Interesting Income: The wild world of summer work

Interesting Income: Managing Zebulon Country Club’s pool

mhankerson@newsobserver.comJuly 8, 2014 

  • Help Wanted

    This summer, Eastern Wake News is taking on a special summer assignment, documenting one of the rites of passage for many teenagers: the summer job.

    Maybe you’re baking cakes or working in a daycare center. Maybe you’re a special assistant to a high-powered CEO.

    And for the post-teenage crowd, we want to know what you learned from those jobs that were unlike your peers’ tenure at the local fast food joint or farm.

    We’re interested in the unique, quirky jobs young people do. Whatever the job, we want you to let us know about it.

    We’ll feature one summer job a week through Labor Day and need your help finding some of those jobs that are off the beaten path. Email editor Johnny Whitfield at or staff writer Mechelle Hankerson at

— Working at a pool in the summer is not always fun and games and getting tan.

For Anna Chambers at the Zebulon Country Club pool, being a head lifeguard and pool operator means just that: getting to spend every day by the pool but being responsible for poolgoers’ experiences and the team of lifeguards that keep everyone safe.

Chambers is the pool manager, a position she landed after being a lifeguard for three years.

But her time at the pool at the Zebulon Country Club didn’t start then; Chambers said she’s spent most of her summers at the pool since she moved to Zebulon from Roxboro in the fourth grade.

“It feels like I’ve been part of this pool for a long time,” she said.

In fact, her preparation to become the pool’s operator began almost a whole year in advance, during the school year.

In order to be the pool manager, Chambers needed to be able to perform certain duties associated with keeping the pool clean and safe, including knowing to keep the pool’s chemicals at appropriate levels.

To do that, she had to start taking classes at Wake Tech to become a Certified Pool Operator to go along with her normal lifeguarding certification.

Chambers has put a lot of effort into the job, so she is considering continuing it while she pursues a nursing degree at a community college in Roxboro.

“I’ve thought about it and I probably will continue to do it for a while becuase it’s part of what I want to do in life,” she said.

In addition to the extra certification and work, Chambers has taken it upon herself to try to make the pool more than just a place for people to swim.

To do that, she’s introduced some activities at the pool, like a weekly chalk-drawing contest for younger swimmers and water balloon races or activities when it’s hot outside. She said the pool also just got a cornhole board to play cornhole.

It’s not always fun as a manager, though.

Chambers said she does prefer being a manager but there is less pressure on lifeguards.

“It’s a whole lot less stressful if you’re just a lifeguard,” she said. In addition to the added responsibility of the whole pool and the lifeguarding staff, Chambers has a more demanding schedule.

“If I’m not on vacation or have something to do, I’m here every day,” she said.

But Chambers said she would consider working at a pool when she heads off to Roxboro.

“I think my family really wants me to but I haven’t really decided yet,” she said.

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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