Wednesday, 11 January 2012

When You Think You're Safe, Think Again....

During my time spent with the medics I also travelled over to see friends from the last season who are working again for the same company as last year. Seeing old friends? I hear you ask, how can that be awkward? Well I’ll tell you, the awkwardness lies in sleeping arrangements….
I’ll back-track slightly; last year my chef in the chalet I worked in became a brother figure to me, we became very close due to the fact that we lived and worked together. This meant that when I went over to visit everyone from the company I didn’t even have to think where I would stay; this guy, let’s call him John, was lucky enough to have a double bed in the staff accommodation and so I was welcome to bunk up with him.
We had a wonderful evening out, I was catching up with old friends and old bars and he was just being a seasonnaire….wonderful! Apart from my dance moves in the club the evening went off without an awkward hitch and we both went home late after dancing our socks off.
Much later……
In the middle of the night I wake up shivering, I am so so cold and confused about where I am and who I’m with. After a moments panic I realise that I’m safe and not out on the snow, all that’s happened is John next to me has stolen the entire duvet. I don’t want to be mean so I don’t yank it back from him I just decide to move closer to him and try to steal his warmth.
And then it happened.              The horrible boy farts on me.
You might say, that’s not awkward that’s just gross, but you’d be wrong. It’s incredibly awkward; what do you say, what do you do, how do you react in a shared room when you don’t want to wake people up? I had to do the silent freak-out involving a lot of flailing and arm movement but no actual noise. After this I had no such qualms about violently stealing the duvet back - and with a quick jab in the ribs for good measure! I lay there in bed, shivering and feeling in some way violated and yet I’m sure that cemented my friendship with John for many years to come.
The moral to this story is, when you think you’ve got through an evening with no awkward incident be careful because awkwardness can strike even in the middle of the night!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Just smile and wave

Whilst out in the Alps again I was splitting my time between the medics I came on holiday with and my old friends from last season who were across the valley. I spent a couple of nights with each, and awkward moments were abundant on both sides….of course!

My nights with the medics were spent in a similar way to many people who go on uni trips – lots of dressing up and compulsory drinking. On my penultimate night with the medics the theme was “onesies”; for those who live under a rock a onesie is like wearing a jersey material shell suit, its completely enclosed with a long zip down the front. The problem of being completely hemmed in will become apparent later.

Onesie night went much like many others – drinking, dancing, more dancing.. etc…. (and for anyone who’s seen my dancing you know that’s an awkward moment all of its own) Later in the evening I was in the queue for the loo with a girlfriend and we decided to go into a cubicle together to save time, I watched the wall while she peed and then all swap and she watched the wall while I did the same.

Until…. she got bored and opened the door onto the whole multisex bathroom who turned to look at me, on the loo. I was wearing my onesie but of course to go to the loo it has to be pulled round by the ankles, so I was caught peeing in front of everyone in my underwear.

I have had a great many awkward moment in my life but this has to come in my top 5. I didn’t know what to do while everyone was actually pointing and laughing, it was like something out of a rubbish American high-school teen rom-com movie! And the worst part was I didn’t know what to do with myself, I certainly couldn’t stand to shut the door, so I just…… waved! Yes, I did a double handed wave and a thumbs up like an idiot.

From this episode I have learned; never wear a onesie out unless you’re prepared to wear full clothing underneath, never trust another person in a toilet cubicle and devise a response in advance in case you’re ever caught on the loo with no clothes on!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A new season with so many more awkward opportunities!

I’ve decided to re-open this blog even though I’m (unfortunately) not doing another season. I am now trying to get a masters at university in London but of course I am constantly desperate to get back out to the snow! So, when in freshers week I saw an advert to go out for cheap with the university medics I jumped at the chance. I saw the medics as an economical means to an end to get back out and pretend to be a seasonnaire for another week. However, I hadn’t thought this through carefully enough… things like the 25 hour coach journey with people I didn’t know and staying in a hotel room with 3 other strangers. Awkward.

