Get a Job: My Life as a Retail Ski Dude

Some of the skis on display at ProSki Seattle.

The snobby rich guy walked in to ProSki Seattle and asked me pointedly, “Do you know what you’re doing?”

Well, yes and no. At that moment, I was putting away some rental skis, so yes, I did know what I was doing. But no, as a new employee ProSki, I really don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. I’m trying though.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been working a new gig at ProSki. I’ve been setting up rental packages for customers, helping with inventory, waxing skis, selling the occasional helmet and trying not to mess up.

This shop is for hard-core skiers. Customers come to ProSki because owners Mike Tracy and John Gould are gear savants who know their stuff.

But ProSki also does a huge business in rentals, and that’s where the SkiZer comes in. I’m one of the rental dudes, a guy who fits boots and finds skis for customers. And it has been fun.

SkiZer on the job.

Mostly. There was the day last week when I had the family of four — all needing boots, skis and poles. Our tiny shop was packed to the gills, no place for anyone sit. Little Sister didn’t like any of the three pairs of boots I brought her. Little Brother needed help rolling socks over his nasty middle school feet so he could try on boots. Big Sister was bored, and Mom was just tired. With these kids, who could blame her.

“Why is this taking so-o lo-ong?” Little Sister whined.

Smile SkiZer. You can do this. They got their gear — eventually — but not without some SkiZer flop-sweat.

Most customers are nice, though. They’re in good moods when they come to ProSki because they’re dreaming of their next days on the slopes. In that way, they’re just like me.

I’m not sure how long I’ll be working as a ski shop dude. But for now, I’m happy to be among my people.

A friendly snow monster graces the mural on the back wall at ProSki Seattle.

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