Snowy update

Again, apologies for the lack of pictures but the good news (in case I didn’t already mention) is that Olympus have replaced my camera under warranty with the improved new model. And replaced my underwater housing so that this replacement fits. The former has arrived, the latter is somewhere in the postal system. Top marks to Olympus for that!

These last few days I have mostly been making 3-hour-each-way return drives between Chamonix and Tignes. Firstly to rip apart the training room here in Chamonix and set it back up again in a hotel over in the Tarentaise. This was a right pain, to be frank, but at least I was given help in the form of Mike – one of the reps from last year who’s returned for another season.

Between us we had the whole thing in pieces, in a van and in Tignes in about five hours. I then had another rep, Joe, help me piece everything back together again so that training could be done with our next group. Amazingly, I was done by dinner time and a few of the Child Care bunch kindly offered to share their pizza with me.

The after dinner “just one drink” night out turned into one of those ones that never seems as if it will end. Starting at the Bagus Bar, I had drinks bought for me by a couple of people for helping them with various laptop problems. Then the bar realised most of the people there were seasonairres, so decided they liked us and needed to bribe us into telling holidaymakers what a great place it was.

Out came the free vodka shots and more free pizza. By around 1am, the night still seemed young and what few of us remained went round the corner to Jack’s. Jagerbombs. Jager shots. Pints. Then free toffee apple shots and free halves. I do remember losing very badly at pool and really not caring.

I ended up rescuing one of the staff from another one (she has a boyfriend after all) and she crashed in the spare bed in my room. I’m nice like that. And no, no names!

My thoughts of driving back to Chamonix early morning were somewhat laid to waste by the fact I was in no fit state to get behind the wheel of a Tonka truck let alone a full-grown motor vehicle. Instead, I did some odd jobs around the place before grabbing a filling free lunch in one of the chalets (thanks, chef!) and finally making my way back to Chamonix.

I had dinner at the hotel here with the managers-in-training which was a good laugh. Decent grub and a post-meal quiz which our table won. Free cocktails! Which inevitably turned into a walk down to Bar’Dup where I was gifted another jug of beer for repairing a “broken” external hard drive. Bed at 3:30am…

More catching-up and organising of hardware followed the next day, before driving to Tignes again on Sunday afternoon to deliver some printers. I also had to configure (and remove) a couple of the training PCs as they’d be needed by the hotel staff heading out on Monday.

The drive up was pretty good. Not much traffic on the roads and no snow as yet. I managed to get from Bourge St Maurice up to Tignes in less than the running length of Slayer‘s Reign in Blood. Check out the album details and then look on a map for the route. Suffice to say that had Leah been in the van I’d have been shouted at frequently when she wasn’t busy gibbering and hiding her face in her hands.

Of course, when I got there I was frankly informed by the person running the training that they needed all of the machines and that I wasn’t allowed to take any of them. I pointed out that two of them weren’t even on the network so obviously weren’t being used, so yes – I would. Those two. Ideally I needed two more, but was forbidden. Well, less work for me (though more later in the week).

Including a dinner break (thanks, chef!) I managed to get the two machines set up, optimised, configured, tested and boxed by half eleven at night. Then retired with two cans of lager, some cheap crisps and  the last two episodes of The Dead Zone season 5.

The next morning I found out there’d been a) an overnight snowfall and b) a messup with the transportation. As such, I was no longer meeting people in Albertville to hand PCs over, I would have to bring them all the way back to Chamonix. So I loaded the van, hopped in and made acceptable time on the now more slippy roads.

So, in Chamonix for a couple of days to do some odd jobs before scooting back to Tignes on Thursday afternoon. It really is all go, here. Hotel staff are now in place (or at least, as I type, on the road heading for their resorts) and chalet staff/reps will be zipping off to settle in on Saturday.

That’s about when I start getting a million “my xxxx doesn’t work” calls.

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