I'm sorry I've been so quiet...
It's only because we are coming to the end of 3 awesome weeks with 3 awesome sets of guests. And it's been a real pleasure. After our nightmare guests a couple of weeks ago it was a real breath of fresh air and a bolster to our experience. We thought we were doomed to a season of guests who we had no connection with. Our manager received a formal complaint, 10 points long, about how incompetent Kerry and I were at our jobs.
I gave simple and honest answers to my management hierarchy. Every piece of feedback prior and after these particular guests was shining and it gave me a real boost in morale. I knew what I was doing was right and I was conducting my job to the fullest. My manager told me not to take things like this too highly. But I have real trouble with that. I want to thrive and excel at everything I do, whether that is clean a toilet, run a chalet, maintain an engineering asset or paint a picture! I take real pride in my work and get great satisfaction from knowing I've pleased a boss, client, friend, relative.
But that's all behind us now.
We have received 2 great snowboarding groups. People where the mountain and the snow is everything to them. People who have 2 winter holidays boarding and no summer holiday. And these are the kind of people I enjoy catering for the most. For them the experience is simply about the mountain and everything it offers. Not whether the toilet roll is folded in to a point or the croutons too big with the soup. It's all about the mountain.
They're probably the best kind of guests because they have the same mindset as me. Kerry hates it when I tell guests, but I am here for the mountain. Yes I take pride in my work, but my primary reason for being here is to ride my snowboard and have a good time. So when I can do both of those things with my guests, of course I'm going to love them!
Unless I make a personal and meaningful relationship with the guests. Which I did with one set. A family of 8 ranging from Grandparent to Grandson and from a place not too far from my home town (Tonbridge Wells). And they shone to me. The epitome of family happiness, all out to enjoy a holiday together. And time together which they admitted they did not get much of at home. But now they were in the Alps, together, and loving it.
Some had skied before, others not, each took it in turns to look after the 2 year old while parents could shoot off over the mountain together. Kerry and I skied with them most days and enjoyed every minute. Conversation was varied and intelligent and I just warmed to them like I can imagine any good chalet host doing. These were wholesome, decent people.
And we are due more! Good friends of ours Alex and Claire are booked in to arrive this coming Sunday! They were initially the only two people booked in for next week. Imagine that! A whole chalet for me, Kerry and our two friends. No uniform, dinner when we want, one room to ... maybe... make. A holiday.
But alas, it wasn't to be. We had two more guests book mid week and then by Thursday the whole chalet was booked out! 10 full guests! So a panic trip down the mountain to the supermarket was needed and we are now prepared. It really will be awesome to see some familiar and friendly faces. I can't wait.
As far as boarding is concerned I am now a full on powder hound. I love the stuff! I like nothing more than that woooosh of fresh, deep powder under my board. (It also doesn't hurt when you fall!) The feeling of pulling off a lovely set of turns through an untracked powder field is second to none. I now know why the ski-bums come to Sainte Foy. The powder.
Here is a little montage of clips to illustrate my love of the off piste. Trees are a new venture for me, but one I'm starting to like more and more.