So far my adventures in Yellowstone as a Ranger have my defenses up. If you’re ready to fight, I’m good to go.
I don’t like feeling this way, and I worry that it is going to give me negative encounters with people. I tend to have a “smart-mouth”; for those individuals who don’t listen to the signs or myself.
Granted 98% for people listen to me, once they realize that, that voice is in fact a ranger.
For example, there is a section of road where everyone parks and walks up over the grass to view a thermal feature. It’s against the law to walk around a thermal area, and there are SIGNS that say don’t walk here. They are small, close to the ground, and about every six feet. So part of me understands that since the signs are small, its easy not see them as you walk by. (Plus people like to steal them apparently.) So that part has me ask you politely, yet loudly, to return to the grass and continue up the road to the boardwalk to view that feature.
Then there is a part of me (the smart-mouth) who then tells you to “Watch out for those little signs, don’t trip on them.”.
That right there is not the right thing to do.
Visitors are on vacation; you are here to enjoy the park’s wonders, I just want you to do it safely. I know that sometimes, we get so excited we actually don’t think thoroughly about our safety. Example: I drive south to assist our Police Rangers with a Bear Jam, once I arrive, the bear leaves (typical).
I speak with my coworker and he says, “Did you see those people?!”
No, what happened?
“When I arrived they were all standing on the edge of the woods trying to see through the thick under-story right where the bear went into the woods.”
“I asked them, Now what’s the plan if the bear comes back out of the woods?”
“They didn’t have one.“
This is where customer service comes in, just like any job. This is the first time you are speaking to that visitor, and you need to treat them that way. Instead of treating them like this is the 25th time in a row you have to remind them to back up from that bison, its just the first time for them.
I need to remember to take a breath before each situation.
Another situation that has me “putting up my game face” is that 2% of visitors who don’t listen. It more than likely having to do nothing with me but I take it personally. I feel as though it has to deal with me as a young female. Again though, I already have my defensive up. I know I am over reacting and just taking things a way that they shouldn’t, but I can’t help it.
I need to remember to breath.