On my last season I was paid well. I got paid £800/month on top of a free lift pass, accommodation and most of my food. It included flight and transfers and if I wanted it, ski or board hire. It was a very good deal and as a driver, I was one of the lowest paid on the team. You could earn more if you wanted.
The hours were good too. I worked most of the day, but would still have time to hit the slopes depending on the guests, and would more often than not be finished by 6pm. I had one long day a week to cover the chalet manager and chef’s day off, but all in all, it was excellent.
The company concerned were Consensio by the way. They do prefer people with prior experience, but it’s not essential so if you want to earn good money on your season, give them a buzz.
I was well aware that I was among a minority. You’ve probably already sorted your winter season work and have more than likely not given your pay much thought. That may be because it doesn’t matter to you. Maybe you live with your Mum and Dad and don’t have a mortgage or rent to pay. Maybe you’re just rich and can afford to get paid piss to work. Whatever the reason, the majority of season workers don’t head to the mountains for a career in chalet management. They head out to have fun, so who cares about pay, just get me a beer!
And that’s exactly what most will get, some beers. A typical season worker will settle for less so long as it is enough for them to guzzle down some generic overpriced mountain larger and some Jager Bombs, that’ll later be vomed up in the toilet of whoever it was you got a poke from the night before. It doesn’t sound like much of a deal but with 30 – 40% of chalet reps returning the following year, there must be something good about it.
On the whole, a season is about the experience. It’s rarely about the work, and if you think it is, you should probably give it a wide birth. It’s about meeting new people, seeing new places and most importantly, riding.
But the offer that is on the table for most seasonal work only leaves it open to a slither of society. Because of where I worked, more people were able to join the party. There were people taking career breaks in their 40’s because they’d just had enough of the daily grind. There were couples in their mid twenties who had been rushed into adulthood with a mortgage and a full time job who wondered if there was more to life than grey offices and suits. There were those who like a lot of seasonal workers had no idea what they wanted to do with their lives, but for whatever reason, would never have been able to settle for a £50/week job. It opened the door to diversity, and surely that’s a good thing?
You could argue that you could do it anyway, but from my experience, a lot of those who head out for a season on low paid work, do not come from poor families. They have the support back home to make ends meet and if they do fall on hard times, a phone call to daddy will sort the whole thing out.
This is by no means exclusive. Of course there are people who have headed to hills despite not being able to afford too. But is it fair that seasonaires should be expected to work 50 – 60 hour weeks on beer money? Even if you do get accommodation?
This isn’t a rant demanding that seasonal workers get better pay. It’s more a doorbell to the door of the debate. I’m just ringing it to see if anyone gives a shit and if anyone has ever thought it was a problem. Do you? How much are you getting paid and what other benefits are you getting this season? Do you think it’s enough for the work that you do? We’d like to hear your views and if anyone feels like writing an article on the subject, please do.