Sunday May 22nd -Saturday May 29th
Sunday morning and I’m up around six thirty, before my afternoon shift, I have a number of things to accomplish today before my first solo shift which includes locking-up and being on-call all night. We purchased a new Clam while in Arizona, and want to get it set up for shelter and privacy as we are in a bit of close quarters with other campsites, as well as doing some trimming our site, and also getting our flag pole up as well.
But first our regular Sunday morning shows Willie Geist for Miss Laurie and CBS Sunday Morning for me, we are still streaming our US streaming service, I occasionally get a warning about being out of the prescribed viewing area, but it is still streaming ok out of Seattle Washington, and I guess as long as it continues to work I will continue with it. I would drop it and pick up a Canadian streaming service, but there is nothing comparable at a reasonable price that gives more than one Canadian network, and this service includes the golf channel and with weekend afternoons off, it seems like good value for now.
First task was the flagpole, I just used the hydraulic jack to raise the right rear dual wheels and slid the base under it, eze peze, next onto preparing the spot for the Clam, our site is deep, but not real wide, so I needed to back the Clam up as much as possible so a little pruning of some bushes was needed, then rake the gravel to get the spot ready. Now pop the Clam up and position it to give as much space in our site as possible, the new Clam is a 12′ hexagon same as the old Clam but is about six inches taller than the last one, but the front of the coach awning goes over the roof giving us shelter on rainy days.
The weed wacking never got done, as the PGA golf tournament was on the television, and we had a mail call with Steve & Karen, that’s when we decide what mail is either needed or worthy of being sent to us. I would say that 90% of all our communication is done electronically, but some things we just can’t seem to stop, like a magazine that is part of a package that we subscribe to, it is available on line, but has no option to stop the paper copy from arriving every couple of months.
So, this is Sunday afternoon, on a holiday weekend, and I’m the newest member of the team and I’m on shift all by my self. Like seriously what could go wrong? So my shift started quiet enough, with a quick run down of the items of concern, the pool, stocking of the firewood, and the problem guests in the park. So after quick survey of the park and pool area, every thing seemed quiet enough for now.
My first task will be the firewood run, so at four thirty I headed up to the woodlot to get the old Mazda pick-up and make sure is was still loaded from the night before, you see sometimes if they need more fire wood in wood-shed at the store they will bring the truck down to refill the shed, and may or may not refill the truck. It was still full, so I throw a few bundles of kindling on top and I was off on the wood-run. The idea is to make two trips around the complete park, nice and slow with a flashing yellow light on the roof. People flag me down, and pay cash for as many bags as they want, then I move on to the next row, that process normally takes a little over an hour, and what ever wood is left I normally unload at the wood shed to be sold from the store, then back up the hill to the wood lot to reload the truck for the next run.
As I was reloading the truck when I got a call on the two-way radio about some problem children in the playground by the pool, I had the same problem the night before, the park has a large piece of equipment in the playground, but it is the old wood style and is equipped with a roof that is made with a coloured tarp draped over a couple of sections, these kids were climbing on the tarped area and sliding down, they were also bullying the younger kids away from the playground. Of course by the time I got back down the hill they were gone, but I was expecting them to come back, as when I spoke to them the night before for the same issue there was no remorse, just lots of attitude, they couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me what site they were from, but I had the area figured it out by time my shift was over.
By now it’s six thirty and I’m headed to the coach for some dinner, some nourishment and a chance to put my feet up and rest after slugging all that firewood. As I headed back out another trip around the park to make sure everything was still quiet, it seems all good, so with an hour to kill before the pool closing I knocked off a couple of small projects. At twenty to eight I was off to the pool, to check and adjust the chemicals, and close it for the night. Unlike back in Ontario where the pool chemicals needed to be monitored every two hours, here in British Columbia it only gets checked twice a day and all chemicals are added after closing, again the new guy is deciding on what pool chemicals to add.
The pool closing takes near half an hour to check and go through all the procedures that are in place. As I locked the gate and headed off for another security round, I noticed the problem kids heading toward the playground. Unlike at a seasonal park, it is more difficult to keep track of what kids belong to what guardian, and believe me, I use the term guardian very loosely. So after this new confrontation I was off to find their said guardian, I was unable to, as there was no one was at the campsite, so I turned it over to the manager and she contacted the guardian by phone, relayed our concerns and we’re reassured that the problem would be handled.
