During the month of October, I learned many things, some about myself and some about the world around me. For instance I learned that I dislike driving in Narnia. I also learned that natural selection doesn’t always work in this day and age.
The month started and ended with snow. We were all set to have a late peak for fall foliage as September ended. This would have been very good for us financially speaking as there would have been a lot more bookings at the end of October (people like dying leaves, what can I say?). Unfortunately at the very beginning of October there was a very cold snap and one morning our guests woke up to about a quarter inch of snow on the ground. Rather unusual and it set the colors forward by about two weeks. Fast forward to the end of the month. Last Friday (Oct 29) it started to snow. It started around 3 and by the time I asked to leave early at around 9 there were already a couple inches on the ground. I drove home at about 15 mph and still managed to slide my front wheels and do a 180. I have come to the conclusion that I hate driving in Narnia.
October is the busiest month of the year where I work for one reason: dying leaves. People come from hundreds of miles away to see our fall foliage. I’m sure other people know about leaf peepers, those nuts that come out once a year to look at leaves, experience nature, and drive infuriatingly slowly. Once a year they and their special breed of madness descend upon us. People actually book a year ad a half in advance for some of our rooms. Then of course there are the people that booked the cheapest rooms we sell two days before and pitch a fit when they get here because they don’t have a world class view of the valley. Yes, the leafers are a special breed, and not necessarily in a good way (we have people now in November upset that all the foliage is gone. I keep explaining nine inches of snow will do that).
Even among the leaf peepers there are those people you would swear are just too stupid to live. This October we had one fire and one almost fire. The fire occurred on a Monday night in one of our suites. A couple was cold (or perhaps just really liked fire) and built themselves a roaring blaze in the fire place. In the middle of the night their neighbor came to complain. The night auditor (the only staff member on duty) could see flames shooting out of the chimney we she stepped outside to look. It took two fire extinguishers to put out the twelve logs they’d stuffed into the fire place. They fire department still had to come to put out the chimney. And they worst part of all of this? The neighbor kept blocking everyone’s way because they weren’t done complaining.
About a week later the second incident involving fire happened. We were hosting a wedding and some of the drunker guess decided that it would be a wonderful, romantic gesture to set off luminaries. They’re kind of like miniature, candle powered hot air balloons. Apparently our guests did not realize that ‘fire + dead leaves’ does not equal ‘romantic’, but does equal ‘flaming inferno of death’. Thankfully the park service was able to retrieve the luminaries before this unfortunate scenario occurred.
People ask me how I like my job, and most of the time I can say I like it well enough. Then there are the nights when I thank god some idiot hasn’t managed to kill us all.
Remember, the more you work with the public, the more you realize how many morons there are.