Have you ever had those times, where you know that you really shouldn’t be as stressed out as you are? And I don’t mean tired, or hormonal, or just having a bad day; I mean when the little things just build up so much you can’t help but let your frustration with the little things show through. Where you keep telling yourself to relax and enjoy the moment, but stupid little things keep getting to you? It’s not all the time, just small things. And you are smart enough to know that one day you will look back on this phase in your life, and will wish you hadn’t spent so much time concerned with the petty things. But in the moment, despite your past-experience wisdom, you still are stressed, and upset about those minor inconveniences.
That’s what this Ski Season has been about: A crazy balancing act of letting go of the little things to just enjoy the gifts, and trying to maintain a trace amount of work ethic to care that I still have a job to do. Albeit, there has been a lot of justified stress [that I won’t mention in too much detail] to put me off my happy-go-lucky efforts. For starters, I really should not have taken the promotion offered to me at the beginning of the season. I know promotions always sound like a good idea, but I think there are certain positions where having that extra responsibility and stress just isn’t needed. I’m here to have fun and become an awesome snowboarder! Not add “Restaurant Manager” to my resume.
Beyond that, living, eating, playing and working with a bunch of people you’ve never met before becomes a bit… excessive. Especially when some people don’t have the common courtesy of respecting others’ privacy and personal space. Needless to say, punches have been thrown, names have been called, and elementary school bully tactics have returned to the workplace. In most normal work environments, people would easily be fired for the “communication methods” used, however, for seasonal work in the world’s most expensive ski resort, you hold onto the staff you have and try to make it work.
To add to the equation, I work for a family owned company. It’s not like there is an HR department where I can confide my disapproval of staff treatment. If the Front Office Manager is behaving completely unprofessionally to me, I can’t go and make a formal complaint to my boss. Why not? Because it’s his wife. I don’t think he’ll take lightly to me complaining about his wife’s tone and work-place behaviour considering they’ve been doing this for 20 odd years. (I’ve talked to a lot of staff from previous seasons… everyone is appalled at her work-place communication with staff.)
Whatever the case I present, it’s been a hard 3 months, but I’ve had some of the best days of my life here, and have learned unsurpassable amounts about how certain environments affect different types of people (myself included.) And despite my struggles with maintaining a positive outlook - and remaining understanding of others - at times during the season, I’m proud to say I’m into the last 13 days of my 3.5 month contract, and my snowboarding skills have improved tenfold, my management skills are defined and practiced, my boyfriend and I have escaped the stress only to be stronger, and I’ve got a smile on my face.
I’d say that’s success. After all, it’s about direction, not perfection, right?