The bus was due to leave from Hammersmith at 9pm so my mother kindly drove me and parked round the corner from the drop off point in viewing distance. The awkwardness grew inside me until I couldn’t get out of the car, especially not with about 3 or 4 people I didn’t know standing there, and no bus to get on and hide! Picture the scene – my mother and I crouching and hiding in the car 100 yards away from a collection of laughing students ready to go on holiday together, as friends. We peaked over the dashboard occasionally to see if the coach had arrived and giggled awkwardly. When the bus finally did arrive the only thing I had to do was get me and my bags across the tarmac…..easier said than done. In all I had a handbag, bootbag, skibag, and suitcase also adorned with ski jacket, hat and scarf.

Things went everywhere. I had bags hanging off my arms and around my neck while I dragged myself up to the medics and they looked at me like I was a grotesque lurch character from the adams family! All in all a good introduction to how my week was to continue. The next social minefield to negotiate was where to sit on the coach. Add to this problem the fact that I get motion sick and need to be right at the front like a child; there you have me, on the first row, on my own.

This is just a starter taster for the new few posts about my awkward week, so “stay tuned” for stories about my sleeping arrangements, being farted on and being watched on the loo….

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Chalet girls or half starved crazy ladies?

For a seasonnaire a day off is a blessing, there is nothing better than a lay in and a whole day skiing. However, my room mate and I haven’t quite mastered this technique or built up any tolerance for the night before that a whole day’s skiing is in any way feasible. The night before a day off is usually a heavy one followed by one or more of the housemates getting up at silly o’clock to “get the first lifts”, for everyone else in the flat this is torture.

Having had any potential lie in ruined and any potential boy in your bed woken up (coyote ugly anyone?) the day then gets off to a slow start. The reason for this blog entry is not to tell you my daily comings and goings of a day off but rather to tell you about this past Wednesday and the shame (/pride) that I felt.

I should tell you that as its our day off we don’t get fed in the normal manner and so all food has to be bought at bars/restaurants during the day. Add this to a horrible hangover and a medical need for saturated fats and you can see that the day has the potential to get quite expensive. I keep referring to my roommate as simply “roommate” and so for simplicity of understanding lets call her “Amy” from now on. So Amy and I came off the slope and after a few beers it was time for food but after a quick inspection of our wallets we didn’t even have enough for crisps so we followed our fellow seasonaire workers to a pub where we knew they had gone an hour ago in the hope for some free chips.

However when we got there all the meals had been finished and out friends looked satisfied and smug! And yet there was still food hope because behind our greedy friends had just left a big group of 12 and they had also left lots of plates of food….you can see where this is going? On one table was a plate of burger and chips completely untouched and begging to be eaten. Amy and I looked surreptitiously at each other with hinting and hungry eyes and with a silent agreement we sat down, cut up the burger and devoured some strangers’ left overs!

Half way through our (free) meal one guy at our friends table turned around and spied us and called out to us, imagine if you can two potentially pretty girls stuffed to the gills with burger and ketchup turning to the call with full mouths and guilty faces. I have never felt such immediate shame as the rest of our friends realised what was going on and turned to look at us with faces full of a mixture of pity, embarrassment and, of course, awkwardness. We both flushed bright red and were overcome by massive giggles which as you can imagine isn’t the most attractive thing when consuming a mouth full of cheese-burger!

If I wasn’t on a season, firstly I would never have done this and secondly if I had I wouldn’t have stopped once the cat-calls of “chav” and “pikey” started. After a few embarrassed looks to the group we continued eating and completely cleared the plate! Up till now this story may have sounded pretty shameful but after we finished the burger we managed to reach even newer lows; we started looking around at the half eaten plates on the table and asking “would it be too far to finish that pint?”

Have you ever had moment in life where you almost seem to come out of your body and see yourself from a different perspective? Well, we both had one of these moments and what we saw was both shocking and disgusting, two fine young “chalet ladies” sitting in a pit of their own filth and cackling like pantomime witches. 

