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Monthly Archives: April 2010

It’s that time of year again. Our second ski season has been and gone; our second summer is on its way. Nick & Laura have left, headed for the beach, and we’re planning ahead for next season.
What are we looking for? We’re looking for two people who are prepared to share accommodation, and who can manage and look after our chalet for the winter season starting 2010-11. We’re not looking for Cordon Bleu-trained cooks or Institute of Electrical Engineers-accredited handymen; just practically-minded, service-oriented, reliable people with a passion for cleanliness.
There are two roles we’re looking to fill:
i) Chalet Manager
ii) Chalet Assistant
The Chalet Manager will report directly to me. He or she will keep accounts, manage external service-providers & suppliers, track inventory, oversee & report on actual spend vs budget and ensure our guests are at the forefront of the team’s mind every waking hour of the day, seven days a week. Yes, even on the one day a week that is a ‘day off’, we want someone who thinks about the guests then too. None of this “sorry, it’s my day off” malarky. We won’t expect you to be scrubbing floors & emptying bins that day (yes, Chalet Managers at Chalet Kiana roll their sleeves up too), but if the chalet’s out of matches, the hot water isn’t working or a guest needs to know how to get to the doctor, we expect the Chalet Manager to respond, tout de suite!
More specifically, the Chalet Manager will act like an air traffic controller, liaising with incoming guests to co-ordinate arrival times etc, meeting & greeting them on arrival (in English or French), show guests around the chalet and explain to them how everything works and then leave the guests to enjoy their stay, returning during the week to help clean the chalet and then, at the end of the rental period, see guests off and go through the weekly checklist before rolling sleeves up to help the Chalet Assistant with change-over cleaning & bed-making duties.
In return for this total commitment to service, to managing the Chalet Assistant, and to leaving me to get on with my business back in the UK, the Chalet Manager will receive the usual – accommodation in the resort, free ski pass and ski hire, a decent monthly wage, and a (clapometer-based) bonus at the end of the season.

The Chalet Assistant will work with and report to the Chalet Manager. He or she will also be dedicated to ski-ing cleaning, stripping & making beds (hospital corners, of course), emptying bins, fixing things if they break or stop working, checking water levels & temperature, recording potential for hydrogen ion concentration levels (pH to you) in the Jacuzzi, keeping the chalet fires stocked with wood and smiling whenever a client is within a mile of the chalet.
In return for this total dedication to service, the Chalet Assistant will also receive accommodation, a monthly wage, ski pass & ski hire and a clapometer-based bonus at the end of the season.
“Sounds great”, I can hear you saying,”but how much is the monthly wage and what will the accommodation be like?”. Well, needless to say, it’s not a City wage, accommodation will be basic and the end-of-season bonus won’t embarass you like a banker’s bonus, but it’s enough to pay your way through the season and ski like a demon as a result. And at the end of it all, you drive away with some money in your pocket (if the applause from our clients was load enough).
Done it all before? Fine, our Application Form will ask you for references (not letters stating the obvious) and phone numbers of people who can tell us whether you really were brilliant. First timer? We’re OK with that but you wouldn’t expect us not to throw up some hurdles for you, would you? First; you’ll have to prove you’re serious by attending an accredited course. Where are these courses? That’s the first hurdle! And then you’ll have to tell us why we should take a risk hiring a rookie!

To apply, please send an e-mail and we’ll send you an application form by return. Interviews will take place in June & July, with the winners announced (here on the X Factor blog) in August.

The season’s officially over this Friday, but we closed up last Saturday. The volcano got the better of us in the end. The weather’s been so good here in the UK that people are focused on gardening and other spring activities rather than our offer of free wine for whoever took the last week at Chalet Kiana.
So, we’ve shut up shop, Nick & Laura are off to the sun and our focus is back on the summer season again. We have one or two visitors (guidebook inspectors etc) booked in over the next few weeks but, other than that, the chalet will earn a well-earned rest until we re-open for the Col Conquerors from Mammoth Lifestyle at the beginning of July. Their Alps Training Camp this year takes in the Marmotte in the first week and the Tour de France in the second week.

A big thank-you to all our clients who made it such a successful season for us again, despite the best efforts of a weak pound:€uro rate, global financial melt-down etc. Instead of global warming, we had Alpine cooling, loads of snow, and some of the coldest weather holding the snow right through to the end of the season.
Vive la France!