Working Campers Advise Campground Owners

When working campers advise campground owners as to what's the best way to run their business, is there bound to be friction? Is it possible for the workers to offer opinions without offending the boss? And, just where is the line between an employee making a suggestion and where it turns into the employee telling the employer how to do things?

A working RVer (who wished to remain anonymous) wrote about the owners of a particular campground, "They misinterpret your ideas and/or comments as if you are telling them how to run their business."

On the other hand, campground owners tell me one of their biggest problems is that their camp workers act like they own the park and try to do things differently than how the park owner wants them done.

What are your thoughts on this? Post your comments.

Comments for Working Campers Advise Campground Owners

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I Am Not the Owner

I only applied for a temporary position. . .I am not in charge. . .I have no power. . .

Just tell me the rules, and I will play the game. . .in other words. . .if they own the place. . .you need to do as you are told.

If you want to make the rules, then you need to make the sacrifice to own the place. . .JMO!

We are currently working at a gift shop in a tourist town. . .would I do things differently?. . .you bet. . .do I make suggestions. . .nope! I am there to keep things neat and tidy, and keep the customers happy, and I am very good at it. . .that is what I was hired to do for 90 days. When 90 days are up. . .I will roll on to my next adventure. It's a great life!

Janice L. Evans

Telling Campground Owners How to Run Their Park

I'm probably an exception in workampers in that I have a diploma in campground management. It's been my experience that I know more about running a campground than do the people who own and/or management them... in theory. Some of these folks have been running their installation for a long time. Yes, it might not be "text book perfect" or how you would do it, but if they are still in business they are doing something right!

I think it's rude to come into a temporary, short-term, position and tell someone how to run their business. I only speak up if I'm asked for my input, or if I see that something is being done only because it's "always been done that way" and those doing it have lost perspective on its lack of utility. Sometimes fresh eyes catch things. But there is a big difference in asking "Why do you do it that way?" and "You should do it this way!"

Some Good, Some Bad

When offering ideas to anyone who is either employing me or who is in a position of authority I often start out with the phrase, "I often come up with new ideas, some good, some bad, and don't always know which is which." "For instance" (and then express my idea). "What do you think?."

That sets the recipient up to actually evaluate the idea rather than simple rejecting it because it's not "his" and provides a "buffer" as it were to protect yourself from the results of the "he's taking over" feeling that the owner may sense.

It further empowers the owner by placing him or her in the position of teaching/judging your thoughts and ideas in respect to his or her "bottom line."

"Keep It Short" Is My New Motto

I just finished a temp assignment that lasted more than two years. That's too long, at least for me. The longer I work somewhere, two things happen: 1) I start to "own" my job and 2) I start to notice all the things that are wrong with the company. It's worse if I'm trusted to make my own decisions about how to handle things - which I was in my last assignment. It's nice to have the positive feedback, but it can be easy to forget that you're not there for the long haul. Some companies appreciate positive suggestions, but this was a government office and they just weren't interested in upsetting the "status quo." I was grateful when the assignment ended.

I'm not full-timing because I haven't found my RV yet, but when I do I'm looking forward to finding short-term work of no more than a few months at a time. No business is perfect, but if I don't stay very long I'll be less inclined to try to "fix" things, and it will also be less stressful - which is one of the reasons I want to do this in the first place.

Advice to Owners or Campers

The thing go by is "I am here from the neck down." I don't make decisions on how to run someone else business.

Advising Campground Owners

We find it better to work how the owners want us to.
Some places we have made suggestions, especially for new owners.

There is no right or wrong way to approach this. I believe it depends on the owners.

Owners Business

I have been a working camper for 8 years now and have made the following observation concerning this subject.

Some folks must not have risen to the position that they desired during their working careers. They seem to be unable to resist the urge to stick their nose in to the owner's business. Or, they sometimes can not resist the urge to boss the other working campers on the team. This always causes hard feelings and sometimes leads to some workers leaving.

Some of the blame should be placed upon the owners for allowing this to happen without correction.

I believe the owners should assemble the team and make clear that none of the campers have authority over the others.

We Have Experienced It Both Ways

At a remote campground in northern Idaho the absentee owners were most receptive to our marketing & operational ideas and successfully implemented many of them.

On the other hand, a seasonal Indiana campground owner was not happy with us doing "anything" that wasn't the way she want it done. My weed eating was not even up to her scrutiny. We cut our stay short and were very pleased to leave.

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