Bell Peppers and Reverse Engineering the Ski Industry

Pretty much everyone knows what a bell pepper is and the same goes for skiing (even though some might not think of it as an industry) so let’s begin with reverse engineering.

It is a process of examining an existing product, or in this case a service, to figure out how it was made and how it works.

Some use reverse engineering to copy the product but others just try to understand it.

As a big fan of figuring things out (though not always successfully) it should come as no surprise that I like reverse engineering. In pre-school, I think they call it “puzzles and problem solving.”

The ski industry seems like a pretty complicated problem.

The land is usually controlled by the federal government acting through the Forest Service. There is much permitting required.

Significant capital is needed and generating a satisfactory return on that capital requires careful thought and high-end pricing.

There is also a real estate aspect to the business that explains why a ski village often looks like a luxury mixed use shopping mall.

Most visible to the amateur reverse engineer, however, is the “client facing” sales and service aspect of the business.

Whatever else the developer of a ski resort might have done well, getting the sales and service part wrong looks like a potentially fatal misstep.

Imagine the role of the greeter at the earliest level of ski school. There might be some men who serve in this capacity, but if I were recruiting candidates, I would focus on women because the odds of finding the required skill set seem vastly higher.

There are several audiences for her efforts.

Two-year olds are best served by attaching tiny plastic skis to snow boots, stepping a few feet away and saying, “come to mommy.” They don’t belong in even the earliest level ski school but that does not mean they are not there. Our greeter needs to be able to convey the “I’m not sure this is such a good idea” message or there have to be rules related to potty training to provide her with the ever-popular-but-rarely-well-received “that’s not our policy” defense.

Most of her child audience should be in the three-to-six age range. She should have finely tuned antenna for short attention spans, coordination levels, resistance to trying new things, separation anxiety, “stranger danger” signals, spoiled-brat behavior and the like.

Then there are the parents. Here our greeter’s antenna needs to be sensitive to inflated expectations as to the quality of the experience for the little darlings entrusted to the ski school’s care; often excessive safety concerns; and the parental desire to deposit the toddler someplace so they can get on with their own fun having.

Inevitably, this brings us to the bell pepper, but first a word about its nutritional value: Calories 31; Water 92%; Protein 1 gram; Carbs 6 grams; sugar 4.2 grams; Fiber 2.1 grams; and Fat 0.3 grams.

Whatever the childhood consumption of bell peppers might do for parental self-esteem, the bell pepper is probably not well suited to a morning spent outdoors in the cold learning a new and somewhat strange activity. Even in comparison to the high-carb, high-fat, high-protein; low-organic; probably not purchased at Whole Foods toddler ski school offerings, the bell pepper comes up short.

Earlier this week, I was putting on my boots within both sight and earshot of a ski school greeter in action. She was at a desk in front of a long curling line of anxiety filled parents holding the hands of impatient and sometimes barely controlled children.

The mother in front of her was engaging in a detailed discussion of her child’s daily nutritional needs and – you guessed it – expounding on the virtues of the bell pepper while holding one up for all to see.

I am pretty sure the greeter has a bright future in more lucrative careers involving the management of expectations in the high-income demographic.

17 Responses to “Bell Peppers and Reverse Engineering the Ski Industry”

Garrard Glenn, February 22, 2020 at 2:07 pm said:

The tots would do better with a burger at the cafeteria. They need energy and endurance. Bell peppers are for dinner when Mommy chops a few up into the kale, broccoli, walnut and kiwi salad she will prepare for her hungry skiers at their rented condo. And repeated ingestion of like salads is why her husband has a drinking problem.


Haven Pell, February 22, 2020 at 2:21 pm said:

Perhaps that suggests a different story?


Dianne Warner, February 22, 2020 at 2:10 pm said:

I wondered where this arcane metaphor would land. Or splat. Challenges abound, perhaps more so, ironically, in the ‘well-to-do’.
Red. Red bell peppers. ⭐️


Haven Pell, February 22, 2020 at 2:18 pm said:

I hope it landed like a butterfly with sore feet.


C grenville, February 22, 2020 at 2:33 pm said:

Bell peppers ,of any color,would be the last food I would recommend for any age before a day on the ski slopes. Peppers are part of the Mediterranean, Mexican and Indian cuisine for a reason!


Haven Pell, February 22, 2020 at 2:36 pm said:

Chances are you’d have gotten a laugh out of the scene at the ski school counter.


Richard Meyer, February 22, 2020 at 3:20 pm said:

As a non-skier, it would seem to me that a pasta dish would be much better fare.


Haven Pell, February 22, 2020 at 3:54 pm said:

Your being a doctor, probably obviates the need to be a skier. Either way, the advice is good.