It is a strange night, not a lot of people out tonight, I’m assuming because to the “Battle of Alberta” NHL hockey game, so lots of people, in trailers glued to the game. So here is where I most likely jinxed myself by thinking my first solo night might not be so bad, and that was the beginning of what would turn into a night of alcohol induced stupidity.
It started right around ten o’clock, I was is the workshop which is located under the clubhouse, I could hear a terrible commotion consisting of head banger music coming from the group tent camping area, so I head off it investigate, I get to the campsite and everyone is pretty much drunk, I discover a girl with a needle stuck in her arm, I would assume some sort of drug issue, the “guardian”, seems to be nearly passed-out drunk, but after asking three or four times, I did get someone to understand that they needed to turn off the music, and I use that term music very loosely, there seemed to be five or six females at this site of varying ages.
So I guess some of them decide to start roaming around the park, so three of these girls, managed to find a couple of boys, you know the type, the ones that aren’t able to even pull their pants up to their waist, the type that commonly struggle to form sentences more that two words long. Now they some how end up on the balcony of the clubhouse, so I have to roust them out of there, it is a popular spot because, there is a receptacle on the wall to plug in a phone charger, it’s at this point that I realize it is going to be a long night, because the big fella is trying to talk, but its just words, most of which make little to no sense at all, but after explaining there is no alcohol allowed off of your campsite, as one boy is carrying a bottle of vodka, the other is vaping marijuana, one girl which I know is high on drugs and the other two are drinking coolers, and all these kids are to be at their own site by ten o’clock. But they do head off toward the girls campsite.
I’m now heading out for my last security round for the night for the night, at least in theory, again I’m thinking the park is quiet for a holiday weekend, and then I find these drunken teenagers again this time on the other side of the clubhouse, so again I roust them out of there and this time they decide to head to the boys campsite, at the other end of the park, so I’m hoping other than some noise as they talk, heading that way all will be quiet. I know in my heart the quiet won’t last, so I head to the coach after my shift and wait for the complaint calls to come in, up until now no one has actually complained.
Shortly after midnight I get the call from the manager, there is a noise complaint from near the pool area, a group of teenagers, but they are headed my way, toward the clubhouse, so I asked what steps I should take next, as speaking to them in English has not been working either not understood or just ignored, so the plan is some back-up, and try to get some photos of them and then call the RCMP to deal with the issue. So Larry got called in to help out the new guy, we started our search at the girls site, the guardians are still passed out in lawn chairs, no sign of the group, we walked the whole park, but could never find them, so it is decided to call off the search and see what happens, I filed my report to the manager around one o’clock, and sat by the phone till two before turning in for the night with my phone close at hand.
Monday I rolled out of bed around seven o’clock, as I prepared to finish off some of yesterdays projects, I got the weed wacking done, cleaned up a couple of items, drained the freshwater tank, dumped the black and grey tanks, then sat and had some cereal and finished off last weeks blog, and started this weeks while everything is still fresh in my mind, and Miss Laurie ever the optimist tells me there is only four more holiday weekends left before we pull out. I have now moved to the clam and installed the fly roof over it, it is to help with the rain, and with the floor and the fly it could be used as a tent, and seems to be Mr. Sam escape proof.
There was a mass exudes of guests today, many rigs packing up and pulling out, so my shift should have been very simple and easy, but almost as a test of my patience, a guest somewhat frantic asked if I had seen her husband, as he was missing. They had just checked into the park earlier this afternoon and I had no idea where her husband was, but after speaking with her again I determined that there was possible a touch of a mental concern, so some of the staff and guests assisted in looking for the fellow, he turned up later at a local hospital, and she left to retrieve him, and I did not receive any calls for the rest of the night.
Tuesday the first of my three days off this week, the manager asked if I could write up incident reports on the issues from Sunday night so I made up three reports regarding the issues, I then sat in the Clam with Mr. Sam and enjoyed my day off.
I did take a trip to town to the Post Office, to return my Nomad Internet router as I have cancelled my service, I’m working on a different service option for our return to the States. But more on that a little later as our return becomes closer. Any time you need to sent something across the border it is usually complicated and expensive, this time it was only $22.15, to ship, track, and insure the router.
I also booked the toad into a service shop in Chemainus for next Tuesday for an oil service and a check over, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed, and most involve more equipment that I carry with me.
And just to add to my day off I discovered that I have a leak in our fresh water tank again, so I drained the tank, removed some items from that bay and started a fan to dry things out. I had done a repair before we left Ontario, but I knew it might not hold. the product I picked up to complete the fix was not the best, so now I can do a better repair. The coach just like a house always has something that needs repairing or replacing.
