Who Do We Work For?
The Outfitters, right? Sure. Thats where the
pay check comes from, thats 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
cant. Neither they nor we would like to see a ranger at every beach, on every trail,
in every boat. So its 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. Theyre the one paying the fare. The ones who have
scrimped and saved for that vacation of a lifetime. Its 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 shouldnt 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 its 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
A big job. A lot of responsibilities. Why would anyone do it? Because
theres one more entity we work for
Ourselves. Thats the catch. Thats 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.