I don’t have a brother but I’m done sighing so that’s the alternative to my predicament.
I haven’t written in a while… Over a month.
I went to the Grand Canyon, hiked down South Kaibab Trail and came up Bright Angel Trail with a really good friend who’s new to backpacking. Then did a road trip to Sedona and New Mexico.
Whilst during all this, I got 2 seasonal job offers. One at Yellowstone – the lady was even willing to get my flight ticket – and another at a special needs camp in TX. I wish I’d taken one of those instead of the “year round position” I took in Tennessee.
How do I put this? This place is… Well, horrible. At least for me. I spent the last of my savings to go across the country based on conversations I’d had with the owner, who seemed so sweet. The first day upon my arrival, they spring on me that this is a new job they’ve created and that, really, in one week they’d see if it (and I) even work. What?!??? I specifically told them that the worst thing for either of us would be surprised and was forthcoming about EVERYTHING , even my painful periods since that may affect my work.
3 days in and I’ve never been chastised so much. Everything I do seems to be wrong and the more I try to get something done perfect, the more I seem to fuck up something else. I haven’t even been shown around and have to constantly ask where everything is. I feel like they want someone who is meek, accepts what is said to them and doesn’t ask questions and that’s just not me.
The lady put in charge of assisting me hates me (although I think she just has never been laid and hates everyone). When I brought this up to the wife of the owner, she said she’s just a “spiteful bitch” and not to take anything personally. That’s all fine and dandy but who allows someone like that to train with new hires? Do you even WANT people to stay? Also, if I remember correctly, she said this lady was one of her closest friends and has been there for a while. WHY, on God’s green earth, would you call her such a mean word (even if it is true) to another worker? I don’t even want to know what she says about me behind my back.
Not to whine but they’re getting me at a steal. Not to say numbers but I was making what they pay a week (6 days of working, mind you) in a long day. I simply wanted a place to call home, a place I could just walk around in mid or after work to explore nature. I like money but it’s not what motivates me. I want a job I can grow in, that allows me my freedoms but also tends to its workers and, in return, I’d bust my ass for them. I’m loyal but I don’t give my loyalty freely anymore.
Working 6 days a week doesn’t allow for any backpacking, which I was hoping to do.
And she says that on my day off, I HAVE to get my social security card, which I lost in one of my many moves, before she can even pay me even though I have a driver’s license, valid passport AND a green card. Oh, and I remember my social security # so anyone familiar with I-9 form (form to be filled out for IRS and so you can be paid) knows to have the physical card isn’t even mandatory. Yes, it’ll be good to have but to threaten me that I’m working for free otherwise is unnecessary. When I tried to tell her if she just brought out the form and that I’ve dealt with I-9s as HR and an Office Manager, she simply yelled “people MUCH smarter than you have told me otherwise. Plus, I’m the boss. What I say goes!”. Woah! Inability to even open your mind to what one of your workers has to say isn’t a good look on any executive, I don’t care what industry.
The more I try to appease her, the more she tells me how I’m doing things wrong. I’m desperate but not this desperate. The trains run through here and I thought earlier today (and yesterday and the day before) “What a relief it’d be just to stand in front of it and get it over with”. But I know that’d let her win. I can’t have that.
I’ve been in tight spots before and I’ve been blessed with angels coming into my life in the form of friends and family … And even strangers. But when wil this end? I can’t just give up and be a desk jockey unless it’s for something I’m passionate about. When things are calm and I’m making money, I hate my life. But being in this predicament is really triggering my depression.
Now, I’m sitting with my fruit (oh, did I forget to mention: the lady who hates me is the cook. Worst situation ever. Since I get off at 5pm and guests don’t eat until 6, I have to grab leftover food and eat it in the barn I live in – which had a microwave but still. She says I can’t grab a plate and have to use styrofoam containers for the food. I tried telling her toxic that is. First, I hate microwaves but can get over that. I am NOT, however, eating melted/microwaved styrofoam food. But I guess that’s what happens when the cook is your worst enemy). On the bright side, I guess I’ll lose weight. My diet was worse on trail but at least that had been my decision, not someone else’s.
