Our two days off are over and we’re back in the saddle, with our nose to the grindstone, etc., etc., etc.. And the week begins with several examples of un-preparedness.
It is in my nature to help people. If not, we wouldn’t be doing this gig. I don’t mind repeating the same stories over and over again all summer long to different campers; it’s part of the gig. I believe that there is no stupid question if you don’t know the answer to I’m patient with people who approach us with inquiries. And my goal is always to make sure that people leave with an understanding of whatever they asked about — not just an answer.
So it troubles me when campers arrive — particularly if they arrive in a 40 foot long coach or a 40 foot long 5th wheel — and that clearly have no idea what they are doing, where they are going, or how to handle the rig in which they arrived. It’s irresponsible to head on down the road from a dealership completely unprepared for what lies ahead. It’s not only irresponsible, you are a safety hazard for everyone you come in contact with; and hopefully that’s a metaphorical statement — not a literal one — though literal accidents do happen to brand new RV’ers only too often.
The thing is, we live in an age when more information is available at your fingertips than ever before. I’m a reasonably smart guy, but I’m no magician. If I can find the answers to someone’s questions they can find them too — but it’s amazing how often people are too lazy to look for themselves.
There’s a new medical complex being built in Baldwin and one of the variety of campers we’ve been getting are contractors who want to stay in their camper while work at the jobsite. Of course they arrive with no reservation, or just a few days reserved, hoping that in mid-summer they’ll be able to snag a place for a month or two. NOT! Usually they don’t even know that federal campgrounds have a 14 week limit within any 30 day period.
It’s amazing how many people find what are the most reasonably priced campgrounds around and expect that no one else will know about them. I don’t get it.
RV’ing as a lifestyle can be economical — but the idea that some people get that RV’ing is universally a cheap way to live is simply baloney. And those who buy an older, cheap RV thinking about all the free nights they’re going to spend on the road simply aren’t being realistic. You can do that some of the time but as more and more Baby-Boomers retire the opportunities to live cheaply are still there but the number of people scrambling for them is growing by the day.
On the other side of the coin, I love telling people about ‘our’ park. A lot of people simply don’t know about the CORPS campgrounds and I am amazed at how frequently cars will drive up and these are often people who have lived within 50 miles of the campground and never knew it was here! I spent a lot of time in indirect sales — PR — in the 80’s and I love watching people light up when you tell them all the wonderful features of this little gem.
And for me — the biggest reward is seeing their look of appreciation as we talk. Trying to involve them in the answers to their own questions always puts a smile on their face and finding a nice federal facility the cost of which is quite reasonable is enough to make a person smile all by itself.
It seems that a lot of our inquiries are grandparents looking for places to camp with their grandchildren living in this part of the state. That is a special thrill I can identify with! How people light up when they talk about their grand-kids! And what nicer way to spend quality time with the little ones than out in the forest with no TV, and maybe no electronic devices to bury their faces into. We get some WiFi here but not a lot of signal so even if the kids are hooked on their game boxes they aren’t going to have a lot of success out here. Grandma and Grandpa at least stand a chance of interacting with their little ones!
With everything good, a little bad comes along; with everything bad, there’s always a portion of good. There are a few times when we get tired of our job, but there are so many times when we see smiles on someone’s face and the tedium disappears, the second thoughts melt away. The sun shines on the prepared and the unprepared alike. I don’t mind helping people who should have helped themselves because there are always others who really need a chat — sometimes for information, other times just to feel human and to enjoy the interaction of another human being. Gosh, it’s good to be alive!
Thanks for stopping, and I’ll be here again tomorrow to chat. Why not stop by!