The NRRS – (National Recreation Reservation System) — is responsible for the website recreation.gov, and indeed, for the reservations for virtually all federal campgrounds. It seems that they provide feedback to individual locations from time to time in the form of shared customer feedback. Our park manager decided to share the comments he recieved from them — he indicated that it was the first time the comments have been forwarded to them and he seemed quite surprised.
I wont bother patting ourselves on the back — we work hard here and I’m not surprised if that is noticed but what I was surprised by are what I consider the off the wall comments.
Evidentally, people don’t like campgrounds with trees — or at least some of the don’t. When I read that someone suggested they cut down all the trees I laughed out loud. This was actually the second time I heard that criticism – the first time was three years ago when we last hosted here.
Also, people don’t like to be inconvenienced it seems. The CORPS, when planning the property put the campground up on high ground where it would not be flooded out during heavy rains. They put the beach on the other side of the lake where it is much closer to the local community and the lay of the land makes more sense to support a public beach and boat launch. Evidently a bunch of campers think they are the only ones to use the beach (in spite of the fact that on a good day there can be a couple hundred LOCALS down there) and object to having to drive to get to the beach.
People truly amaze me. They want a thing not to be what it is for the flimsiest of reasons. This is not a perfect campground. There are things that could be improved upon. Where is that not true? What seems odd is when people arrive in a natural place and want it to be the same as in the city. All said and done the overall ranking was very good for these feedback results but I think to myself in this election year how hard it is to make a large number of people happy. We find ourselves disappointed so often not because there is anything wrong with a place, or a thing, or a person, but because they did not meet our expectations — whether or not our expectations were reasonable, or even possible.
Personally, I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would want the job of President of the United States right now. Whomever gets the job will be criticized unmercifully, they have no legitimate expectation of fixing the problems that this nation is in right now — they might apply a bandage or two but this is a three part government and without the legislature and the judiciary all working alongside the executive branch the problems that need solving will still be here in another 4 years, and another 8 years, and another 12 years.
I wonder what is accomplished when managers commission surveys and customer feedback. I remember that when Peggy was still working her company had annual employee feedback questionnaires that all employees were required to complete and even though they were “anonymous” they were tabulated by department. And what do you know? As soon as the results were released the managers chased around desperately to fix the things that were criticized so that they looked better — and so that next year there would be no complaints. But it wasn’t the employee attitudes that were of concern, they were their answers to the questionaires. There’s a huge difference there. You can keep people from complaining, but that doesn’t mean you have satisfied their concerned.
This election cycle is particularly troubling. I am not sure if I have heard anyone from either party who has really been saying anything positive. All I hear are complaints and criticisms of someone else. Maybe I don’t listen to enough of the political news. That could be true — what I hear makes me sick. But that saying above — that customers will never love a company until the employees love it first — strikes me as poignantly true about this country too. I know people will be offended saying “But I love this country”. But I think too often what we love is our personal idea of what this country is “supposed” to be — not what it is. We want this nation to be what it is not. And like the respondents about a campground experience sometimes our criticisms of the nation, or the politicians, or other citizens are more about our own failed expectations that never had any basis in fact.
I dunno… I grew up with bubble gum music and the Beach Boys. I grew up in an era when there was rampant optimism and a lot of idealism. I miss that. I still have it. I’m still an idiotic dreamer who believes in altruism and values. I wish it was easier to find others like myself. Sigh.
Thanks for stopping, I’ll be here again tomorrow.