DISCLAIMER

I thought I’d throw this one in. This blog was historically about my travels. In a way it still is as I’m working in France in the tourist industry and I’m getting to see some beautiful parts of the Alps. A “busman’s holiday” if you will.

Thing is, I’m now blogging about work and I do know that for people in the past this has been fraught with problems – mainly disciplinary. This is a huge shame as a blog is a good way for people to find out what the work is like should they want to choose a similar career path. Plus, especially given where I’m working and what I’m doing, I’m expecting quite a lot of interesting things to happen!

So here’s the deal. I’m not going to mention the name of the company I work for. Although, in fairness, anyone with a collection of brochures and some time could probably work it out. Other than that I’m just going to be honest. This isn’t an “outlet” or “whinge” blog. It’s one to report experiences in as balanced a way as I can.

This is a large operation. Things will go wrong. But I’ve been here long enough to know that the people who work here will do everything they can to prevent it. And not just out of duty to their employers – they genuinely care about what they’re doing. I work alongside the main admin staff, communicate directly with managers and directors, and I spend a lot of time with chalet and hotel staff. Basically, the whole lot.

The employment rules are strict. In a lot of cases, there is no warning. Break some rules and you’re out. Immediately. There is quite a demand for these jobs, so replacing staff who’ve been ousted is not too tricky. Bear this in mind if you ever apply for a job as a chalet host or whatever to get yourself out here and on the snow. It is great fun, hugely rewarding, you’ll be with some amazing people… but it is hard work and you have to follow the rules.

To the best of my knowledge around a dozen staff have been sacked already. Offences ranged from smoking in a kitchen to being too drunk after a night out to attend lectures during training. No warning. Immediate cancellation of contract.

As well as a warning to potential employees, this should also reassure potential guests (I’m not allowed to call them “customers”!). Staff standards are kept high. bear in mind, this is roughly a dozen out of almost 900 staff, so hardly a huge proportion and all knew the rules when they signed up. I know I did.

We also lost two chefs early on as they just… left. Both had cars and didn’t tell anyone. They just packed up and vanished. I know one of them just didn’t like how he was being treated in the kitchen as he was very experienced and was being lumped in with the other new chefs. Again, he knew the position he was being offered and if he reckoned he was better off earning a fortune back home then one wonders why he applied for a job over here anyway.

I’ve a few more little stories, but the ones thing I will always do is stick to the truth – I won’t hypothesise about anything. This blog isn’t meant to be a trash-TV style exposé by any stretch. I know one person back home who’s done part of a season out here and she’s one of the reasons I decided to try it, and I’m having a hell of a time.

So. Apologies (I’m doing that a lot right now) for the boring post, but I’ve always believed I should be able to talk openly about things. I’m not going to let loose any corporate secrets or mudsling. The aim here is to let people know what it’s like to work somewhere like this for a season. I’m hoping and expecting that it will make things more appealing for those considering it!

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