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Author Topic: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple  (Read 8824 times)

Pat

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"his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« on: March 19, 2010, 08:29:17 PM »
I have heard that parks prefer to hire workamping couples in order to use up only one free space per pair of workampers.  If work is done by couples, are there tasks that are usually expected of the man and different ones of the woman?   Are there industry standards maintained by the larger campground chains?  How does a park fairly divide the work?  I assume he works outside, cleans park facilities inside and out, parks new arrivals, picks up garbage, fills propane, catches stray pets, does various repairs. Is some of this usually the wife's job?  I assume the wife works in the office checking in arrivals and departures, selling any store merchandise, taking reservations, answering email and phone inquiries, sorting tenants' mail, handling complaints and disciplinary problems.  I've seen a park office dispense shower keys as requested.  What else is typical of the wife's part of a workamping couple?

Are there any overlaps?  Any situations where both partners share everything somewhat equally (she mows the lawn, if necessary)?

--pat
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2010, 09:56:48 AM »
There is no "typical". The duties of a workamper are determined by the job. Some may involve maintenance chores as you described, but others may have nothing to do with that. Can be store or office work, escorting RVs to their site, maybe just being a 24/7 point of contact for campers (camp host), campground security, etc.  The very first question to be asked about any workamping job is "what am I expected to do?" Followed by "what do I get in return?".

We have done gigs where the men worked the grounds and cleaned the bathrooms while the women did office/store work exclusively. Others where both did grounds work and general supervision of the campsites, with the specific division of labor left to the couple, and still others where everybody took turns at all the jobs. Some workamper jobs don't involve campgrounds at all, e.g. planting trees, grooming hiking trails,  staffing a museums or  amusement park, etc.

Gary
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Bob Buchanan

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2010, 10:58:52 AM »
I assume the wife works in the office checking in arrivals and departures, selling any store merchandise, taking reservations, answering email and phone inquiries, sorting tenants' mail, handling complaints and disciplinary problems.  I've seen a park office dispense shower keys as requested.  What else is typical of the wife's part of a workamping couple?

From my visits to parks that use my software -- and as an observer in other parks as a full timer, what you write here is pretty typical. That is, as Gary points out, if the job advertised is the management of a park. Ideally, the owner in that situation is looking for a woman that is more than average computer literate, knows a cash register, and communicates well with guests and others that a manager comes in contact with, such as vendors. That same owner would like a man that is a repair kinda guy that knows plumbing and electric -- plus can ride a backhoe.

I say that is the ideal -- and they will get as close to that as possible. A trait of either that is often overlooked is how well they both communicate with clients. I sometimes see one or the other -- or both that treat RVer clients as adversaries vs. customers. Was in a park recently that the maintenance, grounds guy blew a fuse everytime he was told an RVer had done the slightest thing against the rules of the park, or made a valid report that, e.g., the sewer was stopped up. OTOH, have been in parks that the woman side of the couple literally drove customers away.

Unfortunately, the ideal is hard to find at the pay a workamper receives.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2010, 11:00:29 AM by Bob Buchanan »
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John From Detroit

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2010, 11:06:22 AM »
His v/s Her tasks

He cleans the Men's Room
She cleans the Lady's Room
 All other tasks are share and share alike.
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Tom and Margi

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2010, 11:25:57 AM »
His v/s Her tasks

He cleans the Men's Room
She cleans the Lady's Room
 All other tasks are share and share alike.

Really?  Have you workamped, John, or are you speculating?  When we workamped on the Oregon Coast, Tom cleaned both and handled propane fill-ups and the like.  I worked in the office.  It's been our experience that maintenance-type or heavier tasks generally fall to the males and lighter tasks fall to the female. 

There were lots of single workampers when we worked at Adventureland in Iowa.  Both men and women staffed positions in retail, rides, foods, front gate and bank.  The maintenance and warehouse crews were all male.   A-land is a unique operation in that it is owned by the family of the founder and they prefer "grandmas and grandpas" to staff their park alongside local teenagers.   We paid about $100 for five months of camping.  Electricity was provided free of charge.  A/C's ran plenty of hours per day in the heat and humidity.

