Sunday, June 9, 2013

Caravanning is a Stress Reducing Activity.....Or Not!

I, in keeping with a lot of other Caravanners I know, believe that the attraction of hitching up and leaving your workday woes behind is what owning a Caravan is all about. Clearly that is not always the case.

With the weather set to be sunny and hot all weekend we were expecting to be pretty full by tea-time, as proved the case. We also have a large(ish) population of seasonal tourers, many of whom are here without fail every weekend. It has become clear, that in some cases, the seasonal bunch feel that they should take precedence over the tourers when it comes to the use of toilets and showers or queuing to use the water tap. One or two of the seasonals also feel it their duty to point out any shortcomings they notice to me, no matter the time of day.

This all came to ahead on Friday evening with the Curious Case of the Yapping Dog! A recent addition to our seasonal clientele, a pleasant couple, who both work as Nurses, and who felt the need for a quiet bolthole that they could run to whenever they got the chance, appeared on Friday morning with their three small dogs in tow, one of whom, a 10 month old Westie, has clearly found his voice and was yapping at everything that he could see, hear, or pass him by. It was one of those things that you don't really notice during the day, but which as evening and night fell, became more and more intrusive. However it was clear that the couple were doing their best to destress it, and hopefully quieten it down.

Which brings me to the other side of the coin. We have a little group of seasonals, who, as described above, take exception to, well, pretty much everything. Towards late evening I looked out of the Caravan window, to see both groups of Caravanners in the middle of the access road, having a very heated exchange. Before I could say anything, Mrs SA was out of the awning, and in her best Sgt Major's voice told seasonal couple one, (busybodies), to get back in their own awning and I would come and speak to them, and told the Nurses to come down and speak to us. They both, unsurprisingly agreed.

It turns out that the busybody couple, having consumed a few too many, decided that they would let the Nurse couple know how they felt about yapping dogs, however the conversation had quickly degenerated into a "if you don't stop that effing dog from barking, I'll nail it to the effing floor"! This comment and the aggressive way it was delivered had reduced the lady of the Nursing couple to tears. It also meant that the male half of this relationship was talking about removing his van and negotiating a refund of his seasonal fee from the owner.

Having heard this tale, I then went to the other couple to get their version. Clearly annoyed by the barking, they felt it their duty to do something about it. Whilst I agreed with the sentiment, and in fact had been on the verge of talking to the dog owners myself, I explained that dealing with issues was my job, not theirs, and that saying what he did and in that manner was out of order. His wife agreed, but he was unrepentant and in no mood to offer an apology. Sad, because in my experience, the better person will always apologise when in the wrong. (The exception being John Wayne who, as Captain Nathan Brittles in the classic film "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", offered this "Never apologise mister, it's a sign of weakness", but as far as I'm concerned the Duke can do no wrong).

We managed to calm the Nursing couple down, who had already decided to go home because of the dog anyway, contenting themselves with writing to the owners to register their disapproval instead.

The next day, another seasonal caravanner explained to me that, he, the other half of the busybody couple, was full of remorse for his actions citing a very stressful week as the cause. But my point of course, is that's the reason they have a caravan in the first place, leave the stress at home, arrive on site, deploy the sun-loungers, break open the Boddingtons and sit back. Let me deal with the issues, which thankfully have been few and far between, and after all isn't that what they pay for!