"Is there a road that goes to the site?" asks the man as he stands looking at the map. The roads even have cutesy frog names. Bullfrog Boulevard, Ribbett Road, Tadpole Alley ........ with road signs.
The woman had called me three times that day, keeping me apprised of their whereabouts. Various questions, such as "What do I do when I get there?" made it clear to me they were new at this. I explained in detail what to do upon entering the park. Told her where the night drop box was located and told her instructions were posted, as well as map to the park. She called again to tell me there were 10 feet tall and wanted to know if they would "fit". I once again assured her that we we were "big rig" friendly and that she would have no problem fitting in the assigned site.
I was closed when they came in. I confess that I saw the headlamps and knew it must be them, but did not open the door. Instead I texted He Who has more patience than I and asked him to come up and guide them in. He did and that is when the road question was asked. He sent them in the right direction and came inside, assuming they had dropped the registration in the drop box, along with payment.
You know that old saying about assumptions ...... I should not be surprised at all that my instructions were not followed, should I? They are still here and I will get payment, it just annoys me that I will have to go ask for it.
I have been in a state of agitation all week. I have had an amazing amount of requests for permanent sites. People who find themselves in foreclosure, or down on their luck. I feel for them, but .......
I have monthly rates and can certainly accommodate permanent campers. That is not the problem. The problem is the junkers they pull up in. It is like they scoured the country side for abandoned trailers and then decided they would live in them. Problem is that I can't let them park here. If I do, I lose business. Hard to tell people their home looks crappy.......... but, this is, after all, a business.
Last Monday I opened the door to my establishment to find a questionable trio upon my threshold. The woman had called and inquired about monthly rates. The fact that I told her what they were did not insure I would welcome them into the park. She announced that they were here to set up. I looked beyond them to see the camper they planned to live in.
It was an older fifth wheel. Not in good shape. Filthy and a tarp covering the roof. Before I could stop myself I told them the camper was too old and in too poor shape to allow them to stay here. I am usually more diplomatic, but, there it was. The man said he understood, leading me to believe I was not the first campground to send them on their way.
So, imagine my surprise when I answered the phone to find the same man who said he understood on the other end of the line. I told him that I was eliminating older, unkempt units when I tried to buffer my initial reaction. He seemed to think he should find the title to this camper and prove to me it wasn't "old". He thought I would reconsider, since it was a 1996 model.
I had not named a cut-off year and he apparently did not hear what I said about unkempt. I was pretty sure this was the same group I had spoken with last Monday, but I asked if I had seen this 1996 camper and he replied that I had seen it last week. I said, "I am sorry, but the answer is still no." Then he said, "But it isn't old, it is a 1996."
"Just to be sure, you came in with this camper last week. It is a fifth wheel, not in very good shape with a tarp covering the roof ......." I said to the hopeful owner of the 1996 fifth wheel. "Yes, that's the one, and it isn't a 1986, like I thought, so can we come in now?"
It is going to be a long, long week.