I’ll set the scene for you. It’s a snowy Saturday morning in the middle of February and the first flight of the day from London Gatwick has just landed at Innsbruck airport. Dr Clive Anderson and his wife, Barbara, have just arrived with their 3 children, excited to embark on their annual skiing holiday. I greet them in the arrivals hall and escort them to the waiting coach. With a few more guests to wait for, there is ample time to chat about the week ahead and ultimately to answer the long list of questions they have prepared for me…
- You can’t possibly be old enough to be living away from home?
Last time I checked, I legally became an adult in the UK and Austria on my 18th Birthday. That was quite a few years ago but would you like check my ID?
- But don’t you miss home?
As they say, “Home is where the heart is” and my heart is perched firmly on top of a snowy mountain. I do however miss my family, my friends, my dog and my favourite indulgent snacks like deep fried pizza. I don’t miss working 9 to 5, miserable Scottish weather and the bleak existence I had become accustomed to.
- Surely you have to be a language graduate for this type of job?
Actually no. I work for a British company, escorting British guests to an area where 90% of the working population are involved with the tourism industry. Sure, I can speak a reasonable standard of German in relation to my job but the salary of rep will rarely attract an application from a skilled language graduate.
- When are you going to get a real job?
This question is probably top of my list for the MOST annoying, I even wrote an entire post dedicated to this question alone! I was under the impression “a real job” was something which you received a wage for. Perhaps it can’t be “real” if I enjoy it and don’t wish the day’s away waiting for a holiday.
- What happens when you want to have kids?
I imagine at some stage I’ll meet a man, we’ll get funky and 9 months later little Hansjorg will pop out of my lady parts yodelling at the top of his lungs. Am I missing the point here? Or is it perhaps just unethical for holiday reps to have children?
- Will you stay here forever?
Well Barbara, forever is a long time. Are you going to stay in your 3 bedroom semi in Somerset forever? In all honesty, I have no idea. I try to live in the moment and in this moment, I am very happy with the ways things are.
- What will you do when Britain leaves the European Union?
That’s a bridge I’ll have to cross when it comes. Let’s keep it light, the transfer coach is no place to discuss politics thank you very much.
- What did you study at university?
I have studied at university twice but to date, I don’t have a degree. *Cue the looks of horror*
- What do you do once the snow has melted?
Funnily enough, tourists descend on Austria all year to enjoy the alpine terrain. Rain or shine, winter or summer; other activities include hiking, biking, paragliding and various water sports. I guess there are many people out there who prefer to do something other than lying on a beach in Benidorm sipping cocktails and scoffing a full English breakfast.
- What do your parents do for a living?
Most of the time, I feel people only ask this question to gauge how “middle class” your upbringing was. Sometimes I’ll tell them my mother was a banker and my father had his own business. Other days, they stacked shelves at Asda. I’ll never understand what difference it makes. That usually brings the conversation to an abrupt end and I can get back the job I’m paid to do. Finally!