Meredith C. Carroll: The 2016 ‘You Had One Job’ awards |

Meredith C. Carroll: The 2016 ‘You Had One Job’ awards

If Aspenites enjoy anything, it’s getting up on a pedestal and letting others know exactly what they’re doing wrong. Since I’m hardly an exception, it is my great honor to present the winners of the third annual “You Had One Job” awards:


Your one job is to act like a small yet dignified and capable town; after all, you are neither Chicago nor the Kremlin. Nevertheless, based on the volume of scandals, vanishing text messages, corruption accusations and investigations and the resulting newspaper headlines, Facebook-feed fights and the number of lawyers gainfully employed because of your controversies this year, you might think of replacing “Basalt” with “Tammany” on the door of Town Hall.


Your one job is to look at a calendar and act accordingly. Sixty-seven degrees on Nov. 15 at 7,908 feet is no bueno. Maybe you had a premonition about Scott Pruitt and staged a peaceful (and dry) protest in advance. Regardless, we need you to hang in there and do what’s right, not what’s Trump. (While talking into thin air may seem fruitless, it still feels more productive than trying to reason with the pocket of hot air heading ominously toward 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.)


YOU. HAD. ONE. JOB. (*Golf claps*)


In Aspen at least, you did your one job flawlessly this year. However, don’t mistake “flawless” as a compliment. Just because something’s legal doesn’t mean it’s also a moral imperative (cc: Donald Trump’s bankruptcy filings). There is a limit to how many $21 cheeseburgers (cc: Ajax Tavern) and $37 chicken breasts (cc: Piñons) any reasonable person can stomach. No one expects landlords to be in the business of losing money, although there’s a gigantic opportunity right now for a benevolent local lessor to allow a restaurateur to do one job really well for the benefit of many instead of just an elite few.


It would appear as if you believe your one job is sticking it to the city of Aspen Parking Department. Sure, you could keep whining about it on a dedicated Facebook page. Or you could actually be effective and TAKE THE BUS.


You are phone manufacturers, not bomb makers. This is a critical one-job distinction.


To running race directors: your one job (aside from guaranteeing a range of race T-shirts sizes for all participants plus good snacks at the finish line) is staffing informed volunteers or at least ensuring proper signage on the course. Because a runner’s one job in a race is to run, and in the correct direction. When a race official tells a runner to turn left instead of right, though, that runner’s one job (apparently) then becomes ranting to his wife about the race-course failings, which then means his wife’s one job is put on hold so she can pretend to listen. Or so I hear.


Your one job is to respect the area’s abundant wildlife, which most people are clever enough to enjoy from a healthy distance. Your one job is definitely not to lure the wildlife closer to you by feeding it or otherwise being careless with where and how you leave food. That is, unless your one job is, indeed, jeopardizing the welfare of wildlife and the safety of your neighbors all while proving your less-than-inspiring level of intelligence — so if that’s the case, then good job at your one job!


Your one job is to stop wasting my time with such tired insults as, “Why do you get to write a column? Because your husband is an editor?” If you’re going to make it a sport to hate read me and then hide behind your computer to fire off some rambling internet missive, please make your insults worth my while. At the very least, you may consider running your comments through spell check before hitting “enter.” Because ranting about how stupid I am is predictably less effective when you misspell “stupid.”


Don’t let your inclusion in this column go to your head, President-elect Trump, because you are, in fact, not among the recipients of this year’s awards. No matter what anyone tells you, your one job begins Jan. 20, 2017, and for the love of humanity, that one job is to not screw it all up.

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