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Author Topic: Questions to ask during workamper interview  (Read 1054 times)

terrycarhart

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  • Terry & Linda
Questions to ask during workamper interview
« on: April 24, 2017, 09:11:58 PM »
Hi All,
My wife and I are going to try this as a test run to see if we like it. We found a position at a day use only site and therefore the responsibilities are pretty basic and straightforward, just what we want for our first try.
I've been trying to cover all aspects but concerned I'm missing some major points.
Wondering if anyone has a list of questions or topics to cover during the interview? It would be great to compare to mine to see if I'm on track.

Much Thanks,
Terry and Linda
Terry & Linda Carhart
'00 Bounder
New RVer's & Camp Hosts till Sept 31

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Questions to ask during workamper interview
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2017, 08:45:20 AM »
Basically you want to learn what your specific duties are, the hours of work, and the remuneration (pay or in-kind). If it's a job for a couple, make sure you understand whether you both work together or have separate hours. And whether the pay is per person or as a couple. A "free" site in exchange for two people each working 20 hours is not a real great deal.   Depending on the answers to those questions, there may be more.

Another big one is "what am I supposed to do if there is a problem". e.g. unruly guests, medical emergency, etc. Either during your work shift or after hours.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

donn

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Re: Questions to ask during workamper interview
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2017, 08:55:56 AM »
While Gary thinks 20 hours each for a couple is not a great deal, we on the other hand see it as a good deal.  In exchange for a beautiful site, use of the facilities all for 40 hours!  Yea, it might work out to $3.00 an hour, but who works hard?  Almost no one.  Our experience is they ask for 20 hours each per week, but only ask you to do what you can, and are willing to do.  Do you like landscaping?  Great, go do it.  Dont want to clean rest rooms?  Thats fine, the rangers do it.  Personally I am more customer service oriented, so will do what ever is necessary to ensure the guests get a clean, well maintained park that looks like they were the first guest of the season.
As for what to ask?  Get from them what is asked of you. In our enxerience with day use parks, you open and close the gate, mow grass, pick up trash, empty garbage cans, check and restock restrooms.  If their really bad and the ranger is not scheduled for a couple of days, Im not afraid to clean them.  But again thats just me doing what is necessary to make for a great visit for the guests.

terrycarhart

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  • Terry & Linda
Re: Questions to ask during workamper interview
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2017, 09:52:38 AM »
Thanks Donn and Gary. Great info and good points. I think I'm more of the temperament of Donn, do what it takes since this is kinda of "our" park for the next 6 months. Money isn't the object but of course you don't want to feel put upon also and I have heard some horror stories!
Now all we have to do is find the right deal on the RV we need!!!
Terry & Linda Carhart
'00 Bounder
New RVer's & Camp Hosts till Sept 31

donn

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Re: Questions to ask during workamper interview
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2017, 10:11:35 AM »
Terry,
You do have to understand that our experiences are all volunteer positions with the State park system, and are only for 30 days at a time.  There are rangers that I would not work for again, and others that we will go far out of way to help.  I have helped them snake out clogged sewers, cleaned poo from bathrooms, raked sites, cleaned fire pits, bundled fire wood, scrounged logs to block people driving where there not suppose to, well you get the idea?  6 months sounds like your looking at a paid position?  These will certainally have other duties, some of which you may not want to do.  Honestly I think for a first time I would be looking at only a 30 day commitment.  At least if you hate it, your noy stuck in a long term contract. And believe me, paid positions will have a contract.
You dont have an RV yet?  Your kind of waiting for the last minute for this year.  Most of the plum spots are already booked, so you might be getting yourselves into a place that is simply horrible and your stuck.
Bottom line, the key is Have FUN.

RobinsBill

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Re: Questions to ask during workamper interview
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2017, 03:39:26 PM »
We are currently volunteer Camp Hosting at one of our favorite Oregon State Parks  :D
The Willamette Valley had a very long wet winter! We both have been putting in 12 hrs a day 3 to 4 days a week with spring clean up.  The only "requirement" of duties is to be available for wood and ice sales, and to clean the camping cabins when guests check out (there are 6 and each one takes just a few minutes).  So obviously we choose to do a lot more.
I agree that starting out as a volunteer will help you figure out which questions to ask for yourself (everyone is different).  The State Parks seem to be really good at working with what you want to offer.  And it has also been our experience that paid workamping and site in exchange for work are all over the place.  The most important question IMHO, would be to have work hours to be in writing. And duties in writing.
Good luck!
Robin & Bill from Oregon
Full time RVers
1998 Beaver Patriot Ticonderoga

KODIAKHERSHEY

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Re: Questions to ask during workamper interview
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2017, 08:19:05 PM »
We have limited experience, but, forgot to ask about sewer...Not fun without it. Some do not care about it. I do.

Other things may be important to you. think it thru.
Best wishes, Have fun.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Questions to ask during workamper interview
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2017, 09:28:37 AM »
Quote
Thanks Donn and Gary. Great info and good points. I think I'm more of the temperament of Donn, do what it takes since this is kinda of "our" park for the next 6 months. Money isn't the object but of course you don't want to feel put upon also and I have heard some horror stories!

The real point here was/is to understand what is expected of you. Only you can decide if it is acceptable or not. I've worked with more than a few couples who expected to do only what they felt like, or thought they were just going to be congenial greeters. They were quite shocked and very put out to find the owner/manager assigned them specific duties and hours of labor. Two of those couples quit after a few weeks.  None of the places expected what I thought was onerous work, and in most cases the owner shared in whatever tasks needed to be done.

I recall one lady who objected to taking her turn at shifts in the office, saying she didn't like dealing with the public and didn't want to be indoors. The manager said OK, you can do outside tasks instead. But she didn't want to mow lawns or clean fire pits either. The park was an upscale place with lovely flower beds and she said she liked gardening, but it turned out her idea of gardening was cutting flowers for a bouquet. She didn't want to get dirty with any actual flower bed maintenance. Her husband was a willing worker, so the manager offered to let them pay for half the site rental (at the monthly discount rate) so she would not have to work at all. They left instead.  Note: This park paid minimum wage for hours worked in addition to the free site.

I personally think that 40 hours of actual labor for the use of a $30/night campsite is a poor deal. If there is other work near by, you could get a part time job and work 25 hours @ local minimum wage to pay for that site and have more time to enjoy it. But that  assumes the labor is more-or-less equivalent effort.  You might consider that 25 hours packing grocery bags is better duty than 40 hours cleaning bathrooms (or whatever).  Much depends on YOUR perspective.

The sites assigned to workampers aren't necessarily prime ones either, so ask about the site location, size, and facilities. Again, the idea is to avoid surprises, not necessarily to insist on primo treatment.

There is typically a substantial difference in expectations between barter-only arrangements ("free" site only) and those that offer some hourly pay.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 09:49:38 AM by Gary RVer Emeritus »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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