Hands Up Baby!


When I was 21 years young I went to work for Club Med in Guadeloupe as a G.O. (Gentil Organisateur).  A “G.O.” is the ambassador of the Club Med spirit and upholds the company’s values.  In addition to our professionalism – it was a way of being, a way of creating moments of happiness for the guests.  We were in charge of creating a bond. We rallied as a team because the notion of solidarity meant something – we believed in “better together”. Our job description: “to spread joy by combining the right attitude and the gumption to rise to the challenge of self-revelation.”  Sound like anyone you know?

Working for Club Med changed my life. It gave me the extraordinary adventure my soul required to become who I was meant to be.  Previous to arriving I had spent almost a year recovering from a broken back (but that’s another story).  To celebrate my recovery, my girlfriend’s and I took a vacation to a Club Med resort and within a day I knew I wanted to quit my life and work there.  I spent over 6 months applying to get an interview which were held just twice a year and had openings for only 40 spots to be filled from Canada. Every week I sent crazy letters, cards, photos, videos of me making bikini angels in the snow to get a chance.  I got the call, I got the interview and I got the job – a week later I was on a plane for Guadeloupe. Up until that moment I had lived at home, never travelled, my parents in fact forbid me to go on this ridiculous beach bum lark stating I had a great job as a secretary and it was sure to ruin my life. Needless to say, I quit my job; I defied my parents and stood up for what I knew I had to do for myself.

Now my experience working for Club Med is an entire book in itself…but what went through my head this past week were two things.  One – trusting your gut and following your heart…ok that’s two things in one.   If I hadn’t pushed myself and trusted the unknown I may still be a secretary. Secondly – the notion of choosing joy and being a cheerleader…Opps I did it again – that’s two things!

At Club Med we were joy spreaders.  We were there 24/7 round the clock to make sure everyone was having the time of their lives.  There was a chant that we would lead the entire resort in every night to close off the show…you may have heard it before, but it goes like this: “Hands up baby, hands up, gimme your heart, gimme gimme your heart gimme gimme all your love” …it had hand gestures and dance steps to go along with the song.  It was rally cry to get everyone in the spirit, to create a coming together, to engage, to let loose, celebrate life, and make a joyful noise.  It was empowering and silly and uniting and energizing and it was contagious.  I remember the first few nights the guests would start off slowly, some hesitating with a meek and mild rendition, but by the end of their weeks’ vacation it was an all-out mad house of love and joy.  I carry this experience with me at all times. It is how I choose to be in the world. To be joyful, to celebrate, to lead a pack of hooligans in hand waving freedom of spirit. To be myself, to stand up for myself, to stand up for others and spread joy with abandonment.  So skip, sing out loud, give compliments, say have a great day, be friendly, be inclusive, be a team whether it’s between one or a thousand and choose joy – it’s a wonderful way to live!

Hands up baby!

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