The job at the Seligman KOA did not work out for me. I lasted barely three weeks even though it was only a two-day workweek. The job mainly consisted mainly of checking in new arrivals but also cashiering the store and cleaning rest rooms (there were only two). Before I started I was told that the work day would be from 8 to 10 in the morning and 2 to 6 in the afternoon. That gave a four hour break over lunch, but there was little you could do with it and I just took Duffy for a walk in the campground and read in the motorhome. The day started with checking the restroom areas and laundry room, light cleaning as needed, then opening the office which included opening the front door at 8:00 AM, setting up the cash register for the new day, making coffee, turning on various lights, and booting up the two Microsoft computers. In addition there was a CD player that continuously played the same ten or fifteen songs from the 50s over and over and over again with the volume required to be set at level “9.” And lo, to me if I ever forgot to turn on the music!
The software that KOA uses is antiquated and very difficult for me to get a handle on. It’s a DOS based program (remember DOS from the 1980s?) that is anti-intuitive with a confusing and clumsy user interface. In addition to that the owner/manager was difficult for me to get along with. She was loud and blunt and her sense of humor was not humorous, often abusive, not only to me but to other employees and even the customers. She was a micromanager who made what could have been a good workday into an uncomfortable daily experience. The day started at 8:00 AM and went until 10. There was supposed to be a 4-hour lunch break but it was actually only three because, before opening the office at 2:00 PM, the restrooms needed to be thoroughly cleaned and, if any of the cabins had been rented the previous day, they needed to be cleaned as well. At the end of the day the register needed to be cashed out. This too was a complicated procedure that included printing an adding machine tape. She stood over my shoulder while I did this and if I printed an erroneous tape, she would jump on that saying that I was wasting paper. This paper waste was all of about 4 inches of a 1½ inch wide tape. She would often burst into the office in mid-sentence expecting me know to know the thread of her thoughts. One afternoon, after break: “…tell me my hair was a mess?! I said I wasn’t going to take a shower but when I saw my hair I had to take a shower. I don’t want anybody thinking that I take showers without reason (in the middle of the day), especially when I said I wasn’t going to take a shower!” This at full volume. “I wasn’t paying any attention, I guess,” I replied. “Why would I care what your hair looks like?”
There was no salary with the job, only the camp site with all utilities. A few hundred yards away ran a mainline railroad mostly freight trains at an average rate of every 20 minutes, 24/7 but after awhile, this went unnoticed. There were almost no trees in the campground leaving the RV sites exposed to the sun most of the day.
During my third week I got a call from the management people at Yellowstone National Park asking if I was interested in working there for the summer. I told them I was interested, thinking I could leave this unpleasant situation. I told the KOA manager that I would be leaving. She said, “OK,” and stormed away in her little golf cart. I shouted after her, “don’t you want to know the reason?” She backed up the cart and said, “why?” I told her about the job offer. She asked when I would be leaving, I said tomorrow, which would have been Sunday. She drove off only to come zooming back a couple of hours later saying she wanted me to pay if I was going to spend the night. I had packed up earlier in the day thinking she might boot me out. I said, “I’ll leave now,” and was on the road in less than an hour. Good riddance.
Late Saturday afternoon, the 19th of May, I arrived at Rush Truck Center to have some routine maintenance done to the coach. I had called them on Saturday and made an appointment for Monday. I parked the coach in the Truck Center parking lot, waiting for the shop to open on Monday morning. Duffy and I would dry-camp here for the next three nights.
As it turned out, I didn’t take the job at Yellowstone, although it offered a campsite at reduced rate and a salary of about $9/hr. I would have worked 5 days per week, nine hours a day and would have to leave Duffy alone all that time. I could have used the money to supplement my static retirement but both my dog and I would have been very unhappy with the situation.
The routine maintenance on the coach did not solve a nagging high engine heat problem as I had hoped it would. I had the cooling system drained and flushed and the radiator steam cleaned, all to no avail. Also had the transmission serviced and engine oil changed. With that out of the way, on Tuesday May 2nd we headed north up U.S. Highway 89 out of Flagstaff to Bonito campground in the Sunset Volcano Crater National Park. Things are looking up!