Good Things Happen

When You Do The Right Thing…

I work two shifts a week at the gate booth at Quail Creek State Park, Tuesday and Wednesday from 7:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

I like it when it is busy, but not swamped!! Swamped being when there is a fishing tournament and every boater in the state of Utah shows up unannounced, and unbeknown to the person working the gate booth i.e. me…, and you have to get the bow numbers off each boat as well and find out what body of water the boat was last on while praying it was not on a body of water that is contaminated with quagga or zebra mussels like Lake Mead, Lake Powell, Deer Lake, etc. Because if it was, you have to ask them to pull forward, pull the plug on their boat, and let you inspect the boat for any water…If you find water you have to fill out a form and send them six miles down the road to be decontaminated (de-con) which is never what they want to do, and never a pleasant interaction between you and the boater… However, too bad, because I have come to learn that ALL boaters, unless you just bought your first boat and this is your first time on ANY Utah water… you know the rules… I’m only here to enforce the rules because Quail Lake is quagga and zebra mussel free and we want to keep it that way…. so even when the gate booth gets swamped, I’m still going to “do the right thing” and inspect every boat that tells me they were on contaminated water…

That said, last Wednesday, I had the entire Dixie Technical College show up, unannounced, and unbeknown to me, for a “going back to class ” annual thing. That was another “swamped day”, with boats coming from every direction all day long. Then to make matters worse, seven of those boats had been on contaminated waters, within the last seven days. So, that meant I had to inspect them, and sure enough I found water, and had to piss them off by sending them six miles down the road to the de-con facility… Sometimes “doing the right thing” isn’t the thing that makes you popular…

OK, as if that were not enough to make for a bad day…, I had an elderly man walk up to the gate booth, with his oxygen tank in tow, and ask to buy a senior annual pass. Senior passes (for those 62 and older) are $35. A regular annual pass is $75. Without boring you with all the detail of logging in ANY annual pass, lets just say it takes longer than any other function we do other than assigning a campsite for campers.

As I was trying to get the elderly man his Sr. pass, a line of Dixie Technical College boaters was starting to form at the booth. If you let the line get to you, you can get flustered, and make mistakes, like giving out the wrong change, charging the wrong price for a day pass, annual pass, etc. So I make it my practice to stay calm and just work one customer at a time. After all this is not a life and death situation…. it’s just boaters wanting to get on the lake and fish etc. Hey, the fish will wait for your bait…

I finally got the elderly man’s transaction completed and got the line of boaters that had formed what they needed and sent them happily on their way to launch their boats on the lake. Then, I took a minute to re-group and get ready for round two… That is when I realized, I accidentally gave the elderly man the wrong annual pass. I charged him the correct $35.00 for a Sr. annual pass but gave him a regular $75.00 annual pass. I tried calling his phone number which is part of the information we collect when selling a Sr. pass, but he didn’t answer. Now, I have a situation. I am short one $75.00 regular pass that will show up at the end of my shift as my money drawer being $40.00 short, and we would be short on a $75.00 annual pass that would not be accounted for…. Then to add insult to injury, I realized that the elderly man paid with a check which I forgot to write his driver license information on and that is never a good thing in the event that check should bounce… Tried calling the man again to get him to come back and exchange the regular pass for the senior pass and to get the information I needed for the check he gave me, but again no answer…after the man got his pass he left the park and never came back that day…

It so happened that my supervisor, Karen was out of the office due to a death in her family, and the park manager, Laura, was not available by phone. I was going to be off for the next five days and wanted to make sure that Laura had a good understanding of what happened, how it happened, what I did to try to correct the error etc. because I always believe it is better to tell your supervisor/manager you made a mistake yourself than to wait for them to come and tell you they found out you made a mistake. Most of the people that work the gate booth here at Quail Creek are young kids fresh out of high school and they don’t seem to get that at all…

I finally finished my shift, and was running my financial report that shows how much money I brought in that shift and that is the amount you are to deposit into the safe before you leave… when I realize, my drawer is $10.00 short and I have no idea why… I counted and recounted the money but every time it came up $10.00 short. So I made a note of that in my financial report comment section, printed it out, signed and dated it, wrapped it around the money and deposited it in the safe.

Now, what to do about letting the park complex manager, Laura know about the error I made with the annual passes… I went home and immediately put together an email outlining the details of “who, what, when, where, why, and how it all happened… I also included that my drawer was $10.00 short that day…. I copied my supervisor, Karen on it so Laura would not have to try to convey the details to Karen when she returned to the office, I apologized for my errors and asked them to let me know what more they might need me to do.

The next day, the Parks Complex Manager, Laura, came to our home, knocked on the door and gave us tickets to go see Sister Act!  Well, blow me over…., I just couldn’t believe my eyes… I screwed up three things on my shift and she gives me a gift… ! 🙂


This is showing at the amazing Tuacahn Amphitheatre not far from Quail Creek. The photo below is from their website. Laura even gave the other winter camp hosts tickets because she said she wanted us to have someone our age to go with and that it would give us an opportunity to get to know each other better. How nice and thoughtful that was.


When I talked to Laura about the mistakes I made, she said that didn’t matter, we all make mistakes…. She said she was just so impressed with how I handled the situation and especially that I documented the error in such detail which made her job, and my supervisor, Karen’s jobs so much easier…

Like I’ve said, and it has been my life long experience, that “good things happen when you do the right thing…”

Stay tuned!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Aug 10, 2015 @ 17:18:33

    OMG…On these kinda days…I bet happy hour starts early at your house!!! That’s a lot of pressure! I’m telling you…your boss figured you out straight away and put you on that job! Who knew you had to go through all that…so thanks for sharing it with us! Now that amphitheater is awesome!!! Can’t wait to hear all about that! Love you! xoxo


    • beyondcinderella
      Aug 10, 2015 @ 18:10:32

      Yes GG, Laura did tell me that she thought I would be a “perfect” fit for working the gate booth, and YES, on day’s like that happy hours starts as soon as I get home and get out of my work uniform… I will do a post on the amphitheater very soon. love you! XoXo


  2. Ellen Kaufman
    Aug 11, 2015 @ 04:00:30

    What a day you had, but it all turned out better than you could have ever dreamed! You deserve Happy Hour ASAP and just to relax and take a deep breath in and deep breath out!
    Enjoy the play and have a better tomorrow❤️


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