This summer, for me, it’s all about cleaning. I’m on the housekeeping and laundry squad. Rah! Rah! Rah!
Some days it’s just me, another workamper, and co-owner, Paulette Vickers. Mid-week, my job can be easy, and there might not be a single cabin to clean. On these slow days, I’ll go work in Paulette’s garden, which is a great change of pace, since I love playing in the dirt, and her yard is awesome.
But on the weekends, when we have to turn over nine cabins before 3pm check-in, that’s when things get really dirty, and the “all hands on deck!” call will go out for everyone to pitch in.
Tourists, Please Don’t be a Slob
There are about 13 cabins total. Most are two bedrooms, but some are four, and they can be a lot of work to clean. Most guests are well behaved and keep the cabins relatively neat, but occasionally you’ll get one jerk who decides he has the right to leave a disgusting mess for us (while probably thinking; “hey, it gives people jobs“).
Scrubbing floors, cleaning grease off stovetops, sanitizing bathrooms and changing linens is exhausting. It’s mindless and repetitive, and will wear you down quickly if you don’t have a good attitude about it. For me, this job is over at summer’s end, so I look at it like that. Plus, the Vickers family are the greatest, most down to earth people. They’re incredibly generous, kind, funny, and thoughtful, and they make it really fun to be here, even on the hardest days.
All in the Family, All in a Day’s Work
I look at Paulette, and I don’t know how she’s done it for so long. She’s been heading up the housekeeping crew, among her many other roles, for around 30 years. She and husband Larry took over the ranch from Larry’s Dad, Perk, who took it over from his dad. The ranch has been a resort since the 1920s, and the Vickers family has owned this incredible 1800 acre property since the late 1800s.
When I first accepted this assignment, I was surprised to learn that Paulette would be working right alongside me. I assumed only workampers did the grunt work. But what I learned was that in a small, family run resort like this, nobody is above housekeeping duties, even the wrangler, Jeremy. Well, almost nobody thinks they’re above it . . . but that’s a future discussion.
I’m Such a Wimp
This job is hard, but it’s been another insightful step along our path to researching what we want to be when we grow up. I’ve been asking myself: Do I really want to be a resort owner? The answer: no, at least not of a resort on this scale.
I’m disappointed in myself for being such a wuss, and scratching off “Resort Owner” as a future occupation. But, I’m grateful that I learned this about myself, before we blindly bought a resort and dove in head first. After all, these little discoveries are exactly what our journey is all about.
P.S. Ever thought you wanted to get into the resort business? Then I highly recommend reading the book, “I’m Living Your Dream Life,” by Michelle VanOrt Cozzens. It’s an entertaining read about a young couple that decides to flee their big city lifestyle in Oakland, CA, and buy Sandy Point Resort, in Northern Wisconsin. Cozzens gave her book that title, because so many of her guests always tell her “You’re living my dream life!” But being a resort owner isn’t always a dream, and Cozzins’ book gives a truthful, humorous look at her “dream life.”