I’ve never been the litigious sort but, had I a shitload of money, I’d sue this place. The passive aggressive hazing, the situation they helped put me in (because, really, it’s mostly my fault for being naive and trusting they’d hold up their end) and horrible food/living standards are the worst I’ve seen. And I don’t like bullies. They shouldn’t be allowed to treat people like this.
There’s nobody to talk to here. There are only the husband and wife owners, the cook and the wrangler (who seems nice but we never see each other). So gotta get this out somehow. I feel like I’m just bursting with this frustration. I’ve never wanted to punch anyone so bad. Wish I could take one of my old kickboxing classes right now. I’m too wired to even do any yoga.
Not that everything is horrible! The guests are fantastic, the 47 or so Arabian horses and all the other animals are wonderful too. And even the owner lady is super sweet when guests are around but, when they leave, she yells at me constantly. I feel like I’m a naughty child or something and I’m 30 years old. Shiiiit.
So, stuck in TN. Need to get out. Looking to work someplace that wants a spunky, motivated person that’s not afraid of hard work. Willing to work from the bottom up and prove myself. Know of any place like this? Let me know!
Now, here are some pics:
Had to take a walk before even writing this, just to chill out. Here are some wild turkeys just roaming around.
Woo-Woo, my best friend in this place. He’s such a good listener.
12 thoughts on “Oh, brother!”
Life is too short. Quit. There should be seasonal jobs still available. Could you call Yellowstone and see if there is anything else you could do? Sometimes the Park Service hires for trail crew jobs in the Southeast. Look on usajobs.gov, or google, wish I had the current info. I am a desk jockey and here to tell you it isn’t all bad. I have time for backpacking. But I’m not saying you have to do that.
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Ha! Totally didn’t mean any offense with desk jockey comment. Just not ready yet to get back behind the computer full time. And, yes, I intend to. Have a friend in Virginia who’s willing to put me up there. I hear it’s beautiful there
So grateful to have come across this blog entry. I almost accepted a job at this place. You saved me from unnecessary heartache. I relate a lot to your writings in general and look forward to seeing future blog entries.
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Oh good! And I’m SO glad you came across it too. Seriously. I wouldn’t wish the place on my worst enemy. Now I don’t feel so bad whining a bit since it seems something good came of it. And thanks for the truly kind words. ❤
Wow. I don’t know what to say. I came across your blog after I discovered the Sounds of the Trail podcast. I really liked your direct and to-the-point way of speaking on the podcast. My longest backpacking trip so far has been about 20 miles. Ha!
I’m seriously thinking about quitting my job and going for a really long walk.
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Hey, I met a girl who’d barely hiked at all and she was doing great!!! I say go for it!!! Life will never be the same again if you do, I assure you 🙂
I’ve met a few successful thru-hikers and they are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I’ve received nothing but encouraging words.
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They really are (being an unsuccessful one I can still try to be just as encouraging ;)) ! Don’t listen to naysayers. There will be a few but they suck anyway. What trail you thinking of doing? Or will you just highway walk across states?
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Are you David? Just got the email! Thank you!!!!!! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
Yes. I’m David 🙂 I’m hoping to start a flip-flop in Harpers Ferry, WV on the AT in Spring 2016. I’ll head southbound to Springer Mountain, then if all goes well I’ll make my way back to Harpers Ferry and head north from there.
I’ve only done three short backpacking trips. The first one was essentially car camping. The second two was 15 mi over two days. The third was I think a little over 15 miles over three days. Got to experience rain and lots of mud. Hehe.
*The second was 15 mi over two days.
Girl, so bummed to read this! Get outta there. The most valuable thing you “own” is your time and effort. These people don’t sound deserving of either.