A new ski season is upon us, and man am I stoked. Took a new gig this off-season working at a local pot shop, mainly because it pays better than the one I had at the casino last year. The shop was a pretty chill way to pass the days until the snow flies, but now it’s go time. Thought working retail off the mountain might give me some better people skills that would translate to my role on the hill, but we just wrapped up some pre-season customer service and employee training that involved a lot of role playing and hypothetical situations, and I failed in epic fashion. Check out the comments my supervisor made on my evaluation.

“When entering the lodge or employee break room, giving your fellow team members the finger is not an appropriate method of greeting.” I’m confused. I thought this was totally okay. Shoot, some of them like it.

“If asked by a guest how your day is going, replying that it sucks or is poopy, for lack of a better word, is not acceptable.” But what if that actually is how my day is going? Just being honest. Thought folks might appreciate that. Guess not.

“While loading the lifts, polling guests about whether they prefer the band Slayer over the band Anthrax is not an effective means of engaging with the public.” Hey, this a serious question, man, and it should not be taken lightly.

“On Employee Costume Day, showing up for your shift dressed as Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Caitlyn Jenner is not in the best interests of our organization.” Yeah, maybe not, but damn, it sure makes folks chuckle.

“If approached by an intoxicated guest inquiring as to the location of the restroom, do not direct them to the General Manager’s office.” Sorry about that one. Couldn’t resist.

“During early season operations when overall coverage is limited, when asked by a guest how the snow is, responding by asking them how they like to ski on polished concrete with huckleberry bushes poking through is not a positive way to describe the product we are delivering.” Okay, the part about huckleberry bushes was a stretch.

“Refrain from asking every female guest that you load on the chair to hit you up with their digits when they cycle around.” C’mon bro, this is a numbers game that has to pay off eventually.

“When asked by guests or fellow employees how you like your job, replying that it sure beats working for a living should be avoided.” Yeah, but it does, and I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world.

Maybe my responses to the situational questions were a little off the mark, but you can’t hack on a guy for being himself. Yeah, I know there are a few things I need to work on, but you can count on one thing. I am the guy with the huge crap-eating grin who will greet you first thing every morning this season, and that grin is as real as it gets. //

Piste Off Liftie depicts oft exaggerated and sometimes fictional accounts of erstwhile mountain exploits and is penned by Brad Northrup, a former ski industry professional and mountain man.