Tales From The Lodge – Part 2: Henry is on Fire!
Ever wanted to leave city life behind and head for the mountains? Mark has done exactly that, joining Venture Ski (a ChaletManager client) as a Resort Manager. In this series of blogs we’ll be taking a “behind the scenes” look at what it takes to run a chalet… from keeping the guests smiling to getting out on the slopes.
Whoa… this is crazy. My feet have hardly touched the ground and now it’s January already! No sooner had we all been bundled off the minibus from Geneva airport and, I have to say, given a very nice welcome party from the senior management (including a few beers and canapés!) than we started the dreaded training week! Who would have thought that cooking, cleaning, laying a table and serving food would require so much detail and thought? Not I (well, not before now anyway). I am very proud though, to now be the proud owner of a Food Hygiene certificate, be trained in silver service delivery and know which cloth to use in the bathroom and which brush to use to clean the lounge! We even got taught avalanche safety on the mountain and really cool stuff about how many types of water crystals there are in snow (did you know over 12?).
Christmas was a blur, in a nice way, and New Year was awesome fun. I can’t believe three weeks of my 4 month odyssey in the Alps have already passed. Nothing went too wrong over the festive period (certainly nothing we couldn’t hide from the guests), though I did ruin the eggs at breakfast on my first day, luckily we have lots of eggs and they’re very quickly chucked in the bin and re-made! The highlight had to be Chris using his vacuum cleaner to clean the ash out of the fireplace in the morning, only to wonder what the smell of burning plastic was and then turning around to see poor ‘Henry’ on fire in the middle of the living room. Luckily nobody was walking under the balcony when the not-so-lightweight machine came flying through the air and extinguished itself in the deep snow underneath.
The best part about this job is the fact that, so long as you have your chalet immaculate by 10:00am, you get to go and ski every day. The mountain in Sainte Foy is epic, and you can ski on the piste(s) or between them. In fact if you’re good enough you can ski the entire thing, including off the back, but I’m waiting until a few of us group together and hire a guide for the day to do that (that’s my avalanche training kicking in you see).
The big boss is coming this week, our Managing Director visit and a week of one-on-one interviews and appraisals with him. It’s kind of nice that he stays in touch with us mere chalet staff but I suppose we’re the ones he’s employed to deliver his product. Cross your fingers for me…
Venture Ski are based in the French ski resort of St Foy and offer bespoke ski chalet holidays for families, couples, singles or groups. They use ChaletManager to manage their bookings system, a complete application that gives you full control of your chalet business.