Who Do We Work For?

   The Outfitters, right? Sure. That’s where the pay check comes from, that’s who does the hiring and firing, the scheduling and de-scheduling. The home of the occasional squabble and the inevitable petty politics. In a very real sense, that is who we answer to down there. But who else do we work for?

   The Park Service, of course, by default. They are charged with preserving, protecting and interpreting the place for the American public. But, of course, they can’t. Neither they nor we would like to see a ranger at every beach, on every trail, in every boat. So it’s up to us to do that job for them. They need us to do that as much as we need federal protection for our playground/office.

   The Passengers. They’re the one paying the fare. The ones who have scrimped and saved for that vacation of a lifetime. It’s up to us to help them have it, or at the very least, not prevent them from having it. In most cases, this will be their only chance, and we shouldn’t our bad day their bad day. Our job is to facilitate the experience, to help them get the most from the place.

   The Canyon. We work for the Canyon. The poor thing is defenseless. And regardless of how much propriety the NPS, the scientists or the boatmen take in the place, nobody owns it, and nobody knows best how to care for each and every facet of it, each and every resident critter. So it’s up to each of us to look out for the place, to learn and convey all the information we can and to recruit ever more friends and protectors for the place.

   A big job. A lot of responsibilities. Why would anyone do it? Because there’s one more entity we work for…

   Ourselves. That’s the catch. That’s why we put up with the incredible demands and regulations we are saddled with. The long hours, the job insecurity, the difficulties of maintaining a life outside of the ditch. We like the wallpaper in our office, the good eats in our restaurant, the E-ticket ride on our roller coaster, the first rate companions/audience/hecklers we live and play with down there, the professional counselling of the moonlight rippling across the river on a balmy summer evening. Somehow we even like the consistent challenge to do the job and do it right.

Brad Dimock