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Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Sunday, July 1, 2012

People Are....Interesting

I have a tendency to paint things in the rosiest of lights, and the past few days working in the office have put that rosy picture a little into question! I am very much enjoying my job here, don't get me wrong; but there are a few, very few overall, that tend to try one's patience. 

I know I've mentioned that the campground is under new ownership as of April 1. A lovely young couple with their two daughters, so excited and happy to be running their own business, doing something they love. Would you like to know how many times the past few weeks we've heard "I've been coming here for XXX amount of years, and (insert anything from "This never happened before" to "They know this is what I want")". Nothing has changed. Policies are still what they were. Rates have only gone up $1.00 from what they were. Camground layout is exactly the same. Amenities are the same. I guess the only thing that has changed is that we don't have the mind-reading psychic abilities of the previous owners!

We had a group last weekend who pretty much booked the entire lower campground...last summer. Lovely group of women and they had a great time. A woman called last month to book a particular creekside site for the same weekend. Yelling at us because she wasn't able to get it for the whole week because it was already booked as part of the group reservation. We should "know" she always has THAT site for THAT week because its her birthday and she's been staying in it for the last 15 years. Believe me, we made sure she is booked for next year already and has a permanent comment on her reservation the booking is NOT to be moved for any reason :-).

We've had many folks in this past week who had evacuated from the Waldo Canyon Fire. Their attitude surprised and amazed me. The cheerfulness in the face of adversity. We did our best for them as they needed to extend stays, so it was a game of musical sites as we fit them into available open sites for each night. I see many are leaving this morning, which is good news. That means their evacuation has been lifted and they are able to go home. I do believe we have picked up several loyal new guests from the experience. Very nice folks. Whenever Al was doing his chores and patrols near their sites, they would hail him down, try to feed him!, and chat for awhile. One of them owns a ranch, and had already set up a benefit concert for later in the summer for the firefighters working the High Park Fire...now it will also be the Waldo Canyon firefighters, and we've been invited to attend. How nice is that?

Then we had the interesting folks on Friday. I started the day with one, and ended the day with a bang! As I opened my drawer for the afternoon, ( I started at 1PM), my first guest came in to inquire if I had any shady sites available. He had booked a pull-through site, but was now unhappy because the wind had come up (actually, the wind is ALWAYS up around here) and he couldn't put his awning out. I was fully booked, and did not have another site that I could give him. Well, since he couldn't put out his awning, he wanted to leave the next morning, and would like a refund for his unused night. Once you check in, there are no refunds for early departures, especially if its because you are not happy with the weather. Camping is an outdoor experience, and we have no control over mother nature. I consulted with my boss, and she went over to talk to them. We offered a no hook-up overflow site for a reduced rate, which would be slightly shadier in the afternoon, and his wife was all for it, but he had made up his mind he was leaving...too windy here.

We had many check-ins that afternoon and evening, and things were going fairly smoothly. I was fielding many phone calls about availability of sites for the Fourth of July holiday...we have a total of 10 creekside sites...do people honestly think they can call less than a week before a holiday and secure one?? Seriously? Many are already booked for holiday weekends for NEXT year! Many calls are also coming in asking about the fire ban....we have a state-wide Stage 2 fire ban now...no open fires, no campfires, no smoking, no charcoal grills. Propane grills and stoves only. I realize for a whole lot of folks camping is all about the campfire. However, we are in severe drought, fire danger is Extreme, everything is bone dry...it only makes sense. And they're calling to see if there will be a fire ban later in July and August...there's that psychic thing again....I can't tell the weather from today to tomorrow. I don't know if there will be a ban...will we get rain or not?? Speaking of which, we had about 5 minutes of spitting rain on Thursday...want to guess how many times we were asked if the fire ban was lifted?? Really.

Then came the last one of the night. Pulled in about 9:15, as we were starting to count out the cash drawers. Fifth wheel flying down the drive, spray of gravel as he slammed to a stop. Sauntered in with cell phone in hand. Said he had a reservation. I was a bit puzzled as I was sure it was only a couple of tent sites left to come in. Checked the list, said no, you are not on the list for tonight. Yes, he insisted, Creekside site 20 for two nights, slammed the phone on the counter with "here's my confirmation" Just booked it this afternoon, he said, online. Now I now something is amiss, as I know we didn't have anything available. I check his name, and find he was booked for Site 20 on JULY 29 and 30. Nope, he insisted, he booked it online for June 29 and 30. Shoved the email confirmation in my face. I scrolled to the dates, and showed him the confirmation said July. Well, of course that was wrong...of course it was our mistake. The dates were correct on HIS computer, back home, where he insisted his wife wouldn't let him print the confirmation to save paper. The mistake HAD to be on our end. We had to have entered the dates wrong from the Book Your Site service. Well, it doesn't work that way, but we were able to accommodate him in our last site big enough, an overflow site with electric and water. The attitude on his end was pretty poor from the time he set foot in the office, and there was some pretty lousy choices of language from his side of the counter, and I have my suspicions about the reality of his booking the dates properly, but we finally got him out and situated in his site, and will be happy to see it pull out this morning. 

