Well, it’s that time of year again when seniors say goodbye to their high schools and college graduates try to figure out what they want to do with their lives. Or they just sleep late, watch television, and wait until their parents find jobs for them.
I personally know a lot of terrific kids who have been working hard since before they were old enough to drive. Here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country there are always plenty of seasonal jobs that become available right about when school gets out. There aren’t very many good excuses for not working around here in the summer.
In fact, one of my friends had to make her daughter quit one of her jobs last summer because she was working too hard. This young lady discovered that she liked having money in her wallet, liked buying rounds of expensive coffee for her friends and loved having a closet full of cowboy boots.
Our area takes on a decidedly international feel during the summer as our tourist attractions need to find employees, and our small town just doesn’t have enough people looking for seasonal jobs.
As a long-time resident, I have seen years where the economy is weak and Westerners dominate the seasonal jobs and years of low unemployment where business owners have to look for workers from outside the region and even from other countries.
I absolutely love it as I make a point of trying to get to know these folks from other countries such as England, Taiwan, Russia, Jamaica and Boston.
Fine, I know Boston is not another country, but have you heard those accents?
What we have found is that employees from other parts of the United States and from outside the country come here to work to experience a new perspective on life. Some have come to the West on vacation while others only know what they have read in books or seen in the movies.
Many of the jobs are not glamorous, but so many people are doing them with big smiles on their faces. Their enthusiasm is noticeable and contagious. I see young people happily busing restaurant tables, cleaning cabins at guest ranches, working hotel registration desks and generally keeping things running smoothly.
Inside the park are even more restaurant, hotel, horse wrangling, bus driving and tour leading jobs.
At the end of the summer, it is typical for groups of seasonal employees to plan a trip to New York or San Francisco or Washington, D.C. Sometimes they chip in to buy a used vehicle for a cross country trip before flying home.
By now many of our businesses have a good handle on staffing for the summer, but there are still opportunities for good workers looking for employment.
There are plenty of web sites with job openings. It’s 2016 and you know where to find these sites.
Until next week, I am lovin’ life – and working on my accents – in Cody, Wyo.