Living on the west coast can be great for many reasons, one of the reasons being close to the ocean. The ocean itself is an attraction, but one thing that intrigues a lot of people about it is the ability to surf. Aside from horror stories of shark attacks, many things are appealing about surfing. Whether it is the adventure, the waves, the clothes or the boards, surfing is something everyone wants to try at least once in their life.
However, surfing is not something you just get up on a board and do, it takes lessons and practice, and that's what surfing instructors are there for. This female instructor, (we’ll call her Lauren) loves her job, where she gets to teach people how to do one of her hobbies. Lauren had just bought a new board from the brand Pyzel from their Gremlin line. This five fin, vivid green board is the most expensive board Lauren has ever purchased. The lively green color ensures no one will mix up Lauren’s board with the bright orange surf school boards. However, it does attract people of the entitled type. One day while visiting the school off-duty, Lauren has an irritating encounter with a man (we’ll call him Tom) and his son (we’ll call him Brad). After the badgering encounter with this family, anyone would be ready to quit their job.
It was a blazing summer day on the beach at the Surf Shack where Lauren worked, and she was in pre-vacation mood. With it being her day off before a weekend-long vacation with her boyfriend, Lauren decided to relax at the beach and try out her brand-new board. Upon seeing her arrival, two of her coworkers (we’ll call them Mike and Eric) waved her over to chat.
While catching up, the conversation suddenly comes to a halt. Tom and his son Brad had appeared in the doorway. Lauren and her coworkers are quickly interrupted by Tom blurting out, “If you're not too busy, we're here for the lesson.” Tom appears to be some 40-year old man with a dad-bod and some serious sunburn and Brad is around the age of 14 and is wearing bright green swim trunks, looking quite embarrassed by his father.
After being disrupted mid-conversation, Lauren decides to forget it and just relax. She sits back casually and lets Mike and Brad take over since it is her day off. As Mike begins checking in Tom and Brad for the lesson, everyone is shocked by what Tom said next.
Mike kindly asked Tom for some basic information to get the surf course started. While he was asking a few simple questions, Tom once again rudely interrupts. Meanwhile Lauren is just minding her business she notices something appalling; Tom is staring directly at her top half.
“She's not teaching, is she?” Tom asked. Just as Lauren was in the process of answering, she was interrupted yet again. Still staring at Lauren's bikini clad chest, Tom harshly states, “I didn't ask you, I asked these young men.” Eric steps in and informs Tom that Lauren herself is not on-duty today and that she will not be teaching the course although she is employed at the surf shack.
Tom then surprises everyone with his response. “Good,” he said, flatly. Lauren, frankly, was shocked that this man, who she'd never even seen before, was treating her with such open hostility. So shocked was she by his aggressive demeanor, she demanded to know what his problem was. It should come as no surprise that Tom's reasoning was just as rude as his greeting.
“I just don't want anything distracting Brad. He wants to do well here, he needs to focus,” explained Tom. Now even more confused, the group begins to process the events and what has been said.
Lauren responds professionally to Tom by saying, “I assure you I am nothing but professional, but as Mike and Eric are the instructors for his first lessons, they tend to stick with their class until the end of the course.” Hoping that answer satisfied Tom, Mike stepped in to redirect the rude man, probably hoping to salvage Lauren's day off before a customer ruined it. “Is there anything else we can help you with before the session begins?”
At this point Brad, who'd been silent throughout the entire interaction, whispered something in his dad's ear. Tom then demanded a surfboard just like Lauren’s because Brad “hates orange” but he “likes green.” Lauren, Mike, and Eric looked around at each other confused and taken back. It's true that all the students' boards were orange, but that was so they'd be easy to spot out on the waves, both for the instructors and for other surfers.
Lauren respectfully replied, “Sorry, sir, but this is my board that I brought from home. It's a Pyzel Gremlin, and you're welcome to purchase your own, but it's probably best that Brad learns to surf before you spend $600 on a surfboard.” Knowing that Brad is a beginner, Lauren was only trying to recommend the best option for him.
Tom, aghast, argued that he will not pay $600 for a surfboard and demands that Lauren let Brad use her surfboard just for the session. "You said you work here. You have to help us." Lauren is astonished by the audacity of Tom and his actions, but she manages to stay calm and respond to Tom respectfully. She explains that the Gremlin board is specifically set up for her and the size itself would most likely not fit Brad due to the fact that he was taller than she was. With that response, Lauren hopes the conversation will be coming to an end, but she is wrong.
Tom then commands Lauren to give Brad her board, "Just let him use it. He doesn't like the other ones." Tired of arguing, Lauren didn't even acknowledge the man's ridiculous response. Instead bids goodbye to Mike and Eric and joined her boyfriend (we’ll call him Jack) in the water.
Twenty minutes pass and Lauren soon saw Mike and Eric’s class of around 13 people head into the water. As far as classes go, there is usually one instructor per five children but with such a large class size, there was barely enough staff. For the beginners' class, students are asked to stay with the group and not go far out into the water. Lauren is not surprised when she sees Brad has come out far almost to where she and Jack are. Lauren had a bad feeling about this. She noticed Mike and Eric are occupied with other students, so she decided to intervene.
