After considering my last, mostly negative post from the entrance station, I thought I should write a second to cover my butt just a bit. Yes, there are a lot of frustrating things about working in the entrance station, but there are a lot of great things too. And I thought they deserved their own blog post. So here are some of the things I like about working in the entrance station:
1. Although there are certainly downsides to working a four-and-a-half-hour shift by yourself, the upside is this: solitude. It’s funny, you would think in a place like this that would be an easy thing to find, and it is. But there’s never time for it! My job here is basically to talk to people all day, and when I get home from work, my evenings are filled. Although this is by far the smallest community I’ve ever lived in, it’s also definitely the most socially active. It’s hard to find a moment for yourself when the entire neighborhood abides by an open-door policy. For the most part, I really like that. But it’s one of those things you don’t realize you miss until you have it again. Sometimes it sucks to be out here all by myself. And other times, it’s surprisingly awesome.
2. The people. I know my last post was basically one giant rant about how people suck, but generally, most people are very happy and excited to be coming into the park. Yes they ask some silly questions on occasion, and some are unappreciative and obnoxious, but for the most part people are very kind and curious. I get told on a regular basis how helpful/informative/beautiful/generally awesome I am by happy, grateful visitors. Sometimes all the smiling gets exhausting, but is it really fair to complain about that?
3. The presents! Going along the theme of good people, I’ve met a few exceptionally beautiful people out here in the entrance station. Once I gave a gentleman some advice on good hiking trails during a morning shift, only to find him knocking on my window a few hours later, a bouquet of handpicked wildflowers extended toward me, encased in a recycled coke can. “I thought you would like these,” he said, “to brighten things up in there.” He drove off then, with no other agenda than to make my day. And he did.
Another time I got to talking to an older couple after my patio talk. Somehow we got onto the topic of my life and I told them how stressed out I was about what I should do with myself come September. Later that day as I worked in the entrance station, they knocked on my window with a bottle of wine. “Mull it over with this,” they told me, “You’ll do fabulous at whatever you choose.”
The other day, another couple offered me a homemade rice crispy treat in exchange for an extra map. How could I say no?
Oh yes. It’s definitely a hard knock life out here in the entrance station.