Saturday, May 24, 2014
Just Need To Sleep
Here I sit, sleep deprived, with only 20 minutes left until I can lock up for the night ......
I am not pleasant when I am this tired, but I need to wait for one last rig to pull in. It has been a trying day here at the kampground. Oscar, the old dachshund is barking incessantly, impatient for bedtime. Snowcone syrup cover my left hand and arm. Cotton candy, the blue dye is soaking into my skin, like an absurd tattoo. Children assault me with the same questions they asked last year on this same holiday. "What time does the pool close?" Dark. "When is dark?" Dark is when the sun no longer lightens the sky and you need artificial lights to see.
Every season I strive to be more organized, more steam-lined with check-ins. I carefully gather information when reservation are made in order to place every camper in the site most ideal to suit their needs. I ask all the pertinent questions, answer all the inane questions and am always full of hope when the day arrives, that this year all will run smoothly.
And every year I am disappointed. People come for a few seasons and then move on for whatever reasons. They like to try new places, go on longer trips, or just become disinterested in camping as the children grow and develop more activities. My seasonals are steadfast and I always look forward to seeing them. I also have groups and families that come every year on holidays. I have watched babies turn into toddlers and school-agers go off to college. It is almost like an extended family. I look forward to them, also.
But, like with everything in life, you have to take the good with the bad. It is only Saturday and I still have a long day and a half to go before I start to see the caravan of campers exiting the park.
It all began Friday, only yesterday, but it seems like so long ago. Check-in is "any time after noon". A litany I repeat with every reservation I take. They started to arrive at 9:00. No matter, I took it in stride. Kept me running back and forth as I finished my morning chores. By noon I am stuck in the store, with no view of the sites. They stream in and I carefully assign sites, confident that everyone is following my instructions. I have two large groups. One group comes every year. No deposit is required and they always fill the sites in order, so that if one of their group is a no-show, I can easily rent the left-over sites to over-nighters. Their kids are respectful and I am free to call them down should they misbehave. Love these people.
The other group is a new group. They came early in the spring and took 7 sites. Liked it and decided to come back for the Memorial Day weekend. One among them just wanted to put up a tent on one of the sites they were on. Unlike other campgrounds, I allow this and only charge the extra $2 per person per night that I would charge extra people in the camper. I am nice like that. For now. I am re-thinking this as I write this.
The first time they came the park was not reserved to capacity. When they made the reservations for this weekend, I made it clear that we would be full. They wanted 10 sites, 8 for sure, maybe 10. Not hearing from them last week, I could only assume they needed only 8, so I booked the remaining 2 sites. Glad I did, since only 5 showed up. The tenter came along again and the same understanding as before and paid accordingly. The woman told me how great it was that I would allow this. I basked in her approval for only a short time.
I assigned them their sites as they arrived, only to discover they had spread out, even putting the extra tent on a full hook-up site that was assigned to someone else. When that camper arrived and tried to pull into their site, they called and I relocated them rather than take the time to make the tenters move. I had some travelers come in off the road and as I tried to put them in the unused sites from that group I realized that no-one had pulled into their assigned sites, but had just taken ones they wanted, thinking to use the entire area.
I was annoyed when I went to bed. This morning I sent He Who was not allowed to abandon me to tow out to eyeball all the sites and tell me what I had open. I knew I would have some last minute campers calling, hoping to find an opening.
I did get several calls and campers started to arrive. I began filling the empty sites according to the size and electrical needs of the campers. Had a big rig coming that would need 50 amp service and a long site, so I once again call upon He Who un-clogs shower drains to actually go and look to make sure the site I have in mind is still open.
Good thing I did. The tenters who had occupied a full hook up site the night before, preventing me from incurring revenue had taken it upon them selves to move. Yes, they moved to the site I now needed to put this traveler on. Keep in mind, that I had decided to just let them be and work around them, avoiding a confrontation. He Who is normally quite easy going was having none of that. He requested they move. The same woman who had extolled my virtues upon arrival became incensed and told him she was not moving again, that she had moved twice already because "you put people in the sites next to us". They decided to leave and came to the office to get a refund. No, I am not kidding. She told me they had "had to move twice already", giving me the impression that one of us (not me) had requested the move. I gave her a refund and explained to her that when she was here before that she had not occupied a site and that the revenue from sites is how a campground survives. I was nice. The store was full of people and she ended up looking like an ass.
It has been a long day, surely Even Steven and Murphy's Law owes me a better tomorrow and a good night's sleep ..........