Saturday, October 24, 2015

Been there, done that, time for something different?

I may be maxing out on this campground hosting thing. Between dealing with other hosts with boundary issues and campers who know the rules but prefer to ignore them, my not-exactly-great-to- begin-with people skills are wearing rather thin. Or maybe they were worn thin before we even got here, thanks to dealing with the minions at the museum, and I should have had more of a break between dealing with minions and dealing with campers.

The 'beer garden.' Several sites shared this double screen house, which held an impressive number of coolers and a pretty decent bar. The guys were, however, surprisingly quiet and left their campsites clean. It seemed like a lot of work for just a couple days camping, but maybe they thought there'd still be mosquitoes or biting flies.
I am, however, definitely understanding why superintendents go gray and why some park staff find the prospect of working at parks that focus a lot more on natural resources and less on recreation highly attractive. I'm not sure which would drive a person to drink faster: the obnoxious campers who love to parrot lines like "We've been coming here for 35 years and never . . . " or the campground hosts who, having volunteered a number of times, now think they're actually running the park and in a position to tell the newer hosts exactly what to do, even when their exactly what to do directly contradicts the instructions in the host's handbook or the instructions that were given verbally by the superintendent or assistant superintendent. I'm also beginning to understand why campground hosts tend to rotate around a good bit from park to park, because I'm definitely having one of those "I never want to have to deal with those obnoxious asshats again" afternoons. It is good that (a) the month is almost over, and (b) thanks to the way days off are structured, we don't actually see those people very much -- we only overlap two days out of every six. Which means that in the remaining seven days of the month, there only two days of overlap left.

I do have a hunch there are a lot of asshat hosts out there, too, making life miserable for superintendents and folks at other parks. . .  and when we arrived at Montauk this month we discovered trash in the host site fire ring. Whoever was here just before us tossed cans into the fire, and not just beer cans -- "tin" cans, like the ones pork and beans come in. If the host is trying to burn garbage in the fire ring, just how responsible is he or she going to be about trying to keep the rest of the park clean? And campers have told me stories about the guy who was the host before that host, a fellow who has hosted here a number of times now and apparently had also developed an 'I run the park' attitude. Familiarity breeds arrogance?

In any case, between the combination of campers who want to be jerks, fellow hosts who make the obnoxious campers almost look good in comparison, and the fact that as a host the only way to ever be off duty is to physically leave the park, volunteering as a "visitor use assistant" is looking better and better. Tell people where to find the restrooms, sell them an occasional postcard, and know that when we go "home" to the Guppy, no one is going to be knocking on the door at weird hours demanding to know why there are no campsites available. 

1 comment:

  1. a little power can turn the nicest person into a hun...


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