Meredith Carroll: The 2018 ‘You Had One Job’ awards |

Meredith Carroll: The 2018 ‘You Had One Job’ awards

Biting off more than you can chew is a job best left to the experts, like Joey Chestnut or Jared Kushner. Everyone else would be wise to focus on doing one thing well, and in a few notable cases, just doing one thing, period. The winners of the fifth annual “You Had One Job” awards are:


Your one job is enticing the 1 percent of the 1 percent into your boutique to purchase such luxury items as this season’s $4,500 Long Sable dress, which is adorably evocative of the Von Trapp family uniform worn before they upgraded to curtains. However, that one job is arguably more problematic when the overall quality and composition of your storefront window display is nearly indistinguishable from the Aspen Thrift Shop across the street (which also hawks luxury goods — including from Gucci — for the benefit of the 3 and 4 percent). Mind you, the Thrift Shop’s festive and slick presentations belie all second-hand store aesthetic expectations, but that they’re even close should give you ample reason to press pause and take some time to re-examine your business model.

Basalt gun range users

Your one job is to safely fire guns, not start a fire with guns. This is a critical one-job distinction.

Whoever ordered the new Aspen Police sign

At 16.62 square feet, the Aspen Police sign outside their shiny new building is 10.62 feet over the maximum allowable size (ask the Hickory House just how fussy the city is about this). As a result, the $13,000 sign will be swapped out for a code-conforming one. No word on the city employee who ordered the wrong-size sign despite city rules, although hopefully sign ordering wasn’t their one job.

Aspen’s Shift

The city of Aspen’s so-called mobility lab, Shift, has one job, which, according to its director, is “begging (the community), convincing them to change their (transportation) behavior.” The Shift experiment aims to get 800 fewer cars into town each day by spending $2.5 million on an app and a list of incentives that reads longer than the waiver of liability for Richard Branson’s upcoming space tourism passengers. Yet instead of sapping the entire Roaring Fork Valley community of the will to live (or visit or work in Aspen) by spending the next eight or nine months shoving four-wheel alternatives, a cup of coffee and $5 Grub gift cards down everyone’s throat as they drive into Aspen anyway, why not just ask for 800 downvalley commuter volunteers to accept $3,125 in cash (it couldn’t hurt to also throw in a RFTA punch pass) and sign a contract stipulating they must carpool or ride the bus into town. One job: done. (You’re welcome.)

The Aspen Parking Department

Assuming the city remains hyper-focused on encouraging people to walk, bike or ride the bus (See: Aspen Shift), it’s puzzling why valet parking in Aspen has emerged as a relatively less expensive option than street parking. Should you choose to self-park downtown, it’ll set you back $28 for four hours (that is, if you opt for the convenience of paying for all four hours at once), whereas having your car parked by a valet is now an $18/day maximum expenditure. It’s unclear how this money-losing plan affects municipal coffers, but with the city adding almost $1 million to its payroll next year, hopefully it’s not too late to add a “Left Hand Knows What the Right Hand is Doing” position. (Suggestion: Director of Hand Holding) (See also: Whoever ordered the new Aspen Police sign)

The JAS Labor Day Experience

Your one job is right there on the ticket: to present a music show, rain or shine. Jazz Aspen always crushes the latter even if it recently became clear that real help is needed with the former. The correct way to present a music show, rain or shine: Make in-case-of-lightning directions clear and easy to find and follow. The incorrect way to present a music show, rain for shine: Whatever you did when lightning struck and chaos ensued during the Lionel Richie show in August.

Mother Nature

You’ve done your one job so well these past few months — brava! However, the buck doesn’t stop with an abundance of early-season snow. Your one job is to provide an appropriate amount of moisture year-round rather than bleeding (and burning) dry everyone and thing affected by too much or little of it. For inspiration and by way of reminder, please spend the next six months listening to one or all of the more than 80 artists and 90 albums that have been recorded specifically about an integral part of your one job: summer rain.

Snowmass Village

Congratulations! Forty-one short years after incorporating, the town of Snowmass Village finally has an actual village. Next up: making the Base Village parking garage do its one job and actually be park-able.

Follow Meredith Carroll on Twitter @MCCarroll. More at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Roger Marolt: Hitting a gusher without ever drilling

We say it like it happens easily and frequently, but time together spent focusing on the people we are with and they on us is rare and cannot occur by effort expended trying to achieve it, writes columnist Roger Marolt.

See more