Weeeeell, weeell, well. Now this is a very complex topic, full of different aspects, perspectives and attitudes towards the situation.
First of all, one must understand what such a club is like. Basically, any guest arriving, enters an illusion created solemly for the sole purpose of providing the proper setting for a dream holiday full of fun and carelessness. Guests can do anything from sailing and windsurfing, over group fitness sessions, to wellness treatments and massages, pool and sea swimming, water ski and wake boarding, evening shows and musicals, and of course diving. Well possible, I've forgotten tons of other attractions. In the end it melts down to a place that you do not have to leave for any reason, because everything you could possibly ask for is provided on the spot. In short, the perfect place to spend your family holidays and all among your dearest friends, the always happy hotel staff.
Of course there exists another perspective of this dream, the one of the staff members. Here, the dream changes into a nightmare for some and the fulfillment of a life for others. All depending on attitude, humor and intellectual capability of the person in question. In any case, fatigue is an omnipresent symptom.
Possibly the most tiresome job is the one of the animators, in my place called allrounders and Flipper Clubbers. They do everything connected to child care, teeny entertainment, archery, gambling, pool splash contests, banana rides and of course evening entertainment from 24-hour small talk to entire theater shows and musicals. The hardest part: They have to maintain a positive mood at all times. No matter what. Work hours last from 9 to 10am to 12pm with some minor breaks inbetween, sometimes interrupted by show rehearsals from midnight to 2 or 3 in the morning and everthing for a pittance.
However, this is the blog of a diver that happens to work in such a club, not an animator's. Work on this side of the illusion is somewhat different.
We usually stand up very early in the morning, around 7am. After we've opened the dive base: taking out the dive suit racks and the watersports equipment from the basement and driven the boats from the neighbouring marina, all in all about 30 minutes, the guests start pouring in. Latest by 8:30am the first activities starts. Certified divers prepare their equipment by themselves, while students are told what to do. Fun dives with the certified divers are followed by a second dive, while dive instructors proceed to teaching kids between 8 and 10 in the pool after finishing their regular course. Watersports is performed parallelly at all times.
This routine is regularly interrupted by weekly trips to various places around the island, from cavern to wreck dives that take place during the morning and last until lunch to entire day trips until the early evening to the other side of the island.
Lunch for us, divemasters and instructors, is the only break of the day. It lasts for about 30 minutes and includes food, that of course we have to enjoy small-talking to guests, and is followed by a quick espresso before to continue with dive courses and/or theory lessons, often both.
After the regular opening hours, pumping hundreds of tanks, taking back the banana boat into its sleeping position, storing the kayaks, sorting the boxes for the next day, the best time of the day starts. Between 5pm and until about 7pm: The all famous decompression beer rounds take place right in front of the dive base.
This is probably the only time of the day that divers become real friends for some minutes and not just fake buddies.
Depending on where you live, either in the hotel or outside in the next village, people leave towards their respective beds but only after they enjoyed their dinner small talking to guests, our dearest friends. We love 'em, really!
In case you live in the hotel, like I did until recently, you usually end up at the pool bar for some more beers and small talk with guests, others join their family members on skype and yet others just go to bed, because the next day will otherwise simply kill you.
For the record: pretty much everyday looks like that, the payment is bad and most of the guests break your nerves on a daily basis. So you might ask, why the hell would anyone possibly want to do such a job? Well, the answer is rather simple: Diving is addictive!
So long and thanks for all the fish,