Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hi, what service are you looking for today?

Nicolle must have asked that twenty times or more in the twenty minutes I was in her care. Nicolle is the receptionist at the Alberta Motor Association, Manning office. She is friendly, efficient, and oustandingly hepful to everyone who comes through her door.

Her first job is to get you to where you are going, and she does that very well. She is alert and aware of all the clients in her space and what they are waiting there for. Of the half-dozen services offered at this location, there was only one line, waiting to pay insurance. She helpfully redirected one client, "Don't worry, that line is not for you; travel is around the corner." Another time a case worker called a name with no response. Nicole checked with the couple at the display, and sure enough, they were the ones waiting to be called.

It was also obvious that she's a warm person who really likes people. We got talking because she noticed I was crocheting a "kickin'" scarf. She asked lots of questions. Nicolle is also plugged in to one of those cordless phones, so it was a little disconcerting to sort out who she was talking to. I suspect our new generation will get better at filtering out their freind's eatherial conversations. Anyways, we soon had a lively conversation going, interspersed with her helpful redirections for newcomers.

She tells a great story about her father in law, who lives in a tiny town in Sasktachewan. Somehow we got on the topic of drunk driving and how wrong it is. I mentioned that smart alcoholics drink close to home so they can get home afterwards without hurting anyone. Which is where her father in law comes in. He taught his pig to take him to the bar and back! They had a few old pigs on the property, over five hundred pounds. He would climb on the back of the pig and say "Bar", and the pig would walk to the bar. He'd tell the pig to "Stay" and he would stay. When the drinking night was over, he'd come out, flop on top of his pig and say "Home", and old pig would take him home.

Pig stories and all, Nicolle is an outstanding example of how a receptionist, who loves her job and loves people, can make a world of difference for new people coming through the door.