“Hey, Brad! You might want to go a little closer to shore," she called out. Even though she was sure he heard her, he kept on his path, getting further from the group. Lauren tried again, "Bit far out for your first time." Still nothing. Now he was out where the waves were larger and rougher, and a nice sized one was heading his way. "There's a wave coming," she yelled through cupped hands, "Lie flat and hang on to the board, and it'll take you closer to shore. Don't stand up or you'll fall off." Lauren then noticed some similar characteristics between Brad and his father. While staring at her chest, Brad confidently screamed that he is fine and begs Lauren to watch him. Lauren is not surprised by what happens next.
With all of five minutes of surging experience under his belt, Brad attempts to stand on his surfboard. With shaky legs and in rough waters, it should shock no one that Brad was immediately knocked off the board. Obviously totally humiliated after wiping out, Brad awkwardly climbs back on his bright orange board, "which takes him a few attempts as he keeps grabbing it incorrectly so it turns over and hits him, rather than giving him a stable surface to climb back on." Brad, his head lowered in adolescent shame, starts heading back towards his father, who was standing on shore and looked quite furious. While watching from afar, Lauren noticed Tom and Brad fighting and a few points in her direction. Lauren is interested and she soon saw Eric approaching them. Meanwhile, Mike is left alone with around 13 children. Though Lauren herself was too far out to overhear the animated argument taking place between father and son, Eric kindly filled her in after the fact.
“I TOLD YOU NOT TO GET DISTRACTED,” Tom bellowed at Brad, according to Eric.
Without hesitation, Brad totally threw Lauren under the bus. He screamed back while pointing at Lauren, “SHE DISTRACTED ME!” As the screaming continued, Eric attempted to calm down the two down. Tom was fuming with anger and demanded his money back because Lauren “distracted” his son. Tempers were hot. Lauren, sensing that her involvement was necessary, had begun paddling back to shore. Once she reached the shallows, she tucked her board beneath her arm and asked what the problem was.
"YOU DISTRACTED HIM! YOU'RE WHY HE FELL!" Tom yelled.
Lauren, defending herself, stated back, “I saw Brad was too far out for a beginner who'd been on a board for five minutes, so I suggested he go back. I told him to lie flat and use the wave to get back and told him not to stand.” Tom did not care what Lauren had to say, he was convinced she caused Brad to fall off his board. Lauren continued to plead her case, assuring Tom that she only gave advice to Brad and her intentions were not to distract him. What Tom says next shocked everyone on the beach.
“BULL!! IF YOU'D JUST PUT JIGGLY MELONS AWAY, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE OUT THERE BUT YOU DISTRACTED HIM,” Tom yelled.
Lauren was appalled by what had just come out of Tom’s mouth but knew she must stand up for herself. “So you're saying my appearance was why Brad fell off his board? Not the fact that he went too far out after being advised against it and then tried to stand up after being told to lie down? I was the problem here,” Lauren said, gobsmacked.
"WE DEMAND PAYBACK!" Tom roared. Lauren assumed that he was talking about a refund, not revenge. She was only partially correct.
Eric, probably aware that he should be out in the water with the other students and anxious to get back to them, told Tom kindly that they could offer Brad a free session, but Tom would need to stop screaming, and he'd especially need to stop screaming about Lauren's body parts. Finally lowering his voice, Tom stated that a free session wasn’t good enough and proceeded to ask Brad what he wanted. Meanwhile, Brad is looking down, quite defeated and embarrassed, but what comes out of his mouth next is outrageous.
Brad glumly told the group that he wanted Lauren’s board. Tom immediately said, “You heard him, hand it over,” while snapping his fingers at Lauren.
Lauren was now annoyed and irritated. “Fine. That'll be $600,” she stated boldly.
Tom is outraged but Lauren continued, explaining, “This is mine, and it's meant for people who are at an intermediate or advanced level, not a newbie. Not only would the board not fit him but the fin setup would just lead to him falling off again. Plus I didn't actually do anything wrong here.”
Tom smugly said, “We're the customer. The customer is always right. It's all your fault anyway, so give us the board.” Just in time, Jack approached Lauren and asked if she was ready to go, cutting tom off right in the middle of his little tantrum. Mike, having brought the rest of the students back to shore, closed ranks with Eric and successfully gave Lauren her opportunity to make her escape and start her weekend.
According to Mike and Eric after the fact, Tom had calmed down quite a bit after Lauren left, porbably after coming to the realization that Brad was not ever getting his hands on Lauren’s board. Tom accepted the free session and not so surprisingly took down the manager's information.
There has been no update on whether Lauren had seen Tom and Brad again, but this aggravating incident is one that always sticks with her. Some parents really do believe that they and their spoiled children are allowed to treat other people like their own personal servants. This man certainly set an example for his son, but it's not the sort of example that any father should be proud of. Just imagine the nightmare this kid is going to grow up to be if this is the only sort of behavior he's seen from adults in his life.
Thank goodness Lauren was able to get away from this insane duo, though she should probably keep a close eye on her surf board whenever she hits the beach. Who knows what Tom and Brad might try next!