Thinking of heading off to the mountains to do a season this winter? While it will undoubtedly be the best five months of your life, the jobs aren’t great.
You thought working in Pizza Hut was bad, you haven’t been a chalet host yet. At least when you’re a seasonaire, you’ve got a mountain as your playground and thousands of permanently intoxicated seasonaires as your mates in those precious few hours off.
So here are the most popular jobs on the mountain and the reality behind them…
JOB DESCRIPTION: Your role is to provide excellent customer service, five star standard food and a clean, welcoming “home from home” for our guests.
REALITY: Scrubbing toilets, cleaning up guest’s vomit, and pretending you can cook coq au vin to Michelin star standard for one euro per hour is pretty much what it’s all about, while simultaneously having the fear of losing your free lift pass dangled over your head as punishment.
You will get one day off a week. This will primarily involve skiing like a pack of lunatics across the mountain before drinking copious amounts of jäger and falling into bed to start the whole process again.
JOB DESCRIPTION: Bar staff are expected serve a variety of beverages and bar snacks with a smile. You will be expected to create a lively, welcoming atmosphere for all guests to enjoy.
REALITY: Riding all day, partying all night, right? Oh. Hell. No.
You’ll never get to enjoy après because you’ll always be working it. Oh yeah and didn’t they mention that the bar actually opens for lunch? So you may sometimes work triple shifts. That is if you don’t kill the demanding kitchen staff first.
After two weeks of work, you’ll barely have the energy to crawl to the toilet, let alone tear up the park all day. However, that feeling when you shove the last staggering punter out the door at 2am and you’re finally done for the night is immeasurably good.
JOB DESCRIPTION: To transport guests in a safe and timely manner between the airport and their accommodation while ensuring excellent standard of customer service.
REALITY: Driving to and from the resort five times a day with a hangover begins to grate after a while. There is only so many times you can listen to French radio stations without wanting to kill yourself.
Be prepared to answer the same questions over and over again. Yes, there is snow. Yes, the lifts are still as crowded as last year. No, I won’t turn off my Led Zep CD because your kids want to listen to the High School Musical soundtrack.
JOB DESCRIPTION: You’ll be working on a rota basis in our crèche, organising play activities, cooking lunches and taking these delightful angels out for walks in the snow. Your job is to have fun.
REALITY: Have children always been screaming, snotty, demonic horrors? Oh wait, yes they have, you just didn’t have to look after them before.
After the 17th child throws themselves on the snow and refuses to move until their mummy comes, you will want to throw yourself under the nearest snow cat just to escape.
However, there are perks. Two days off per week in lots of cases and kids can be pretty funny, when they’re not wetting their pants or screaming.
JOB DESCRIPTION: Our instructors are of world class teaching standards, educating beginners to expert level skiiers and snowboarders in a safe manner.
REALITY: Yes, you get to spend all day on the mountain. But more often than not, it’ll be a bluebird and you’ll be nannying a group of snotty-nosed six year olds on the nursery slopes, while your friends heckle you from the lifts.
On the plus side, you get first lifts when you do get a day off. Being an instructor also grants you with the invisible but widely recognised label as the sexiest beings on the mountain. Getting laid will never be a problem for you.
JOB DESCRIPTION: Your role will involve tuning and repairing ski equipment in our rental equipment store. You must be efficient and timely in order to provide an outstanding experience for our guests.
REALITY: So, you’re here to learn about the technical side of skis, right? If you’ve already forgotten what those ski rental hell holes are like, then best to keep it that way. The reality is not pretty. Screaming kids, sweaty insoles and endless questions of “are my boots really meant to be this painful?” Yes sir, yes they are.
JOB DESCRIPTION: You’re a bum. There is no job description.
REALITY: Same as job description. The ski bum essentially has no income whatsoever, but somehow manages to eat, find shelter and spend 50 per cent of his time in the resort totally trolleyed.
He dreams of being a pro, but just spends too much time smoking ganja to really put that into practice. Apart from watching ski movies on repeat, his daily activities include skiing, skiing and occasionally interspersed with a contemplative state known as ‘What Am I Doing With My Life?’
JOB DESCRIPTION: To be a resort rep, you need to be a people person. Can you deal with guests and suppliers in a professional manner? Are you calm and controlled in stressful situations? Then this could be the role for you. Skills include customer service, multi tasking and smiling.
REALITY: Transfer day. Transfer day. Transfer day. Think Groundhog Day but about ten thousands times worse.
You are the first port of call for any complaint, whether its the staff moaning about cleaning skidmarks in the toilet or guests complaining about their food tasting like cigarette ash.
The pay is also pretty shit, but at least you get to mong about at home and ski more than anyone else, right?