Tales of catastophe, sex and squalor from the Alpine Underbelly...

Belle de Neige

Monday, 31 January 2011

Seasonal Faux-Pas

These usually fall into two categories: Cliché or Total Fuck Up

Cliché: Newbie Mountain Workers Over 29 in Existential Crisis

I have noticed that newbie mountain workers over the age of about 29 seem to fall into a pattern. The pattern is this: Arrive, thinking you have found the ‘thing’ you’ve been searching for all these years. Work way too hard. Exhaust self. Have crisis about how young all the other mountain workers are and how old you are. Lack impetus to ski and therefore spend too much time sitting in shoe-box bunk room flat. Decide you ought to grow up, go home and get a mortgage. Throw toys out of pram because being arseraped by employer. Quit....

.........Immediately start having more fun than you’ve ever had in your grey little life, as now no longer give a shit about job. Enjoy a surprise bluebird powder day and end up dancing until 7am in your ski boots in another ski resort round the corner with your mates. Regret quitting. Realise job was piece of piss and you were just being feeble. Man The Fuck Up. Meekly request job back. Come back again next season.

If you are a newbie mountain worker over the age of about 29, please do not be this predictable. It really is so dull for the rest of us.

Total Fuck Up: Manager’s Nightmare (Part 1) – The Text Message Minefield

Right at the start of the season I was revelling in my own managerial genius. I was on fire! Managing the shit out of everyone and everything in the near vicinity with the efficiency of a BMW Technician on speed.

...And then I got severely drunk on my day off and had to deal with a 7am text message from a client requesting a lift for his young family from their chalet to the piste.

I was experiencing a bastard behind the eyes.

Rolling over in bed, I blearily composed a text message to our driver, who we fondly call the Geordie Ninja, due to him being a Geordie and having a Ninja-like ability to mysteriously disappear and reappear in the blink of an eye.

‘Alright ya Geordie cunt. Guests need bus at 9. Soz luv. Wankstain.’

And then I sent it. To the guest.

It was Tourettes-esque in its irony. I was so hanging out my arse that my brain couldn’t cope with two thoughts at once. So it short circuited and fucked me over.

The thing that astonished me most was that I was actually thinking to myself, as I scrolled through the numbers in my phone to send it, ‘Fuck me, imagine how bad it would be if I mistakenly sent this to the client’.

Total Fuck Up: Manager’s Nightmare (Part 2) Caught in the Act By Minion

This ‘Being a Responsible Manager that People Can Look Up To’ malarkey is a new one on me and it’s taken some adapting to, I can tell you. I have one particular minion of whom I’m rather fond because he reminds me ever-so-slightly of SbH. Mini-SbH always hands his accounts in on time and has a chalet that’s always as neat as a pin. But he’s also a right little tinker and doesn’t let you forget anything. To my detriment he has so far seen me drunk and disorderly in the snow more times than I care to remember and has also seen me dancing in my bra. It’s very hard, also, to maintain a level of dignified managerial authority when one of your minions has also walked in on you being given a naked massage by your other half. The poor boy got the shock of his life. Lesson learned – never tell your minions the code to your flat.

Cliché : Snowboarders vs Skiers – Don’t Mention the War

For God’s sake, don’t bring it up. Everyone out here is so bored of it. We all now live at peace. It’s only the punters that can’t ride in harmony and that’s because they can’t ride worth a fart full stop. Yes. It’s true. Without skiers to tow them on the flat, the slopes would be littered with the frozen over, skeletal corpses of boarders with one foot clipped out, who got stranded and didn’t have enough energy to punt home.

Someone needs to invent some kind of snowboarder’s extendable pole thing that pings out from the sleeve or glove like a Wolverine Claw. But until they do, just shut the fuck up and give the poor bastards a tow.


  1. Love it belle, tfu part 1 is the best. Enjoy rest of the week. Look forward to more.

  2. Someone just sent me a link to your blog and I've only read today's post but I already love it! Thanks for the link to my blog by the way.

    Your writing is hilarious and I too have worked in places where separation of party and business has been impossible. Doesn't help when you live where you work.

    Looking forward to reading through more of your blog! xxx

    PS: LOVE the name Geordie Ninja.

  3. That text message situation sounds so, so cringey. What sort of damage limitation did you try to do? Hope the clients had a good sense of humour!

  4. I'm fairly new to your blog, and I'm trying to read the past posts. I worked a season last year, and I had to comment on your last point. Toward the start of the season I remember thinking, "The first thing you learn is that skiers don't like snowboarders, and vice versa. At the same time, the second thing you learn is that no one really cares at all and it's just a way to tease each other occasionally." It was a very pleasant discovery - I didn't really want to be not-friends with some people just because they had snowboards when I was a skier.

    Loving reading your posts, I miss the snow!


Your comments will be moderated before being accepted.