Not Hot. 

This brought us out of our reverie and sharply back to real life with a crash. We quickly exited the pub and ran away!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Time spent with punters

There is a phenomenon in ski towns where a large stigma is attached to talking with a punter if you’re a seasonaire. Even if this punter has done seasons before and  are now only here for one week they are therefore beneath our contempt. This being the case my room mate and I made fast friends with a group of 4 male punters who, to add insult to injury, were snowboarders as well! As you may imagine this didn’t  go down too well with our skiing seasonaire friends, but hey ho we had a fab week despite a few more cringe worthy moments which I will now discourse.

We skied with these punters every day for a week and we quickly discovered that they enjoyed singing…..everywhere. Especially on lifts and even more especially to strangers. This was no louty shouting from lifts to unsuspecting skiers, this was 4 part barber-shop harmony singing! This hobby had got more and more awkward throughout the week with many bemused looks from randoms on the slopes but culminated on the last day in a 17 minute bubble-lift! Imagine the scene, you’re a little French man with your friend and you climb into a small bubble with 6 manic looking british people. After an inward groan you look decidedly out of the window and hope to pass the time without too much trouble. Now imagine the gentleman to your right starts;

“bom bom bom bom”

And then his friends join in one by one, in harmony to the tune of the 50’s classic “Sandman”. Here I’ll point out that the awkwardness wasn’t yet upon me, I was ready for this barber shop onslaught, what I wasn’t ready for was for the French to join in as percussion!  Suddenly the little bubble had become a little party box and we were all smiling and laughing along. Then, the tune ended and we remembered the ride was 17 minutes long and now there was a long time to wait with these strangers who were starting to look increasingly uncomfortable.  The 8 of us sat in awkward silence, no one looking at anyone, the magic had faded as quickly as it had come leaving behind a mixed feeling of shame, embarrassment and the occasional giggle. I sat there next to one of the French guys, feeling his embarrassment for letting himself go in such a manner coming off him in waves. I starting wishing the bubble would just fall straight from the cable just to stop the extended pregnant pause. We all left the bubble wishing we’d started the song a little later so as to avoid a very long and very  difficult journey.

The next story involving these punters didn’t so much cause me discomfort but it definitely did for them! And so intense was their awkwardness that I just had to include the story in this chronicle of awkward times. Having had a few drinks in a few different bars it got to that time where all the bars close and its time to either pay a silly price in a club or retire home. We decided to plump for the prior option and went to a French club where we had enjoyed previous nights before. On the way in we were greeted by the silky voices of the Village People followed by Gloria Gaynor. However, as it was a French club we thought nothing of it because sometimes the song choices could be a little suspect. After checking in coats we walked into the club and as I looked around I noticed a lack of girls, this is normally something I wouldn’t notice because most ski towns are very male dominated, however this wasn’t the usual 3:1 ratio like in other bars because I could only count about 4 girls on the dance floor.  No one else had noticed yet though so I kept quiet and we went for a drink but the idea had been planted in my mind now and could not be shaken so after a while I went up to one of the guys and whispered

“I think it might be gay night”

This guy then very very slowly surveyed the entire club in a sweeping gaze and when his eyes returned to mine they were full of fear and shock. It was one of the most hilarious looks I had ever seen but there was definite fear written all over his face. This look spread across the group as each of them was told in turn what sort of evening we had paid to get into. I should explain that this revelation was more of a worry for one of the group then it would have been normally as he was called “gayface” by his friends and always attracted the most unwanted attention (probably because of some terribly inappropriate dancing). He had already had his bum pinched by a guy earlier in the week and had drugs slipped into his pocket, so upon hearing the news his was the most worried face among the group.

Throughout the evening us two girls were required to be “human body guards” on more than one occasion especially to the aforementioned guy who had attracted the attention of a very tall very ginger gentleman we later nicknamed “lurch”. The constant awkward glances over shoulders and self-checking to make sure their dancing wasn’t “too gay” was the highlight of the evening, however the evening was brought to a sudden end when one of the guys witnessed a three way skin-head kiss and decided that maybe we weren’t the appropriate clientele for the night.  