Bob Buchanan

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2010, 12:00:05 PM »
His v/s Her tasks

He cleans the Men's Room
She cleans the Lady's Room
 All other tasks are share and share alike.

Just as in any other business, when restrooms are cleaned, the cleaner (male or female) places a sign in front of the one they are cleaning. They then move the sign before cleaning the other restroom.

Can imagine what it would be like for the woman to come  back into the office where the man is (or vice versa) registering guests and updating to Quickbooks, and say, "OK, hun" --  it's time to clean the men's room", and they switch chores.  :)
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2010, 09:05:35 PM »
We've worked in several different campgrounds and every one had a different arrangement for bathroom cleaning. One had a separate paid contractor to clean and supply the bathrooms. In another the male workampers did the bathrooms, while in yet another it was the ladies who routinely did them, though the guys might help if needed. And even one where everybody on staff took turns at the bath houses, including the boss lady.
Gary
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Pierat

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2010, 12:01:29 PM »
There seem to be lots of volunteer positions that don't involve maintenance tasks, such as visitor center and museum positions. Check out state park systems and the feds, particularly the US Army Corps of Engineers. We're enjoying our first workamping job, which is with the Corps at a visitor center. At any given time, we decide which of us covers the visitor center desk and which does the bookstore counter across the entry hall. We may occasionally pick up litter, if any, but there's no maintenance work. They treat all the volunteers very well.
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PancakeBill

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2010, 12:28:44 PM »
Our experince last year had nothing to do with a campground.  We worked in a visitor center bookstore and shared tasks equally, but a heavy case I took care of, dusting Jolene did.  I did to but have a higher tolerance. 

There are lots of workamper positions having little to do with CG's. 

However, speaking specifically about cg's, as others mention, it just depends. 

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

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gege.lbm

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2010, 11:34:11 AM »
Both my wife and self are full timmers and just started workamping. Our first positions were at the Bear-Den in NC. You have to work 24hrs for the site and then 32 hrs paid at $7.25 a hour. I had to clean bath-houses three times a day both sides and on top of that do weed-eating, mowing, pond cleaning security and general clean up. The work ended up about 50+ a week.

We lasted ONE WEEK.   :P

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2010, 09:35:49 PM »
One of the basic rules of workamping is to make sure you understand the work required and the pay before you accept the job.  I am continually amazed at how often new workampers are surprised at what is expected of them.  Sometimes the employers expectations are indeed unreasonable, but shame on you if you accepted a position without asking first. We workamped for 7 years at various places and had to turn down down a few offers that we felt were asking too much for too little reward, but always were able to find places that matched what we were willing to do.
Gary
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gege.lbm

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2010, 05:55:55 AM »
Thanks for the reply Gary,

You may be right on not asking more about the job? I guess it's all a learning experience?

Louie

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2010, 06:25:15 AM »
It is indeed a learning experience and some employers are easier/better to work for than others. We became close friends with one campground owner and had a good relationship with two others, but a 4th was rather abrasive and often failed to follow through on promised actions [we declined to return to that one for a second season, even though we were invited]. We have also made good friends among our fellow workampers and stay in close contact with three couples we met through our campground gigs.

You won't get rich on workamping, so in our opinion the experience has to be positive to make it worthwhile. Making new friends, learning new things and helping others enjoy camping/RVing is what makes it for us.
Gary
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gege.lbm

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2010, 06:46:07 AM »
Gary,

I belong to workamper but are there any other sites our there to look for temp. work for rvers? I also look in Craig's list and indeed.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2010, 07:17:04 AM »
We always used workamper.com to find leads.

Recreation Resource Management, a major contract for campground management, has their own site:
http://www.work-camping.com/?gclid=CPX4lcvFx6ECFUNb2godcRmV-g

Here are some others:
http://www.rvparkstore.com/rv_park_help_wanted.htm
http://www.work-for-rvers-and-campers.com/
Gary
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Flyboy

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2010, 12:32:23 PM »
Quote
If work is done by couples, are there tasks that are usually expected of the man and different ones of the woman?    

