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The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (Part 7)

During the winter season 2009-2010, I was the Head Chef at the Kay El Bar Guest Ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona. This was my third season at the ranch, but first in the position. This entry is a little tough to put into words. It was a rough season, so I guess that should be expected.

I have also agreed to return for one more season, so you might want to keep that

bias in mind, too. The season starts early October and goes to early May, so it is kind of a longer winter season than most.


One of the things you quickly realize when you work for a small company is that

there is almost no privacy. You can become a bit extra protective when it comes to letting others know what is/was happening. So, I’m probably going to do this by using generalities more than specifics.


One of the most enjoyable things about working at a smaller place is when you see a review, either professional or in TripAdvisor-like sites, is you know what part you played in that person’s stay. You’re also more likely to see photos or videos of a people’s vacation and remember them…like the video that follows…







Room and board is thrown in at the ranch. You eat the same food as the guests eat, actually you are encouraged to eat with the guests. Everyone has their own room. Most share a living area and bathroom facilities.


We say we top out at 24 guests, but with some extra bunks thrown in we can really hit 30.


With a small staff, you get to know and work with every staff member a lot. Hmmmm…let’s see how to put this…if you have a difficult time working or spending a lot of time with that would not be normally a friend with…it’s not a good place to be.yes""> Not only for you and that other person, it makes everyone a bit tense.


Many times having that one boss, or that one (or couple) of owner’s is a great thing. You don’t have to go to one person for let’s say payroll questions, another for oh, let’s say time requests. It’s all the same people.


Sometimes there are personal problems in life. And you know how distracting they might be.yes""> Um, owners are people too.yes""> In a large business one person’s life is more easily covered by layers of management. In a mom and pop, not so good.








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Comment by Connie on August 30, 2010 at 7:02am
I love your posts. I can't do this right now, but your posts help me get a little closer to the adventure..
Comment by jon youngblood on August 25, 2010 at 2:22pm
good post keith, i to work for a small company and understand about the privacy. anything you do or say with get around. i am a little bit lucky in that i live 4 miles away from the resort but i still live in close proximity to other resort employees and park service people. i have some issues with a couple of people up here, and i just do my best to avoid those people. for the most part i like all my co-workers and each one seems to have stepped up this summer and made this a fun place to work.
i also here you about the review thing, i get a big kick when i read about someones positive experience and i get a good feeling knowing i played a role.
Comment by Keith Larson on August 19, 2010 at 4:43pm
Ok, some of the first look is because I wrote in another word ptocessor first and didn't transfer well. Will fix later.

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