Woodstock Area Job Bank

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Back when I was in college, I took a semester off to live the life of a ski bum.  My parents—practical people—cut off all financial support.  No problem, I got a job at Sugarloaf as a ticket checker.  If you don’t know what that is it’s because ski mountains today have gone electronic. Back in the 70’s, a ticket checker stood at the bottom of the chair lift and actually looked at your ticket to make sure you had one.  It was an entry-level job for sure, but as a college student it also came with a great perk: a season pass.

I took the job, found a dirt-cheap apartment with lots of roommates, spent my life savings for the newest pair of Head skis, and moved from a cozy college dorm room to the slopes. During training (yes— we had training days, all employees had to learn how to evacuate the lifts), one of the instructors gave us our optional uniforms and asked if we had pack boots.  The uniform consisted of a coat that looked more appropriate for an alpine elephant than a college coed. No way was I going to wear that, and what the heck were pack boots?

I showed up for the first day of work in my stylish multi-colored parka, fur boots, adorable ski hat and hot-pink gloves.  It was December, bright and sunny, probably around 30 degrees.  By 4PM I was freezing.  Standing around on the snow all day was not like zipping down the slopes with breaks by the fire every couple of hours.  By January, I was showing up to work in my parka under the ugly elephant parka, hat, hood, goggles, two pairs of ski mittens and pack boots with double liners. Pack boots are winter boots with felt liners.  Mine were two sizes to big so I could add extra liners.  If I could have figured out a way to walk, I would have had triple liners—it gets really cold in Maine in January.

I learned a lot about life that winter.  Such as: Saabs are great cars but when they break down it can get really expensive, living in a party house is not fun when you have to be at work at 6AM and there is 18 inches of new snow to shovel, ski passes are only worth it if you can use them, and working in the cold is no job for sissies.

So here’s to outdoor workers everywhere, the power technicians, snow shovelers, construction workers, gas meter readers, ski instructors and snow makers.   You rock!

In Vermont, a little cold doesn’t bother us, so here’s to the players too.  Get out of your chair and  stop whining—there’s a lot you can do.  There’s skiing and skating, ice climbing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, sledding, fat biking, ice fishing and winter camping—pack boots or not.

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