6 weeks and 4 days. That’s how long I’ve been living at Club Med Punta Cana.
Honestly, it feels like so much longer. I know I’ve said it before, but time here has a way of messing with your head. I feel like I’ve been here for months already, and at the same time, I can’t believe it’s already been almost 7 weeks! It’s a very contradictory feeling… Many of my fellow G.O’s say they feel the same way. I think it’s because so many things happen in one single day… For example, I’ll talk about something that happened the day before, but then realize it happened that morning. You go through so many actions and emotions in such a short time! As overwhelming as it can sometimes be, it’s also incredibly satisfying. I feel like I’m really living out each day, cramming in as many things as humanly possible into every hour.
The job isn’t for everybody. Since I’ve been here, we’ve already lost a few G.O’s who decided the lifestyle just wasn’t for them. I think back to that emotional “wall” I hit a few weeks back, and I can totally see how someone could say, oh hell no. But it was totally worth powering through. I feel confident in my job, I’m learning so much every day, and I’m having FUN. Sure, there are nights when I dream of room numbers and restaurant reservations and housekeeping requests (“habitation 13 necessita something something…”) And mornings when I wake up with crazy signs music stuck in my head, or almost kill myself practicing the latest G.O choreography in the shower. But I love the busy-ness of it all. My ADHD self is having a ball. 😉
Besides solving problems by day and being a pop star by night, I’ve also been getting quite familiar with the Club Med lingo and traditions. Because yes, Club Med has a culture of its own. For first-time guests, it can be daunting to find out about dress codes and crazy signs, to have G.Os sit with you at your table to share a meal, or hear all that Club Med lingo being tossed around in conversations. I like to say in my information conferences that you never forget your first Club Med. 🙂
For today, here’s the low-down on the lingo, since chances are I’ll be using these words quite a bit in my posts:
G.O: Gentils Organisateur, or Gracious Organizer. That would be people like me, who live and work on the resort.
G.E: Gentils Employé, or Gracious Employee. These are people who work here, but who live outside the resort. For example: housekeeping, maintenance, kitchen staff, gardeners.. But you also have a few G.E’s in different departments like Guest Relations, Bar, Reception, etc… These people don’t have to participate in G.O life. They work their shift, then go home.
G.M: Gentils Membre, or Gracious Member. That’s you! 🙂 Anyone who visits the resort as a guest is a G.M. In fact, everyone here says G.M, even the clients themselves!
Village: It’s the Club Med word for resort. For example, I work in the Punta Cana village. But there’s the Turquoise village in Turks and Caicos, the Palmiye village in Turkey, the Phuket village in Thailand, the Dong Ao village in China, etc, etc… There are more than 60 villages around the world, and the company is still building more. (So MANY opportunities to travel. :))
Chef de Village: The chef de village, or village chief, is the the resort’s general manager. But everyone calls him “chef de village”, even in English. Punta Cana’s current chef is Abdel Osmani, a kind man who’s been a chef de village for years, and Punta Cana’s chef for close to three. He’ll be leaving next month to be chef de village at the Cancun village in Mexico, and another chef who is now in the Palmiye village will heading over here to replace him. It’s actually pretty common for village chiefs to move around like that. G.O’s and managers tend to rotate quite a bit between villages (that’s where you get the travelling aspect of the job!)
So there you have it… It took me a while to get used to the lingo, but now I use it like a pro! I’ve been careful so far when posting on this blog to make sure I don’t confuse you, but now if you read G.M or G.E at some point, you’ll know what I’m talking about. 😉
Most G.O contracts are 6 months, and go from May 1st to October 31st, and again from November 1st to April 30th. Because I arrived later in the season, my contract is only 4 months and it ends on October 31st just like everyone else’s.
So although I’ve only been here for a little over a month and a half, I already had my mid-season evaluation this past week! This is when us G.Os meet with our supervisors to talk about how we’re doing so far (good news, they like me! Yay!) and also to talk about what we’re looking for next season: do we want to continue or go home, what job would we like to do, and where do we wish to go. I’m told you don’t always get exactly what you want, but if you’re a serious employee and hard worker, they’ll try to help you as much as possible.
The difficult thing for me right now is deciding what my goal is here, and which path I want to take. I know want to stay, and move up in the company. But there are so many opportunities to advance, and to be honest, I want to do it all (big surprise there, huh ;)). But I’m told it helps if you’re a little more specific. My passion is animation, performing, talking and getting to know G.M’s (you know who that is now :P), and trying to help them have the happiest, most memorable trip ever. But I’m hoping to learn more about the industry and Club Med itself, and gain some managerial and business skills along the way.
So, you know. Juste ça. 😉
And of course, the travelling aspect is exciting. Working in a different country every season gives you the opportunity to discover parts of the world you might never have visited otherwise. My days have been so interesting until now, I feel giddy just thinking about everything I’ll be able to experience in the next months, maybe years. I can’t wait to see where I’ll be going next!
So, we’ll see. I should know more about the next step sometime in the following month. For now, wishing and waiting. And working and learning. And playing. The season isn’t over yet, so still plenty of things to look forward to before contract #2. 🙂
CLUB MED IS RECRUITING
If you read this and thought, huh, that’s a pretty sweet gig and I want it too, then you should know Club Med is recruiting right now for next season. It’s the perfect time to apply. You can click here and send your CV. If you’re in the Montreal area, Club Med will be holding group auditions on Sept 10th and 24th.
For those of you who’d like to live the GM experience (and who want to visit meeeeee), the low season starts in the next weeks, which means September will be awesome price-wise. Just a tip. 😉 Let me know if you want to come! I’d love to show off my village, and my home! 🙂