At your service | AspenTimes.com

At your service

Steve Benson

I was killing time in a local ski shop the other day while my girlfriend was getting some work done to her ski boots when a man walked into the store, approached the only employee in that section, and inquired about renting some skis for a tour up Maroon Creek.”What kind of set-up do you recommend?” he excitedly asked the employee, who I’ll call Pam.”I don’t know, it depends on your skill level,” Pam said.”Well, I’ve done some randonee skiing before,” the man replied. “But do you think I could get away with just cross country skis?””I don’t know, I haven’t been up there since the road’s been snowed over,” Pam said.”So you have no idea how steep it is?” he asked.”I don’t know,” Pam said, again.”OK … is there anyone in the store who might know?” he asked desperately.”I don’t know,” Pam said, now looking annoyed.”Well then, are there any other stores in town that might be able to help me?””I DON’T KNOW!” Pam shot back angrily.The poor guy looked at Pam for a moment with a confused and dejected expression, then walked off. When he got just a few steps away, Pam flipped him the bird. And when he was barely out of earshot, she exploded to no one in particular, “Jesus Christ, what was his problem? I get like five customers every day that are just like him. It’s so annoying. My God, I’m sooooo over it.”I noticed then that Pam had a tag hanging off her fleece jacket, and as the man disappeared she resumed what she had been doing before she was so rudely interrupted: trying on all of the clothes in the store (apparently she viewed work as a fashion show). Maybe it’s because that guy could have been my dad – happy to be in the mountains and excited about his coming adventure – but the whole incident left a bad taste in my mouth. Yes, some of the people who visit Aspen are less than desirable, but many are just like us – they love being in the mountains. And Pam, or whatever your name is, just because you live in a place that people all over the world dream about, you are most certainly not God.


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