not all things last
At our next job we would be working in a campground doing a little bit of everything. We were very excited about this opportunity. It wasn’t a very large campground and the owners were great! After we started we found out that there would be another young couple working with us and we would all have the same days off. This was great news because we would hopefully make friends and spend the whole summer exploring the local area. The other thing we were told on arrival was that the campground was in the process of being sold and the new owners, as long as everything went through, would be taking over in the beginning of July. And, they would be here soon to learn about the campground operations alongside us. This made us very hesitant but we pushed those feelings away and set to learning as much as we could from the current owners.
We would take a quick hiatus from working in the campground and bonzai a trip to the Salinas area of California so that we could see Ben’s cousin Cydney graduate from high school. This was the first time we would take a trip without our home in tow, leaving it behind in Idaho and just taking Lauren’s car. It was the highlight of our season.
It was the beginning of May when we started so we had two months to learn from our current employers. And, shortly after we started we would meet our co-workers Brandon and Madelyn or as we referred to them as, “Brandelyn.” They were travelling in a van that they had built out themselves and had already started a YouTube channel (Born2Explore). We had a lot in common and would meet up in town when we went grocery shopping to cruise RV dealers and look at all kinds of rigs and go out to lunch. We also went to check out EBR-1 the atomic power plant we had tried to go see with Tony and Terri before it opened. We were having a ton of fun hanging out with our new friends, and working in the campground. One of our favorite tasks was making free, to order Belgium Waffles every morning for the campers.
We were also working with the soon to be owners who had arrived a few weeks after we started. Our very first introduction to them was off putting. We were in uniform at the office when they came in and did not even acknowledge our existence. Without introducing themselves they looked straight past us and insisted to the owner that the site they had been put in did not have a sewer connection. After investigation we found that they had parked on top of the sewer connection. Their tire was literally on top of it.
At this point Lauren had worked 23 seasons and Ben had worked 9 seasons of seasonal employment. In that time, we had grown to strive to provide great guest service and made it a goal of ours to continue to learn from others and improve our skills. We were very much enjoying working at this campground and it wasn’t very big, meaning that we did not need a very large staff. We loved this because it meant that we were doing a little bit of everything from reservations, housekeeping, grounds keeping , to maintenance. Ben would often call out on the radio after a guest checked out of a cabin to housekeeping that a cabin was ready to be cleaned and then would laugh to himself saying “oh yeah, that’s me.” This campground was unlike other campgrounds we had experienced as it was not a destination and more of a stop over for many guests. This meant we would see the campground at capacity of a Friday night and by Saturday morning it would be empty as many guests were on their way to another destination. It was a small RV park with great potential and the weather was great too.
Unfortunately, there was one major problem. We did not quite see eye to eye with the soon to be owners and they did not treat us or the guests particularly well. We were loving working with Brandon and Madelyn which made the decision we were about to make very difficult. We put in our two weeks notice with the current owners which coincided with the day the new owners would close on the property. When the new owners found out, they threw another tantrum which was not a surprise to us as we had seen them throw tantrums in the past. As they yelled and cussed at us for the last time, we knew we made the right decision to leave.
Not long after they found out we received a message from our boss that we were not in trouble but when Brandon and Madelyn came in to relieve us from our shift, to come to see them. When we got there we were invited in and told that the new owners did not want us to finish out our last couple of days and that even though this was the case we could still stay on the property as they still owned it for the next 72 hours. They would cut us our last checks right then and even pay us for the next few days of lost time and apologized for the way we were treated. We thanked them and said that we would prefer to just leave the property that night and could pack up and leave within the hour. We didn’t feel safe staying after the way we were treated. So, we said our tearful goodbyes to Brandon and Madelyn and packed up the rig. We were ready to get on the road in thirty minutes and were pulling out of the campground. We had just barely pulled out of the campground when the new owner pulled out behind us in his truck and followed us to the edge of town.
We were in separate vehicles when we left and did not have any way of communicating with each other for a few hours. Eventually we pulled over at a gas station so that we could take a moment to let the reality of what had just happened sink in. We were upset with the turn of events and felt really bad about leaving our new friends. However, at that moment there was also a relief that rushed over both of us. We didn’t know where we were going to stay for the night but one thing we did know was that season six was going to happen sooner than planned.