Bob Sweigart: Who are these people? | SierraSun.com

Bob Sweigart: Who are these people?

What is more important, telling people not to come up here during major snow events or subjecting our locals to some of the worst verbal abuse that has ever been spewed out upon them?

The answer is clear. How human beings treat one another is more important than our local economy. At least it is in my opinion.

However, no matter what we tell people they are going to come up here anyway. But we need to draw the line somewhere. I have been working in Resort Services and the ski business for almost 40 years, and I have never been subjected to the unbelievable, threatening, intimidating verbal abuse I got over President’s weekend and the following week.

And I am willing to bet there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other stories like mine from local restaurant workers, snow removal people, parking attendants and resort employees around the basin.

You can count on it. A man actually came into Guest Services at a local ski resort the other day mad as hell, complaining that there was too much snow at the top of the mountain! He was so angry he slammed the door on his way out, breaking the door frame and almost breaking the glass. I heard the call over the radio to building maintenance to come fix the door and the rest of the story from someone who was there. Unbelievable, but true.

Sure, tell people to come up here during a major snow event, and add the caveat that they should not expect to find a place to park. Tell them if they verbally abuse our parking attendants, waitresses or any other local, don’t be surprised when we verbally abuse them back because of their ignorance, immaturity and lack of comprehension of reality. If you verbally abuse anyone I think you should be given a snow shovel and be told to start shoveling.

I see it as a clash of cultures between mountain people and city folk. In every case of these avoidable crimes of verbal abuse against locals it only proves that mountain people are superior to city people.

Bob Sweigart lives in Tahoe City.