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Park City Competent

by monika guendner

Attitude Level: Super Anal, Waffling, Laid Back, or Park City Competent?

Park City is unique in several ways. It’s the only town in Utah that was never Mormon. It has huge opposing concentrations of multi-millionaires and $7/hr workers. It has also evolved its own system of values and measurements, known loosely as Park City Competent. Here are some ways this manifests itself:

Punctuality - If a professional event is set to begin at 8 p.m., that allows for a window of 45 minutes. On a personal level, that could mean anytime, up to next Tuesday. After that, they’re late.

Work Habits - A wide range of behaviors become excusable in the PC workplace that might not hold water in other areas of the country. Habitual lateness, or even absence, stormy personalities, questionable work visas, disrespectful attitudes, unkempt appearances, and lazy work habits. All these and more must be tolerated to some extent by local businesses because of the shortage of cheap labor.

Friends - Locals get to know so many faces that on the surface they look like there are rich with friends. But when you get right down to it, the head nod or friendly wave might be the only contact most locals have with each other. In this town, knowing someone’s last name is a novelty, unless the last name also happens to be his/her nickname. Use the word ‘buddy’ to denote someone as more than an acquaintance but less than a friend.

Romances - Search your brain for a romantic Parkite couple who 1) didn’t know each other before meeting in Park City; 2) have a healthy, even enviable, relationship; and 3) have been together more than three minutes. Coming up dry? Maybe there are a few, but hey, even the slackest ski bums show up on time occasionally, even if by mistake. Just remember, nothing guarantees a stable relationship—not “I love you,” not a ring, not a vow, and least of all, a sexual encounter.

Heritage - The Pilgrims had deeper roots in the New World than most Parkites have in Utah. Your best bet in opening a conversation is asking someone where they are from originally. That’ll work even in the deadest of tourist seasons.

Sports - This is one area where the average Parkite excels over the normal Joe. To participate in a sport in this town means to pursue it passionately and come to a point where you demand the perfect conditions. ‘Competent’ in this case means you can ski/board Jupiter but you don’t have to flip yourself over the cornice. Flipping elevates you to ‘average.’