So in conclusion to this awkward entry, always research what club night you are entering and make sure it is audience appropriate and only sing in a lift without strangers!!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

What not to do on a season - part 1

-          Rule number one is, of course, Do Not Eat Too Much Cake. As we have been told many times, the chalet girl is front of house and so has to look “ski fit” (read – fit) 

      On a night out when meeting random people don’t force every ski instructor you meet to swap numbers so that they can take you out skiing. It turns out this is awkward and that no one ever calls you

      In fact, in general don’t throw yourself at any guy, especially by saying “so when are you going to ask me out for a drink then?”

-          When with guests never never never comment about the actions of the party leader to then turn around and see him standing right behind you…… very difficult to back peddle out of.

-        Never let your hand wobble when serving food or you might end up with a difficult “salmon on head of guest” moment

      Never clean a toilet with your head too close to the water, Pink Eye is real and definitely not invented by Knocked-Up. If you don’t understand the awkwardness of this point, imagine trying to get close to someone but having a metaphorical label across your face saying “POO”
#
-         Do not decorate your chalet with mistletoe when your guests are all 15yr old boys.

-          And finally never let a guest balance a dining chair on their chin…… no explanation needed.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

A series of awkward events

As most awkward moments pass by fleetingly (yet stay with me for many hours after!) they don’t warrant a full post, which is why this post will be a collection of some of the smaller yet more mortifying times of the last week.

Tidying up

Much of what I find awkward passes other people by, but this incident will make even the most shameless person squirm. This week I’ve had my first guests and of course when you gather a group of people together to be looked after by 2 strangers the first few conversations can be stilted and difficult. A practiced and experienced chalet girl will be able to cope and help the tea time conversation flow but a fledgling cleaner like myself will make a giant awkward tit of herself. The conversation went something like this:

Guest – “oh so have you come to this resort before?”

Me – “ yes, in fact I actually stayed with this very company that I’m working for now!”

Guest – “oh wow, what’s that like then?”

Me – “well its quite weird being on the other side of the tracks, it makes me wish I’d tidied up more when I stayed!”

Guest – “….oh….what are you trying to say….”

I followed this comment with a desperate back pedal and lots and lots of apologies, I don’t think they worked….the guest in question still seems pretty awkward around me!

Ski Safety

On the slopes there are two types of “looks” - cool and stylish (snowboarder) or warm and safe (badly fitting clothes and a helmet) and I definitely fall into the second category. So picture me looking like this, and lumbering along the road in my ski boots with all the grace and balance of a one legged giraffe. I had hit a particularly icy patch of road when a small and hobbitty French man approached me and started speaking fluent and scary French. I look around me in bewilderment assuming he must be talking to someone else and not the obvious tourist! However he then realises that of course the silly foreigner doesn’t speak his language and he changes to English

“Do you feel safe on your skis?”

“eerrr, yes?”

“well you obviously don’t feel safe in your ski boots, and I find this strange”

And then before I could even react to his odd comment he’d walked on his way to perplex and amuse more unsuspecting English girls!

The Wide Mouth Frog

You know those times when you tell what you think is an amazing joke but then no one else finds it funny? This happens to me quite often, for example

“what do you call a chicken in a shell suit?”

“an egg”

Yes, exactly. I can hear you NOT laughing. Well, the only thing worse than telling the awful joke is telling the joke that no one finds funny and then being asked to repeat the joke over and over because your friends think the silent reaction and your “way of telling it” is hilarious! The joke in question is the “Wide Mouth Frog Joke” I’m sure you can find it on YouTube and see how its meant to be told. The awfulness of this joke and my “way” has preceeded me and has culminated in a bar man actually asking to hear the “wide mouth frog joke” because apparently it’s so bad its good. Awkward. I just stood there and stared at him, and then swayed a little bit, and then turned a bright shade of puce.