We had Saturday off....really! Its been quite warm, and we headed up to Cottonwood Pass to hike part of the Colorado Trail that was at 9000 feet. It was a little cooler, and the trail was really nice. We reached the beaver ponds, and even saw a beaver working around the lodge. I hadn't brought the camera with me though, so no pictures. Back in Buena Vista it was very busy, a lot of folks out and about for the start of the holiday. The grocery store was jammed, the gas station was a nightmare, (unleaded $3.69 and diesel $3.85), but we finished our errands and headed back to the quiet of the campground. Kind of reminded me of the Hamptons for awhile...although I am sure it is WAY whackier than what we just had here, just that we're not at all used to having that many people around anymore :-). Back to work this afternoon and tomorrow. Monday is a huge check-in day for us, and the rest of the week is pretty much maxed out at full occupancy. We have duckie races today, game night on Tuesday, All-American PotLuck on Thursday, Bingo on Saturday. Site decorating contest this week for the Fourth. Lots going on, so have a happy Fourth of July where ever you may be!

16 comments:

  1. Ah yes, the joys of dealing with John Q. Public. That's why I enjoy volunteering at NWRs. Most are gated communities where we lock the door at 5 p.m. :)

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  2. You sure some of the summer city crazy people from the Hamptons haven't followed you? Good thing about here in this part of Texas, holiday or not the stores really aren't affected. Just one of the many changes I love.

    Sue

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  3. Oh, I sympathize with those little hurdles you've had to jump. Your title says it all. People are "interesting."

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  4. Oh yes, the Hamptons are hopping...
    $3.95 for regular still.
    Glad you are having such a wonderful time

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  5. Yes, people are interesting. Managing the Gift Shop at the North Rim with 17 employees and hundreds of customers daily makes for interesting days. You will have great stories to tell at the end of the summer.

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  6. I had to chuckle throughout your post. Boy it brought back memories of my working life! Anytime you deal with the public, you're going to run into them and, they masquerade as perfectly normal people most of the time! Was Friday or Saturday a full moon by any chance? Seriously. It brings them out :)

    It was good for you to post that and get it out. Healthier than screaming :) Hope this next week is better. Happy 4th!

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  7. One of the things I won't be looking forward to...the 'interesting' people :)

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  8. I applied for a cashier job and was given an accounting job. I have to say, I am glad that it worked out like this. I have to sometimes deal with the employees not giving us the correct paperwork, but it is not the same as dealing with the public. Been there, done that. Hope you have a good holiday week.

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  9. Dealing with the public takes lots and lots of patience!! I was a Home Depot cashier for 10 years and I think that is why I love camping in the woods so much;o)) I still get nervous when the campgrounds start to fill up!!!

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  10. I am always amazed at how calmly and fairly these outrageous people are treated. It's clear I would not have the patience for your job but am glad you do. Looks like a fun week ahead.

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  11. Cheryl in NWMichiganJuly 1, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Your post was so funny.....I have always had careers where I dealt with the general public. It was so exhausting mentally! Most people were fantastic, but always those who could never be satisfied. You are a good sport!

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  12. Welcome to my world! If you makes you feel any better, we get those kinds of "guests" in Yellowstone too. Have you had a lady crying yet...because she didn't get the site she's had for the "past 20 years." Seriously...it's just a campsite. Keep in all in perspective and don't take any of it personally. I have to admit, I love the ones who mess up their own res and then blame the campground! Amazing!

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  13. Interesting people ""* I'll say I've been behind some like that checking in before and wonted to give them a Interesting knot up side the head for the check in attendent. You handle it WELL!!

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  14. Just wanted to let ya'll know it is not ya'll. We are host at a Ga Power CG and I could take your post and paste it in my blog! We get the same exact situations, ex. we have been coming here for XX yrs and it has never been this or that - John (previous 9 yr host) let me do this/that. You can see the similarities. Just let it "roll off". This is our workamper position.

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  15. Karen, I enjoyed your posting about the job, too. Someone said that campers/vacationers leave their common sense at home - and so many times, it definitely seems to be the case.

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