Saturday, November 05, 2011


I should be sleeping , not typing.  It's 2am and my first day workamping starts at 5am for a 16 hour shift.  A stupid clock with indoor and outdoor temperature is driving me insane.  The alarm sounded at midnight while the puppy and I were fast asleep.  I did not set the alarm at all!  There is something wrong with the gadget. I have to replace the batteries every day.  Thank goodness for rechargeable batteries.  I guess when I stuck the batteries in, I hit the alarm button, which is vague.  The  outdoor temperature works randomly, very frustrating for me, as I am still overly sensitive to cold weather.  I have a medical problem that is worsened greatly if I get too cold too fast. 

I planned to wake up on my own at 4am without the aid of any alarms, as I truly hate the sound of alarm clocks.  I have always  hated them. Normally I can tell my body what time to wake up and it does. Of course that means going to bed in time too.  But having been rudely jarred out of bed at midnight, well that made me want to set an alarm, as I felt like my inner clock had been knocked loose.  I was trying to set it on a different clock, because the time and temperature clock requires a 48 page booklet to set the alarm.  Nothing intuitive about it at all.  I hate the thing to the point of resenting it greatly. It has never worked right at all. 

Somehow I poked myself in the eye.  That really hurt. Two hours later, it still hurts.  Even with a tiny lighted magnifier, I could not figure out the on and off for the alarm on the other little clock.  I've had this stupid problem lately of trying to keep time and temperature. Sounds simple, but things keep failing me.  

Now it's somehow 315am.  Do I try to sleep for one more hour or just stay up drinking coffee so I am ready for work at 5am?

Maybe I am just nervous, first day on the job and all.  

My last workamping assignment ended with a glowing letter of recommendation.  I would like for this one to work out fine too. But I am no spring chick, so a 16 hour shift does seem very daunting.  

There is no norm at all to this workamping business. Everyone seems to have a different idea of hours involved and what you get in return. Typically there is no money changing hands, just rent and utilities in exchange for part time work. Some places offer perks, some don't.  Others are with private for-profit companies, such as privately owned campgrounds.  Some are corporate and some are government or non-profit agencies. 

The vast majority want couples only.  Can my dog and I be considered a couple?  He is rather handy at some tasks.  So I have to work twice as hard, showing tons of enthusiasm, in order to be considered as a single for a workamping assignment. 

This is my 3rd assignment in my 18 months of being on the road in my little old wheel estate.  Workamping generally lasts between one and six months per location, then you shuffle along to go travel or move to the next workamping gig. 

I am no pro at this. I have basically been grabbing whatever I can get, that sounds semi-reasonable. I have turned some down, because something didn't sound right.

One place, the supervisor sounded like a control freak. Her requirements intruded into your personal life 7 days a week. After reading her lengthy laundry list of requirements, rules and regulations, it sounded like she was in charge of prisoners, not workampers. Furthermore you would not be allowed to have visitors or company and you had to ask permission to leave the property.  What?  Even prisoners get visitation!  I wasn't going to go beg for permission to go to the grocery store either.  Even though I told them no, they contacted me no less than 4 times about coming to workamp for them. 

Another place that contacted me, listed their work requirements ending it with, I had to reimburse them in cash each month for my electrical consumption.  In other words, you worked for them and in exchange you received camping and water but no electricity and no cash. I said no thanks to that one too. At the very least, I want to barter for camping and utilities. It sounded to me like "Come pay us, and we'll let you work for free!"

On the flip side, if one finds a good workamping deal, and my last one at Hartwell Lake was lovely, then it can be a win-win situation. The rangers were wonderful, their expectations were reasonable, the camping accommodations were more than adequate.   I gave them my best efforts, so all in all, it worked out fine. 

I have high hopes that this one will work out beautifully too. But I just got here and today is my first day working and it's a very long shift. Now it's 4am and I am too scared to go back to sleep. Not exactly how I wanted to start my first day, but first we plan one thing, but very often, another thing happens. 

I am just oh so grateful, I woke up alive in this beautiful world. The RV is still in one piece, there is coffee in the pot, food in the pantry and a silly little puppy sleeping by me as I type. 

Life is terrific!  I am very lucky. 

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  1. I'm surprised to see inferior spam like this get through Google's traps. Bad Google! Bad! I've been very happy with the filtering job it does, though.

    Those are some crazy examples of bad workamping "opportunities." No wonder that one place called you back four times. You were sane and coherent, and no one else with those qualifications was interested, either.


    P.S. Having word verification on the same page as the comment box would be SO AWESOME! One click matters when connectivity is poor. Thanks for considering. You are considering, right?

  2. I am going to remove the spam you mentioned, so it's not here anymore. Those same folks keeps sneaking in on my blog, pushing junk they're selling from overseas.

    Google and blogspot seem to miss a lot of spam lately. I don't understand why the word verification is on a different page now, I didn't set it up that way. I will have to look into this.

  3. We have never work camped, so it is hard to have an opinion, but 16 hours shifts seem a bit harsh. Have been reading a few blogs of folks working seasonal at Amazon and I thought their hours were long,, but nothing like 16 at once.


Life is goof!