Occasionally in this job, you have to pitch in and do things that you wouldn’t necessarily think would fall under the remit of ‘diving instructor’ and today it’s my turn to have a dry day.
The majority of people who do this job in Sharm had a ‘proper job’ at some point. I would suggest this is not the way to phrase it to an instructors face, as we see our diving career as a ‘proper job’ and get easily insulted at the mere suggestion that we are simply having fun whilst earning money (which of course we do!). When you first arrive, what you ‘did’ before quickly becomes a topic of conversation, and one that you don’t realise the bosses are listening into and noting down. I can tell you this because my office day is proceeded by “I’ve heard you can type like a demon”. Now, at this point, I should have declared my imaginary arthritis in my fingers or that fact that I’m under doctors orders never to sit at a desk again. But stupidly, I confirmed his suspicions and hence I find myself behind a desk, shuffling papers and getting finger cramp.
So once I’ve had a bit of breakfast and a coffee at my desk, I settle in to my day, a day of catching up on entering student details to recognise their diving experience, whether it be a Discover Scuba Diving student, who ventured into the beautiful clear waters of the Red Sea for their first dive, or a newly qualified Deep Diver, who can now enjoy the calm and clear waters to be had at 40 meters. After having dived for so long, I’m not used to this and I really have to concentrate! One wrong key stroke and the lovely lady from yesterdays Open Water course becomes a man, and the Bubblemaker from last week is a 45 year old man! Not to mention the debate we have over 2 certification where we can’t tell one twin from the other (they are identical, shouldn’t really matter surely!!)None of this for me today!
It’s nice to watch all the other instructors running around with kit, rounding up stray students and walking in and out of the water as I sip my coffee and consider a wander round the local supermarket (just to see what stuff they have in….Sad I know).
For lunch I treat myself to a proper sit down meal, drink water from a glass instead of a bottle, and use both a knife and a folk (I’ve been eating boat food for a long time and it’s the small touches that mean a lot!). My afternoon flies by and before I know it, the boats are back and the centre is once again the busy hub of activity that I’m used to. I’ve always said that you have to flexible in this job, and although it’s not how I would have imagined me spending a day when I boasted to all my friends that I was leaving the UK to be diving instructor, to coin the phrase ‘a change is as good as a rest’.
And just as I turn the computer off, I gaze out the window. I realise the sun is just about setting, spreading a beautiful red glow across the sky. The beach is deserted and the sea is calm and the deepest blue I’ve ever seen.
As office days go, I’ve had worse!