Practice makes perfect goes the old saw. The forecasters at the Reno NWS Office nailed the timing again last night. The latest wave of winter weather was leaving my corner of the High Sierra just as I left for work. Up on the Mountain, I was greeted by more than four inches of freshly fallen snow...without the gale-force winds of the night before.
The Swing Shift Crew were buzzing...all smiles at the return of Hero Snow! WooHoo! They really kicked it! There was some celebrating too...the Groomers scored a big victory with regards to the New Lunch Break Regime.
A near mutiny ensued after management began to comply with State Ordered Work Rules two weeks ago. Grudgingly, we all complied, and the nearly 20% loss of productivity was impossible to miss come morning, when the Marketing Department would call for the Grooming Report.
We bargained our way out of having to come off the Hill and punch out for the half hour, opting instead to enjoy lunch in our cats on the hill. There's several places on my Mountain where you're a fifteen minute trip from the shop. That can mean a half our round trip to the shop for that half hour lunch break. That's where the 20% went! Management relented and we began taking our lunch on the hill.
The Crew was happier now that compliance didn't seem so onerous, and the folks in HR refined our program upon further research into the actual Law...Now, we get paid for lunch when we take it in our cats! Problem solved...Trumpet Fanfare...Victory Dance! Productivity back up...it's a Textbook Win-Win Situation.
Rumbling off into the night, I cracked a new smile the first time I launched the Bison's tiller, and noticed that it was set for up pressure...not the down pressure that had been the rule since the last snow almost two weeks ago. Coming out of the trees at the top of the Bunny Lift, the beautiful waxing Moon spawned another smile on my old mug.
Speed was necessary the night before to master the wet piste, tonight speed was possible, and made for joyful grooming. With new snow beneath our tracks, the ride improves from a grind to something like flying or floating...CD's stop skipping in the stereos and the operators don't take as much of a beating. You don't feel as tired after a fresh snow shift...physically anyway...
Visibility was optimal all night, with the Moon looking spectacular setting behind our Westernmost Peak. We added a couple of extras above and beyond the Work Orders, and still wrapped it up early.
Back at the Fuel Dock, the Graveyard Crew was buzzing like the Swing Shift had at the end of their shift. To a man, each uttered the word: "Lovely" We all went home happy, and our guests would be happy too...sliding down acres of beautiful fresh corduroy, or hunting fresh untracked powder on a sparkling fresh Bluebird Day.
How often do you experience joy on the job? I love what I do, but it's a rare night when joy is on the menu. Last night most of the crew found joy, rare, beautiful and restorative. Springtime at it's very, very best...stay tuned, there's a "pattern change" coming Monday. They're teasing it with the phrase: "Kick the Storm Door Open" On tonight's 10 O'clock news, the WeatherDude said: Several feet of snow for the Sierras next week!