Like many a naive young sprig before me, I had a pre-season punter-ignorant notion of what life as a Chalet Girl would be... I had visions of my fox fur hat clad self sashaying down a mountain in the sun, sipping champagne in hotel bars with mysterious ski instructor types and being bonked by rich clients in front of log fires in high altitude ski huts. Yes, in fact, somewhere in my brain it looked very like the film Chalet Girl.
In reality I spent several months up to my armpits in soap-suds, left overs and pubic hair. Was barked at by rude, demanding clients, goosed by pervy, middle aged businessmen, chained to the hoover or the kichen sink and bonked on a Tabasco-soaked mattress by several stoned, smelly, skint teenagers in a crack den like one-room apartment. Sadly, there were no mysterious, exotic ski instructor types. All the ski instructors are in-bred locals and / or alcoholics. When not cleaning, my time was not spent sashaying, but careering down a mountain at colossal balls-out speed, usually stoned also, or blind drunk on vin chaud and Mutzig. This, in reality, is what being a Chalet Bitch is all about. Living the dream.
While SbH and I now sit naked in bed together, doing our accounts sheets and making ski passes in between shags, sadly, Skater boy is still trapped in the eternal cycle of cake-baking-bed-making-dish-washing-toilet-scrubbing-hard-drinking-hangover-hell from which we’ve escaped. He has, as is his custom, been consoling himself with not one, not two, but three irksome blonde 19-year-olds this season. All of whom are dizzy and all of whom have been causing him no end of stress. It’s a wonder that boy is still alive, the sheer variety of pussy he dabbles in. He’s been a Chalet Bitch more times than he can even tell you about. The boy should write his own blog really...
Being a chalet Bitch – the rules according to Skater Boy
Do – have you arse and boxers hanging out of your jeans, dirty nails, cigarette-stained fingers and greasy long hair under a mouldy bobble hat that hasn’t been washed since 1992 at all times.
Do – just enough work to avoid (by a hair’s breadth) getting complaints about the cleanliness of your chalet, and therefore somehow always manage to start work last and finish first.
Do – arrive to work pissed as a fart still in your ski gear from last night, but somehow manage to ‘pull it off’ riding solely on your ability to charm and flirt, despite putting salt on your guests’ cornflakes and getting caught wanking in the toilet on changeover day.
Do – ski back to your chalet to do service pissed to the eyeballs in the dark, hoon into a steel tow wire attached to a piste basher coming up the mountain and almost behead yourself.
Do – puke in the street at least once a week.
Do - be in a constant state of crisis due to either smoking too much weed or not having enough weed or rizlas.
Do – always somehow seem to end up with a gaggle of fit young rich birds for clients. Woo said clients into letting you off dinner with your on-ski and après-ski performances.
Don’t – Ever get caught doing something you shouldn’t...
....actually that last one should be the 11th commandment for any newbie Chalet Bitch. You can miss as many services as you like, nick enough chalet wine to drown Bridget Jones, serve dinner cold, shag any number of dirty stop outs in the chalet hot-tub and use the company vehicle to give your mate Simon a lift to the airport while stoned. Just don’t get caught.
Yes. These are the people, or should I say buffoons, making your bed, cooking your food, rifling through your personal belongings and stealing packs of silk cut out of that carton you left in your bedroom. These are the fuckwits trying on your fur coats, giggling at your grey knickers and reading your magazines on the toilet while you’re out skiing. These are the wingnuts finding that used condom in your bin and sniggering about your toilet habits down the pub.
From the moment they climb off the Tour Operator’s staff bus in early December training week, bleary eyed and clueless, some of these kids will stun you with their utter incompetence and inability to deal with life, let alone the concept of doing their jobs properly.
Their naivety can be both endearing and infuriating.
‘Maybe a rich Russian will fall in love with me and take me out for a posh dinner’ one of my minions said to me. I couldn’t help but give a fond little chuckle at this - I remember thinking the exact same thing. I arrived with three little black dresses in my bag and a fur coat, thinking perhaps some Oligarch might whisk me off my feet. I never put any of these dresses on once. I wore leggings, a massive baggy jumper and clumpy boots at all times. I soon realised I was more likely to be whisked off at gun point and conscripted into a prostitution ring than whisked off for dinner - and that if I wore fur I would be socially excluded and mocked as the worst of all things – a punter. Shortly thereafter I went out and bought myself some steezed out, multi coloured gear and by season end was never caught dead without my bobble hat.
All in all, as it turns out, I am quite fond of my minions. Rather like a proud mother hen. I have managed to disarm the little urchins into doing my bidding by being fun and reasonable, and disappointed rather than angry when they fuck up. I’m more big sis that cross school ma’am. They are all fairly efficient, co-operative and professional individuals, and good friends.
Other managers are not always so lucky. You literally would not believe the array of vacant, lazy, limp, socially and mentally inept public school fuckups some of my colleagues have ended up having to deal with. ...Spoons....Youngsters for whom the word ‘initiative’ has absolutely no meaning whatsoever and who think a hard day’s work is something Daddy does when they want more ponies/Abercrombie and Fitch jumpers / ski equipment. I mean, what are the repercussions to losing your job, when you know Daddy will just rent you an apartment and a buy you a season pass anyway, to cheer you up after the trauma of being sacked? Silly job.
A colleague of mine has been having a particular struggle with one, quite young member of staff. This individual has no more than three quarters of an inch of brain. They asked my colleague, last week, in absolute seriousness, after two months of living in this ski resort, whether we were in France or Switzerland.
They also asked if you spell ‘chalet’ with an ‘S’.
Despite having recently been put through a 5K cooking course by Mummy they did not know that you need to store pastry in the fridge, wondered whether shallots should be put into a stew whole...unpeeled, (and actually before that mistook said bag of shallots for prunes). They threw away an entire bag of fresh beef after mistakenly thinking the butcher had delivered a bag of ‘guts’ and lastly wanted to know whether potatoes were dairy or vegetable.
Yes, as I said. These are the fuckbuckets cooking your food.
When asked why they were wearing a tracksuit to work, this individual replied that their guests always ate dinner in pyjamas so they thought it must be ok. ‘Really?’ replied my colleague, ‘Your guests can eat dinner dressed in full leather gimp suits as far as I’m concerned. Now go and put your fucking uniform on’
My colleague has taken to calling this member of their staff ‘The BdP’ (Brain Damaged Pig), because if someone took a retarded swine and taught it to stand upright and bake yoghurt cakes, you would probably end up with a more co-operative and effective employee...
In some ways, I miss being a Chalet Bitch. The camaraderie, the lack of culpability, the diet of raw frankfurters, croissants and vodka.
I don't miss the skid marks....
Maybe some day I'll go back. But for now, I will put this message out there:
Chalet Bitch-dom is no Cinderella story. It's about sex, drugs, toilet cleaning and skiing. And if you can't even get that right in life, then you're a fucking moron.