Friday, 29 November 2013

The Perks and the Bummers

We have been working in Lake Louise for about a month now!

What all of us have noticed is that each department has different perks. For all those out there who are looking at coming to work here and have ALL those options the Working Holiday Club give you, we would like to make it a little easier for your decision making. Keep in mind that these can definitely change next winter season.
Photo by Chris Moseley

Food & Beverage
  • Free food and drink - if the expiry or best before date is passed, and your manager gives you the ok, you can take them home for yourself. This includes unsold food like pizza, popcorn, steamed milk (coffee/hot chocolate), cookies baked the day prior, muesli bars made the day prior, pastries, etc. 
  • The 7am start or a 10am start - The 7 am start means you will finish at 3:30pm, it gives you maybe time for 2-3 runs in the afternoon. If you start at 10, you will finish at 6:30pm but you get a sleep in and you also have a whole hour to play with before you start work. 
  • Its SO much fun! We have some awesome managers who realise that our work can be a bit overwhelming and busy, so as long as we are working, we are allowed to chat to each other and have a bit of fun. Gill and I often dance behind our counters - its not only fun for us but the customer sees it as happy employees.
  • Its busy - yes your day will go fast but you will have times where you are flat out standing behind the counter for hours. Thats not so bad but it does exhaust you really fast.
  • No ride breaks - we don't get any ride breaks. Even if you work at Temple (the cafeteria on top of the mountain) you need to catch a lift up, walk there and catch a lift down. While you're on the clock, you cannot ride -- I will mention that they have reasons for this due to previous staff.
  • Long hours and only a half hour break. Every shift you work goes for 8.5 hours. Its not that bad but I do miss split shifts and half day shifts.

Guest Services
  • Indoors and outdoors - You get a bit of everything! You might be mountain greeting, in the switchboard room answering calls or on ticket sales. This changes up a lot so you're not always stuck doing the same ole thing all the time.
  • Split shifts - You might get lucky and have a split shift, starting the day as a mountain greeter, getting something like a 2-4 hour break and then having a shift in the switchboard room. So you get a bit more time to ride.
  • $10 - for every person you catch "doing the dirty" on the mountain - using someone else's lift ticket, having a youth pass and being over 18, etc, you get $10 for catching them out!
  • Not always the greatest of fun - I have heard from friends that it can be very boring sometimes, that they are under strict rules (no drinks allowed for example) and that it wasn't what they expected.
  • The cold - it is about to get freezing here and for those of you who aren't so keen on the cold, you will be out in it mountain greeting some days--- then again, this could be a huge positive for others who love the cold! Just keep in mind that for 2 months it will get to the -30's.
  • The customers - We all get them of course but unfortunately for Guest Services, they get the good customers and the ones that are complaining and aren't so friendly.
  • Ride Breaks - Yes, as a liftie you will get ride breaks! You can only ride the green runs but hey, thats better than nothing! You also get longer and more breaks than other departments!
  • Fresh air - the air might be brisk but your outside all the time, that can be a huge perk! It is cold though so its not really for the faint hearted, those who smoke heavily or anyone who considers themselves a summer person.
  • Good hours - you have early starts or late starts and also on occasion an early finish. The hours are good though, sometimes you can be working 10 hour days ---- lots of money!
  • Shovelling snow - its forever snowing and someone needs to shovel it. This will tire your entire body and doing it in the cold feels worse. 
  • It gets lonely - You are working by yourself a lot of the time and find yourself bored and wanting someone to talk to. 
  • No toilets! If you have a weak bladder, you don't want this job. You will be working for hours before having a toilet break! Let's jus say that peeing in bottles is something they allow and take seriously.

  • Shift work! Four days working, three days off. You will have board time for sure!! Also, working days or nights. If you're on night shift, more time to board in the day.
  • Plenty of time to ski or board!
  • Guaranteed work at the start of the season!
  • Night shift in the cold has gotta suck! Frost bite has and will continue to happen.
  • Coming home when your friends are off to work - visa versa - going to work when your friends are going out.
  • Its a lot of hard work and unfortunately your job ends sooner than others during the season.
  • If you're in a relationship, not the best position for you!
  • Tips - and you get to keep them to! So you make a lot more money on the side!
  • Late starts - Because the restaurants don't open till late, you get a bit of a sleep in or first tracks.
  • Always kept busy - You will have a lot of fun but also you will be kept busy so your shifts go by quickly.
  • Late to finish - you will have late nights! That is expected though in a server position.
  • It is a serious fast passed industry, it includes serving at weddings and other events, its fun but very rushed.
  • Limited transportation - because you finish late you need to call security to drive you home.
  • You have free rentals! If you want to learn how to ski or snowboard you have free rentals for YOURSELF (not partners or friends) -- thats pretty awesome!
  • Repairs gives you a discount - because you guys are working in close quarters, you make friends quickly and you get a discount on repairs.
  • Ride breaks - yes, rentals gets ride breaks to! Again, strictly green runs!
  • Its a lot of fun.
  • Can have some boring moments when its not so busy.
  • Messy work scrubbing down boots, skis and boards.
  • Indoors and relaxed - it always looks relaxed in the retail shop and you don't need to go outside.
  • Its another position that can be boring at times.
  • Random, but its next to the woman's bathroom and if anything is wrong in there, customers complain to retail.
  • Again, no ride breaks.

These are really just a few of the HEAPS of positions available at Lake Louise and are some we have heard about and seen first hand. All the positions here have many positives, I would really like working anywhere here!! But just in case you're looking to work here and if you have no idea of what position to apply for, I really hope this helped. Feel free to comment if you have any questions about the positions and maybe we can find out for you first hand from people who are in the position now. 

If I had to choose though, it would be otherwise Food and Beverage or Rentals. Colin's top choices are Trail Crew or Liftie. 

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