Miss Laurie has a shift in the office, which is where all the bookings are done, as well as where all the complaints end up, she said it all made more sense today, and was felling comfortable changing reservations and booking new ones. The issue is knowing what size rigs fit into what sites, there is no written guidelines, so it is a over time learning process, strange for an organization that seems to have so many written guidelines for everything else.
Wednesday and another day off, Miss Laurie is in the office again today and I am just working on cleaning up some blogs that have been sitting. Miss Laurie has found a supply for rhubarb which is just a few kilometers from the campground, kind of like a drug deal, we need to meet at 6 pm, then off to the local grocery store for the needed supplies to make rhubarb crisp which is a real favorite of ours.
I sat in the Clam with Mr. Sam for a while but it is just too damn cool to be comfortable, I got my June schedule today and it appears that I work Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday with Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday off. I’m on security three nights which means on call three nights as well
Thursday and my last day off this week, Miss Laurie is on garden detail today, as she is learning about the operation of the irrigation systems, and how to maintain the different areas. And again I’m working on the computer, doing some banking and paying bills on-line, processing some company bills and just trying to avoid going outside as it is another cool dreary day here on the island.
Friday which is my Monday, starts with me vacuuming the swimming pool, a daily task because of the pine needles from the surrounding trees, there are six skimmers and because of the pine needles they use skimmer socks, and up until recently I didn’t even know that they existed. So the socks have to be cleaned, they protect the pumps as the pine needles can get through the skimmer screens, causing issues in the pump impellors. Today there are only six departures, and I’m the site cleaning today, check out is at 11am and check in is noon so on a busy weekend it could be a busy hour or so, today is not busy and only six sites so should not be to hectic.
This is my only day shift as I swing into the security role for the rest of the week. Which appears to be my regular shift for the month of June, after my site clean up we move on to the book, I refer to it as the “Book of Joy”, it is a daily list of things that need to be addressed in a timely manner, not to be confused with the list of major items to be accomplished that hangs on the wall as a daily reminder of how far we are behind because of the unusually wet, cold, never ending spring.
Because we do not operate noisy equipment on the weekend, just to try not to annoy any more guests than necessary, I spent the afternoon trimming sites on Arizona row. I don’t know why it is called Arizona row, it is not hot and dry, so I’m going to assume it’s because there is such a large quantity of sites jammed into such a small area like many of the Arizona campgrounds. No lawn mover is used, as they can throw stones, so a weed wacker is the weapon of choice, and I spend most of the afternoon trimming the sites.
I guess, I should introduce the players from the Maintenance / Security Crew, Bruce and Larry are the senior members, and both work day shifts as they have fifteen years experience between the two of them. Then there is the three newbies Courtney, Steve and Myself, Courtney works five days shifts a week, her main task is site cleanup along with a list of regular weekly tasks. While Steve and I work opposite shifts, which covers all the security shifts, and also includes lock-up and being on call for any issues, we each work one day a week to cover Courtney’s day off, the joy of being the new guys.
If there is an issue that I’m having, it is the inability to just fix what is broken, now I need to report the issue and wait for the decision to repair comes back, and usually with instruction totally different that I would approach the repair, but I’m the new guy and I also have to realize that we no longer manage the situation, but also don’t have the headache of being in control.
Saturday afternoon, and this afternoon selling firewood is a chunk of my tasks, keeping the wood shed full is where I unload the unsold portion of the firewood from the truck, before returning to the woodlot to reload the truck for the next trip, or restocking the shed. After the wood run usually a quick security check looking for issues or picking out hot spots for later, then a dinner break. After dinner I’m off to close up the pool, eight o’clock is closing time but all the chemical levels need to be checked, skimmers cleaned, filters backwashed, chemical level adjusted, and lock the pool gate for the night.
Now off to the workshop, to check the ‘Book of Joy” for tonight’s task, how many get checked off (completed) depends on the activity in the park, on a quiet night most items get checked off, outside tasks are done on dry evenings and there are normally some items in the shop for those rainy nights, tonight is quiet and dry so I work away at the list until near 10:30 before my last security round, confirming everything is locked and making a final check of the comfort stations, before heading to the coach for an night of being on call.
There are additions made to the “Book of Joy” made almost daily, some items take almost as long to explain, as the time it takes to do the actual item. As the new guy some things seem to just get left for my shift, like digging out old rotten posts to install a new one, I could be wrong, but I’m usually not … jus’saying
Happy Memorial Day to our American Family