Okay, so if I were to tell you that a city fired 13 lifeguards (and their manager) at the same time, you'd probably assume they did something really really bad, right? Like maybe they took a big group coffee break during a beginners' swimming class or screwed up on the chlorine or filled the pool with jello or something. A serious screw-up. En masse.
Probably your first guess wouldn't be that those 13 lifeguards (and their manager) got fired for making a video called "Lifeguard Style," a parody of "Gangnam Style," in the city pool, while wearing their uniforms. Except that's exactly what happened to 13 lifeguards (and their manager) in the California city of El Monte, and if you think that's a stupid reason to fire 13 lifeguards (and, you know), well, so do the 14,000 people worldwide who are petitioning El Monte officials to bring them back. As well they should, because technically, the lifeguards didn't do anything wrong.
Which Mayor Andre Quintero is apparently beginning to recognize, as he called for an "independent review" into the firings. Still, he's not convinced the lifeguards are innocent: "At the end of the day, our brand as a city has taken a big hit. We want to make sure we treat our employees with respect and dignity."
Um, really with the "brand as a city" thing?! Did he mean to say, "At the end of the day these lifeguards put our city on the map," maybe? Cause that's more like it.
Anyway, back to the part about the lifeguards not doing anything wrong. Michael Hoa, who came up with the idea, insists he had no idea they were breaking any rules: "Their policies are so vague," he says. Hoa elaborates in the video's YouTube description:
All footage was recorded off the clock during breaks and free time. The city manager OFFICIALLY fired us for using the facility for private use and wearing uniforms in public while off-duty. Afterwards we were UNOFFICIALLY told that our music video was both "disgusting" and an "embarrassment to the city of El Monte."
We 14 were terminated due to "at-will" employment. People who did not participate in our video but were merely caught in the background were fired. One manager who did not appear in the video at all was also fired.
If you haven't seen the video, give it a watch. Do you find it disgusting?! Or ...
Are you just laughing and thinking, Hey, I bet even Psy himself thinks this is funny! (which, now that you mention it, he does)?
Do you think these lifeguards deserved to get fired?
Image via RoaBoat/YouTube