beginning :D
During the rest of the season we would work 50 hours a week and the hours per day depended on the working hours of your pool. Usually we would work 5 days a week, 10 hours a day, and we would have 2 days off. There were also 1-2 weeks at the end of the season, when we would get to work more hours overtime.
Our housing was nothing special: a kitchen, a living room, two bedrooms, a balcony, a bathroom. We slept on air mattresses (from the nice ones :D), there was a table, chairs, dishes, an oven, a fridge, central air conditioner, perfectly enough for the small amount of time we spent there. There were 5 of us living in that apartment: 3 Bulgarians and 2 Czechs, which helped for the cultural part of the program. It was inconvenient that some of the pools were far from our housing. Our supervisor would take us to work and bring us back home, when he had the chance, but sometimes we had to go several miles on foot or by a bicycle.
In general, the job is responsible, but very nice as well. After all you get paid for being at the pool all summer long. Our pools were for residents only, so pretty much the same people would come to the pool every day, you get to know them, you talk to them and, if you are lucky like we were, you become friends with them. Honestly, the best thing about our job and the town we lived in was the people we met: extremely friendly, nice, helpful, ready to invite you in their homes and to do as much as they can to make you feel good in their country.