Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tough Decision

The last two work decisions we have made have turned out to be less than stellar.  We ask tons of questions, do research on the location, get things in writing, etc.; however, one cannot really tell what’s up until one sees it up close.  I have also learned that folks sometimes tend to (selectively?) omit facts and conditions of the position and environment.

Imagine that.

“Friday is chaos day.  Saturday is drunk day.  Sunday is catastrophe day.”  This is what we were told on arrival to the COE park and it turned out to be more spot on than “It’s a quiet park.” Friday booth traffic was nonstop and often bumper-to-bumper in both incoming lanes and constant traffic in the outgoing lanes.  Saturday was almost the same and Sunday not much better.  Sunday evening a young man came to our site (i.e., up to our RV) wanting to return the event shelter key and get a deposit back.  (Even though not officially working yet, I got in touch with a ranger and found out how to handle this.)  Also Sunday evening, the sheriff’s car came blasting through the entrance as fast as safely possible over the two big speed bumps and tearing up the park road with lights flashing.  At least twice.  He’d pulled over a couple of vehicles on Saturday by our site, too.  The day before our arrival, a 14-year-old girl was killed on the lake (apparently struck by a boat).  Traffic passing right by our rig at all hours of the day and night. (The main entrance road is not gated.)  On our one day off, going to the bank and post office to get the week’s deposit of money converted to cashier’s check and mailed.  (That’s not really being off, is it?)  Sewer ground connection at same level as our rig’s connection and on an incline, resulting in manual draining of hose whenever dumping.  With over 100 campsites, day use/swim beach/event shelter, marina and restaurant on the property and being the closest to town, this particular park is the busiest on Beaver Lake.  And I’m guessing quite possibly the rowdiest.

Okay, some of those were minor and totally doable.  One just puts up with “stuff.”  No big deal.  We could have stuck it out.  It was a lovely natural environment, which was a definite big plus.

However, after being contacted by the security company we’ve worked with since 2010 (New Jersey, South Carolina gigs), we did some soul-searching.  The result is . . .

We are headed back to South Carolina for a few months of security work.  Yes, back to the same gig in SC that we left in March.  We feel like we’re going “home” and back to “family” with the security and contracting companies.

After the experiences of the past few months, the SC gig will be Paradise.  Even with the heat, humidity, abundant bugs, howling coyotes, stray dogs, flat tires on patrol trucks, going to the laundromat, etc.

I felt like a heel bailing on the COE job.  That’s really not how I operate.  Never have been a job-hopper.  That was Sunday night, and I got about 1.5 hours of sleep wrestling with feelings of . . . guilt and being a low-life for bailing.


Ultimately, one has to take care of oneself and try to do what’s best for one’s circumstances.

Openings for the security work don’t come around that often, the pay is better and there is virtually no stress.  I’ll be able to work my part-time online job to supplement our income and we’ll be able to start putting away some money into savings again every month.  We’ll also be “back in the fold,” as Dave put it – back on the security company’s books – and definitely on the roster for any future work that comes up, which is what we would like to see happen.

In addition, the security work is much better for me health-wise.  I’ll spare you the details. 

We pulled out of Prairie Creek right around 9 AM Monday and have been here at Ivy’s Cove RV Retreat since that afternoon.  Today is a day for rest, trip route planning and laundry.  We’ll hit the road again in the morning.  We have almost two weeks until we go on duty in SC, so we’re leisurely making our way there with short travel days and some layovers to enjoy ourselves and rest.

Dave marveled (and perhaps had a heebie-jeebie moment) at the camber (tilt) of the rig as I turned the corner on the COE park road up to an area where I could turn us around.  It really was intimidating-looking, but actually not too bad just taking it slow and easy.  It is extremely hilly there and not really “big rig friendly.”

Cheers also to the big-rig driver in the lane next to us at the Pilot where we stopped for fuel en route.  The truck in front of us took forever at the pump and then  pulled forward after fueling, albeit not up to “the line.”  After pulling forward, he disappeared and was still nowhere to be seen after we fueled, cleaned our windshield and hung out for a while.  The driver in the next lane knew the guy was inside just . . . well, dawdling.  He offer to spot me so I could back up a bit and then pull forward and through an empty fueling lane.  He was great and, thanks to his help, we were back on our way.

Looks like we’re also dodging Tropical Storm Bill as it slams into Texas and makes it way up into the Ozarks.  We’ve had rain here and may have some for a while tomorrow, but the weather should improve as we travel eastward.  It will be much hotter and more humid as we progress, but we realize that and are prepared to “grin” and bear Summer in SC.  Fortunately, we will be working night shift and can hibernate indoors during the heat of the days.

The past several months have been stressful, but we have kept alive our senses of humor, fun and enjoyment of each other.  The reality is that leaving the South Carolina gig was the worst career move either of us has ever made, and we’ve both been working since our teens.  (“What the $W*#$&@ were we thinking??”) We have, however, learned a lot – about working in a campground (the good, the bad and the ugly) and taking job descriptions with a humongous shaker of salt.

Once we got on the road yesterday, I have felt more relaxed than I have in months, since leaving SC.  I thoroughly enjoyed towing our rig yesterday, slept well last night, have had a good day today and look forward to our journey commencing tomorrow.

I suppose one has to get out there and try different things, so we’ll chalk some of this up as a learning experience.

And an adventure, as always.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Well, at least you got to see a different bit of country in the last few months. It's better to bite the bullet and leave a situation that you were seeming to like less and less each day, than to stay and jeopardize your health.

  2. Oh My Word---Talk about an Adventure. Kuddo's tho, to you guys in knowing what is NOT working for you. May you find peace and quiet back in S.C. Betty, your sense of humor never leaves you. Enjoyed reading this but Oh My!!!!

  3. You now made the right decision.... back to a company you know and trust. And they must like and trust you too.

  4. Do a Page for RV parks and then you can have a list of where you have been. If I don't write it down, I don't remember where we were.


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