Seasonal work Nr 59

Not many people are buying surfboards today. Around midnight this morning the first snow of the year started to fall so I think winter is now here. Some parts of the country, such as the coast, will not have as many ...

Not many people are buying surfboards today. Around midnight this morning the first snow of the year started to fall so I think winter is now here. Some parts of the country, such as the coast, will not have as many people in them as in the summer.

Surfing and sunbathing won’t be very popular for another five months or so. On the other hand, I bet the ski instructors were happy when they opened their curtains this morning. Snow means more customers, especially if it is in time for the schools’ winter break. Jobs like this that are only for certain times of the year are called ‘seasonal work’.
Out in the countryside you don’t need many people to run the average farm, especially when so much of the daily work can be done with the help of machines. When it comes to the harvest though, it is another story. Combine harvesters work for some crops but things like strawberries and potatoes usually need personal attention. That is when the seasonal work of fruit picking becomes popular. If you’re lucky, it coincides with the end of a university semester so there are a lot of students trying to make some money before they go back to their studies. Otherwise you look for labour somewhere else.
The trouble with seasonal work is that you spend a lot of the year not having it. That’s why it helps if you have a second job. A person who teaches people to ski in the winter and then teaches them to surf in the summer would have a lot of work. The trouble is, the places to ski and the places to surf are quite far away from each other, so I don’t think many people teach both.
Tour guides can find themselves with a lot of employment in the summer, and they don’t always have to live near the coast or mountains (unless those are the only places worth seeing in their country). This is where it helps to speak more than one language. In fact the Polish tour guides in some parts of Scotland have a lot more work than the local Scottish residents, simply because they speak more than one language (I could say something here about whose English is easier to understand, but I think that might not be a good idea, as there are some Scots in Wroc³aw).
For rarer examples of seasonal work, you need to be both famous and popular. Every year there are news stories of entertainers (usually singers) who perform for New-Year concerts. One major British celebrity gave a private concert for a billionaire in Russia. He was flown out on a private jet and was back home later the same day. He received about the same amount of money as for a couple of concerts to crowds of thousands, but he just sang for a couple of hours to an audience of about twenty. Now if only fruit picking paid that well.

1 These people take over after the fruit pickers have finished.
2 Every time I hear about these people, they are saying something negative about their employers. Why are there so many rich, bad-mannered parents in the world?
3 You get a lot of these people on the beaches in the summer. According to one television programme they all look like David Hasselhoff, or Pamela what’s-her-name.
4 These people know how to turn something very cheap into something very, very, very expensive (well, that’s what the ones in London do anyway).
5 It depends on the place, but some of these people have a full-time job while others only work when there are just too many people for one person to handle.
6 This lot do my job, but on shorter courses and usually with multilingual groups.

polecane: Pierwszy Polak połknął elektroniczną pigułkę



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