Out of high school between sophomore and junior year, Daron gets a job as a lifeguard at one of the parks. “Here’s your union application,” the rep tells him.

“Lifeguards got a union?” wonders Daron.

“Course lifeguards got a union, you work for the county, don’tcha? All the county employees got a union. Keeps us strong, keeps wages high, turnover low. Means they can’t spring anything on you, and if they do, well, you come talk to me or give me an email or a call or whatever works for you. Sign here; we take 1.74% of your paycheck in dues.”

So he signs then mostly forgets about it. Long hot summer working on his tan and yelling at kids to stop running. He has to fish a four year old out of the deep end once, that was exciting; kid had wandered off from some birthday party in the shallows. Kid was fine, just a little shook up.

Years later, after graduating, after graduating again, pushing thirty, newly married, he’s got a job at the parks department doing landscaping. The rep squints at the name and looks at him, smiles wide. “Guess I won’t need an application from you, huh?”

“What’s that about,” says Daron.

“Sure, you worked here ten, fifteen years ago, yeah? Union doesn’t forget, kid; you’re a member until you tell us you don’t want to be a member. Welcome back!”

Strange, he thinks, to be remembered.