I know, I know – this update is WELL overdue and I apologise for the delay in sitting down at a keyboard and getting this out. A lot has changed in the past 10 days or so regarding my trip to Canada so let me just explain it all one step at a time.

The grand plan...

For those of you who didn't already know, at the end of last year I hooked up and joined a Summer resort employment program through "Overseas Working Holidays (OWH)" who are an offshoot of the hugely successful Australian travel company Flight Centre. Basically for a reasonable fee, the good folk at OWH got me all set up with VISA assistance, cheap flights, insurance and more importantly an interview with the Fairmont resort group giving me the chance to secure board and a job up in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta over the Northern Hemisphere Summer.

The plan was to get up in the mountains and spend 5 months or so hiking and going berserk with the camera before heading back into British Columbia to spend the Winter ski season up on the slopes. Everything was running smoothly largely due to the lovely, and quite stunning I might add, Lauren from OWH who looked after my interests from day one with a mighty impressive professional precision.

Now that I've talked them up sufficiently enough to clear them of any blame here, the day came when I was to meet with the rep from the "Fairmont" company and I have to say I was more than ready for them. The silky tongue I posses within this mouth was all prepped and ready to fire all cylinders in my attempt to secure a decent paying position as a bellboy, sports club attendant or even your run-of-the-mill barman!

The Interview

"Tracey" greeted me with a crisp, no-nonsense Canadian "hello Rooorrrrrburrrrt"... and whisked me away to a tiny little room where she sat me down and told me that she was going to ask me a few questions about my CV/application, and then it would be into the interview questions proper.

No sooner had she mumbled something about many of the positions at Jasper (where I was hoping to go) being taken already, I got the sneaking suspicion that she really wasn't there to consider my desired outcome, but merely there to fill the positions on a restaurant waiters list that obviously was the next section of the hotel to be filled. I really didn't get ANY chance at all to showcase verbally what I was able to offer them before Tracey launched into the "standard Fairmont Resorts personality identification" set of questions. Basically a quick-fire 50 moronic questions requiring nothing more than a "yes" or "no" answer like, "do you consider yourself a team player?" le sigh

The final nail in the coffin as far as my experiences with Tracey went, was when she asked me if I had any questions for her? I figured this was my chance to make some sort of half-arsed impression, so I asked what I thought were a series of intelligent questions which she visibly couldn't be bothered fielding. My questions did result in a positive of sorts though. It identified the reality of my fear that I would potentially end up in a beautiful part of the country only to find myself spending the whole time wiping down tables and delivering overpriced "Moose bullocks" to the tables of any number of valued Fairmont customers over the course of the Summer with no real opportunity to get out and enjoy the fresh mountain air.

In summary, as a waiter in the "Emerald Room Restaurant" I would be expected to work 50 odd hours a week over 6 days earning a poultry $6.40 an hour. Oh yeah, and that would have to pay for both my board and meals as well – none of which were covered for staff. Sounds like a great deal "eh"?... NOT!

Needless to say, once I received my offer from the resort by fax at work two days later, I promptly got on the blower to the lovely and charming Lauren and informed her that regrettably I would be declining the offer and relinquishing my position on the program.

So what now?

So that brings us to where I am today. The new plan is to head over in around 5 weeks (around April 30th) and have a couple of quick pit stops in both Hong Kong and London along the way. The finer details are still being worked out – like how the hell I am going to cover the round the world airfare ticket in addition to the top cover insurance required to protect me for the next 12 months... but hey where there's a will there's a way right?

More updates will be posted shortly... keep your eye on my BLOG for more postings and possible rantings! LOL


Links & Credits

  • Lead image // Rob Masefield