Your assumptions are correct about the "typical" division of work between couples. It has been called Blue jobs and Pink jobs. Most employers just assume this stereotypical arrangement. From the tone of your post, it appears that is what you might be looking for so it won't be a problem. You probably will be allowed to do whatever blue jobs you feel comfortable doing.

The blue/pink thing drives my wife and I crazy. No matter how emphatically we state, on the resume or in an interview, that we both have the capability of performing most blue and pink tasks we will find that they have been divided and didn't listen to a word that was stated.

It is not unusual for the rest of the women in the office to wonder why I am in the secretary mode for a day..and doing it well I might add.  It is especially annoying when we volunteer at a charity house fixing/building event and they expect my wife to make sandwiches and serve coffee instead of swinging a hammer.  Altho, it is amusing when she tells them to make their own sandwiches and starts up on the roof with a loaded tool belt.

Edit: Fix quote
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 03:06:39 PM by Ned »

tworootless

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2010, 11:15:08 AM »
My wife and I are in our 11th year of Workamping.  Since I've owned a small restaurant at one time, we've managed a couple of cafe's in our travels. 
I've also taught Campground Manager , and the Ross 2000 program to others.  Although I was a general contractor and carry enough tools to build a home, I prefer office work.  Trying to convince an owner that I know what I'm doing behind a registration desk is another issue. 
In our 11 years our current park is the first park I've ever worked maintenance as well as registration.   We do clean bathhouses together and my wife usually does the womens side.  Being a stickler in cleanliness, she double checks the mens side after I've done it.  :-\ There are times when I'm the only one able to make a cleaning run. Since there are no "Restroom Cleaning" signs at this park, women have walked in on several occasions, said hello, then walked into a toilet stall to do their business!  It's at that time I immediately leave and return later... Lady; have you no class! ???

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2010, 07:35:08 AM »
One of the more difficult things for someone who has managed their own business (or even a department in a large corporation), is to realize that the campground they work in is not their own and you don't get to run it your way. Even if the owner/manager is doing things in an idiotic fashion. Once in awhile you may find a campground manager who appreciates suggestions for office procedure & policy improvements, but in my experience it's rather rare.
Gary
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Pat

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2010, 10:15:44 PM »
Sounds like most workamping couples and parks are flexible about sharing the pink and blue jobs.  It's probably more of an issue for single workampers rather than couples who are more likely to have learned to share a long time before they started workamping.  I've seen several couples come through where one party is willing to work and the other is not.

--pat
--pat
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puterbug

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2010, 11:01:43 PM »
Once upon a time in a place far far away, and when I was married, my ex and I got kicked off of work camping job because I wanted to do the "outside" work and he wanted to do the office work.  He was more of a computer geek than I am, and I had previously worked in construction... so it made sense.  But that did not sit well with their conservative ideas of how the world goes round.  We were weird and had to go.  And that kind of soured me to any further work camping.  As a single, I suspect it is even more difficult.
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PancakeBill

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2010, 09:22:07 AM »
Maybe we are just lucky, but our deal is fantastic.  Granted there is not much in outside type jobs as we are in a bookstore, but the manager is very open to ideas.

Haven't yet had a job in the cg hosting field. 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
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FMCA F-401354
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geodrake

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2010, 11:46:05 AM »
We do a lot of volunteering, generally as campground hosts.  We have only done one paid gig, that was a BLM site.  Our experience is the mgt. identifies the responsibilities and we decide who does what.

Like Gary, we too have found that the majority of mgrs do not appreciate volunteers suggesting better ways to do things. 

Another observation:
There are so many snow-birds flocking to Florida in the winter and looking for free RV parking that parks (state parks specifically) have so many applicants that they pile on the expected work.   I guess they figure that there are enough people coming that someone will do it.  I recently had conversation with a county park in Florida who stated that they were about to lay off 230 employees and would be looking for volunteers to fill some of those jobs. 
George Drake

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Re: "his" tasks vs "her" tasks for a workamping couple
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2010, 12:44:53 PM »
The NPS has a separate unit that takes care of restrooms.  We have not been involved in restroom cleaning.

The NPS works with Volunteers and likes to place folks where they not support the mission of the NPS, but where they like to work as well.  We assist in special event set-up and take-down.  Have been well treated by the NPS.


 

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