Sellers, February 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm said:

Watch out for the PC Police when suggesting that one gender is better at something than one of the myriad of others genders that seem to have mysteriously appeared over the last few years. Or were you talking about the sex of the greeter? Or is that a Social construct? I forget. Anyway you cut it, these things leave me hopelessly at sea. Do Bell Peppers have a sex just like Banana trees do? If so which is better? All the best.


Haven Pell, February 22, 2020 at 8:03 pm said:

Caution in print is rarely my watch word though it should be.

On the mountain, it is “ski to ski another day.”


Sellers, February 23, 2020 at 8:20 am said:

Good motto. However, now that we have discussed the sexism of your post, I think it’s important to delve into the “woman in line’s” potential racism. What color of Bell Pepper was she holding? The fairness doctrine dictates that she should have been holding one of each color at a minimum (screw practicality!). As far as I know there are three colors: was she being judgmental in addition to being insensitive to the colorblind, and non-inclusive by espousing the virtues of one color while ignoring the others? Is a Bell Pepper actually a fruit? Like a tomato? If so, I guess it’s fruit of many colors? I understand that NY State now recognizes 36 genders. Talk about fruits of many colors! I get so confused by all this that I think I need the Pundificator (or perhaps Liz Warren? Faux-cahontas!) to set me on the path to enlightenment.
While you are enjoying the slopes, I’m off to Nashville for a week of country music followed by several days of guns, more country music, and toxic masculinity at the NRA’s annual bash (even though the fastest growing demographic among gun-owners is the distaff brand). Note my careful avoidance of sexism! Or is “distaff” somehow insensitive? I guess if I was not already on a Socialist hit list I just solved that problem.
While I’m at it, I have a suggestion for your next article (as long as you are dealing with the needs of young children): I understand that the teachers union in some state (Minnesota perhaps?) has demanded that LBGTQ Grade School teachers be permitted to use the children’s bathroom of their choice. So, we need to address why it is that any non-conforming (?) adult (or any adult for that matter) would want to share a bathroom with small children, and why anybody else, particularly the PTA (does that still exist?) would care about what they want. I know you are trying to avoid politics, but this seems more of a mental health issue to me (also worthy of avoidance ?). Of course we’d all be better off if we spent more time on the ski slopes like you. The other slopes have become even more slippery than the snowy/icy ones. A final thought just occurred to me. Did all this school nonsense begin when Hollywood put Conan the Barbarian in a classroom with small children as the Kindergarten Cop? Did he use the girl’s? Why was this issue not addressed? Was he even a good role model as I seem to remember he demanded discipline, which must have broken several PC guidelines . Gadzooks. I think I’m going off the rails. It’s all so very confusing.


Haven Pell, February 23, 2020 at 10:49 am said:

There is only one of your trenchant questions that I can answer before heading off for a day of fun, fun, fun. The bell pepper was green. I took it to invoke the tragic plight of Kermit the Frog who reminded us all that “it is not easy being green.”


Sellers, February 23, 2020 at 11:23 am said:

Poor Kermit. As you are far away and have far better things to occupy your mind, you might not have heard that Chris Matthews dared to compare Bernie’s win in Nevada (are you there or still in Utah?) to the Fall of France in 1940? Naturally the Left wants his head. Is eating your own a necessary result of the PC movement and identity politics where everyone, even Bernie, is a victim? What is the food chain like among Bell Peppers? Do greens eat reds?


Haven Pell, February 24, 2020 at 9:50 am said:

You’ll remember Michael G. Davies from our mutual educational endeavors. He forwarded the nugget that piranhas will eat injured piranhas even as the injured ones are in the process of eating something else. This offers much to ponder upon as the Democratic selection process continues.


Sellers, February 24, 2020 at 10:32 am said:

Nice about piranhas. A victim of a victim of a victim. Or something like that. Am I a victim? I feel victimized that I was born with no “intersectionality “ (i was amazed to discover that that is actually a thing!) and can only claim victimhood on the basis of being a member of a group that has evolved into everybody’s favorite whipping boy, which, of course, is the worst kind of victim. A victim who cannot make a politically incorrect claim to victimhood.


Sellers, February 23, 2020 at 8:35 am said:

Here’s another thought. Could the elitist ski industry survive a Socialist government? Now I know Bernie is from Vermont, so he would not dare attack skiing while running for office, but it seems that skiing is so politically incorrect on so many fronts that one must ask the question. Of course he could just tax you to the extent you couldn’t afford it anyway. Or anything else for that matter. Is his own mansion on the slopes?


Haven Pell, February 23, 2020 at 10:54 am said:

Politically incorrect though skiing might be, I am aware of a situation in which Democratic political figures of the highest prominence endeavored to more or less steal some extremely valuable real estate at a major ski resort. In that case political impression making took a back seat to greed.


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