I’m not really getting sued but the empty threat was made on the slopes today and anger aside, it’s quite a funny tale in retrospect. After a slow morning spent waiting in queues to get up the only part of the mountain that was open, my group and I finally made it to the snowy peak and thought that from then on it would be plain sailing. We would spend the day lapping a long red slope which was served by a chairlift and work on some skiing whilst enjoying the light snowfall. This solitary chairlift, however, would embed an irritating thorn in my side for the rest of the morning.
This particular type of lift combines a travelator with a normal chairlift so that when the gates open allowing you to board, you are carried along the moving carpet and then swept off by the chair and up the slope. In theory this should never go wrong and I have never seen it fail, until today. Somehow when the gates opened and a boy in my class slid through to the travelator he ended up behind the three strangers on the machine. Because of his lack of slide and retreated position, when the chair came round it prematurely clattered into him from the side knocking him into the middle of the chair in the space of one of the women, instead of it coming from behind allowing him to sit in his seat. As quickly as the woman tried to move she was not quick enough and by the time she had swapped places it was too late, she skied off the end of the platform and off to the side of the lift. No harm no foul.
At the other end of the chair, for reasons I still don’t understand, the man who was sat on the lift just fell off and landed in a heap on the floor. This guy didn’t have to move at all as he was unaffected by the chairlift-battered-kid but somehow he still managed to drop a whole singular foot into the snow. And he was not happy. He went crazy as he led on the floor, fuming that he had slumped off the chair, and began kicking off at this eleven year old boy. He slowly rose to his feet and walked up to the kid who was sat on the lift and began swearing at him, insulting him and shouting right in his face. This boy had just been smashed by a huge lump of metal resulting in him accidentally sitting in the wrong seat, which didn’t even affect this raging middle aged bloke and now he had to put up with this psycho yelling profanities and slurs at him as he sat trapped on a lift. That’s just not on.
I called out the bloke and shouted at him from the front of the queue telling him he can’t talk to kids like that. This diverted the lunatics fury away from the kid and towards me, and the fun began.
He stormed over to me with steam erupting from his ears and shit flowing from his mouth. Still in front of the rest of my class of children he continued hurling expletive language and venting his anger, blaming the whole saga on this one boy. I tried telling him what had happened behind him but it fell on furiously ignorant ears as he ignored the part that the ill timed chairlift played in displacing the people on the opposite side of his lift. After failing to calm him down the chair got going again and as I got on he told me to Fuck off and that he’d see me at the top, which seems contradictory.
At the top whilst I was checking that the kid was alright and not feeling too guilty or bad, the fifty year old sack of rage reappeared to continue his rampage. So I took him to one side to talk things out. He went on about how out of control the kid was and how irresponsible he had acted claiming his life was put at risk. He asked why I wasn’t sat with all six of my kids on a four man lift and resentfully questioned the child’s capabilities. Listening to this baseless rant I eventually gave up apologising for the fact he fell over and trying to calm him down and just vented back that he has no right or need to yell at a little kid like that, questioning his control as an adult and basic principles. He snarled a retort pondering the consequences of a broken leg from the fall. My simple sarcastic response of “you’d go to hospital” to his dramatically over the top question only antagonised him further sending him into a further frenzy. It was entirely my fault now that he had dropped off his chair and he demanded my name and the company I worked for, which I happily obliged to. He went on about how he’d been skiing longer than I’d been alive (you couldn’t have told) and I had no idea what I was doing culminating the entire argument with the threat of suing me and getting my instructor qualifications revoked. With no idea what he plans on suing me for, a poor slide onto a travelator by a student perhaps, I await his email of complaint. After I told him to have a nice day he reminded me to fuck off as a twelve year old called him a dick.
Another great day on the slopes.