a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

The RV Super Mart

< by Nate >

I’ve already written at length about my time in a De Pere paper mill. Other than that wonderful experience, I’ve only ever had two other summer jobs.

I was a bus boy/dishwasher at the Irishman’s Shanty in Isaar, Wis., for a few years in middle/high school, and for two summers after high school, I was the lot attendant at Van Boxtel RV Super Mart in Green Bay, specializing in the Rent-A-Tent camper division.

My role at the RV Super Mart was: arrange the lot, know where every pop-up camper was, delegate cleaning (to my staff of 3-4 cleaners), clean campers myself, fill propane tanks, lead renters through the tutorial of how to use the camper, help renters fold and close campers, and send them on their merry way.

All of this was done on a blacktop lot in the middle of summer, where mornings started in 90-degree heat and only got hotter.

Was it the best job in the world? No.

Was it the worst? No.

I had to learn on the fly, and to start, the results weren’t good. I made a renter a hitch for a 24-foot travel trailer, and minutes after he drove out of the lot, he called saying the hitch had broken. I nearly broke my right leg when it got caught in between a trailer hitch and a hard place (that being the lot tractor we used to move around the campers). I sent renters out with empty propane tanks, or worse, full waste compartments.

But after a week or two, I had it down pat. And I was rewarded: My newest responsibility was to deliver campers to renters at their campsite.

Imagine that hot, 100-degree day, where all the campers are hazy on the lot from the heat rising off the blacktop. And here I go, jumping into a F-250 Diesel and driving for 8 hours roundtrip to nowhere Wisconsin to drop a camper in a wooded field.

How often I parked it in the right place … who knows?

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