Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why German Efficiency is Myth: Reason 107

So I may not have told you about the other 106 reasons that German efficiency is a myth, but trust me, they're out there.  Like how Germans can't queue. Or how bureaucracy, which is never efficient, reigns supreme. Really, the list goes on.

But this morning, something broke deep inside me and I couldn't hold it in any longer, so I decided to share it with you. I went to the pool this morning to swim laps. I was disappointed but not entirely shocked to find that the five lanes open for lap swimming had no dividers. Take a minute. Picture that. Five swimming lanes, no dividers. Kind of like open water swimming. But there weren't too many people there (maybe 7), so fine. I jumped in somewhere in the middle and used the lines on the bottom to guide me. It worked

At first it's fine. But then more people came. And then more people. Pretty soon we were TWELVE people swimming. Even when there was no space, someone would slip in and just start swimming. I worked hard to keep my turf, swimming right on top of one of the bottom lines, but I kept getting squeezed.

The whole time I kept thinking - "What the hell is going on here? Why can't they just put in the lane dividers?!?" The thing is, I swim here 2 or 3 times a week, and it's always different. Some times there are 2 lanes with dividers, and then 3 open, or all sorts of combinations. It always drives me a bit nuts, but it usually works out. This was the worst I had seen it. Utter chaos - in no way efficient. I wanted to get out and tell one of the workers to put in some dividers - but then I would have lost my spot. No way. Not only that, but I have talked to them before about why they don't but in more dividers, and they told me that people like it that way. REALLY? Are you sure?!? If all five lanes had been properly divided, then two lanes could have done circle swimming and the other 3 lanes would have each been divided in  2. It would have been so much more efficient.

I know this is a bit of a rant, but I have always been a bit of a stickler for pool etiquette. And this is not my first such experience, but this was by far the worst. I just want to swim my laps in peace. I am happy to share lanes or circle swim when necessary, but I do not enjoy the open-water-free-for-all where I am constantly fearful of a head on collision. Come on Germans, you can do so much better!

1 comment:



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