A ready smile and lots of answers
Arriving at a hotel, the first person you are likely to meet is a bellman. He assists with bags and directs you to the next important person, the clerk who will check you in, assign a room, provide a key and directions to the elevator. But that’s not all!
Another important person will be located strategically in the lobby behind a podium or small desk. This is the concierge. The first two deal with routine business. Your encounter with the concierge is personal answering questions about dining, entertainment, transportation, sightseeing, places of worship, mail, and dozens of others that are buzzing in your head.
The concierge provides information and complies with requests – always with a smile. Besides service in a hotel, a concierge is likely to be found in a residential apartment building or a senior living community. In either setting duties of the concierge would be similar.
A concierge should be smart, knowledgeable, tactful, friendly, patient, flexible, consistent, and the list goes on. These characteristics can overlap but each adds value to the service provided by the person making him or her the best they can be.
The origin of the word concierge is from the French meaning caretaker or doorkeeper of a hotel apartment house prison etc.
Now let’s consider the concierge at a retirement community. This person could be seated near the front entrance. On her desk would be a computer, phone, and assorted papers with notes, schedules, and reminders. In her head would be a vast store of information including what, where, when and possibly why about happenings in the community especially those affecting the lives of residents.
This person is key to the smooth running of the facility. The concierge is responsible for providing information that is accurate while being sympathetic even when it is not what the questioner wishes to hear.
The number and range of questions from 500 residents of a senior living community – and their guests, can be daunting. In this setting the concierge needs to be friendly, cheerful, unflappable, and fair. A ready smile and a sense of humor are part of the “must have” package. I know about these attributes because I see a person doing this every day.
There is a day to celebrate almost every kind of job imaginable like secretary’s day, Boss’s Day, teacher’s day and dozens more. My recommendation is that we have a national concierge’s day.* This would be a day when everybody who walks by gives a wave a smile and saves the “gotcha” question or knotty problem for tomorrow.
*So far there has been one official concierge day it was in Chicago Feb 6, 2020.
By Savvy Senior
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