If you work at the reception desk you come across a variety of unpredictable questions. Most of the time the front desk is busy, sometimes it can be challenging, but I can assure you that it is never boring. The number of course-related enquiries increases when it comes to the spring and summer.
Sometimes I feel as if I am a psychologist. People come to the reception desk to make an enquiry, but they also leave their life stories with me. When you want to give people a piece of advice as to what course they should sign up for, you need to find out first why they need this course for. And then you get to hear plenty of interesting life-stories.
It was only a few months ago when somebody by the name of Marco came to the school to find out what course he should choose. He had some general ideas about the courses and could distinguish them but had no clue which one suited him the most. Having given him the basic information about all the courses, I tried to find out what he needed it for. At the beginning he reluctantly answered my questions, was very reserved and wanted to keep his reasons to himself. I decided to open up a little bit myself and told him the reasons that brought me to UK. Then, slowly but surely he started talking. He explained to me that his family runs a tourist office in one of the biggest cities in Italy. Facing growing numbers of competitors, they have to make sure that the service they provide is unique, the best of all. Unfortunately, none of them spoke English. All their hopes lay with Marco, who used to study English at school and his level, I assumed, was Intermediate. Marco also gave a sheepish grin explaining to me that he wanted to stay in UK for another reason.
‘I met such a charming lady. The problem is that I don’t understand what she says to me. She speaks English. Please, help me understand her.’
Having talked about the course options and his budget we decided that he should go for 3-month-Intensive English course. I then added that his study doesn’t finish at 3:15 pm when the last lesson ends.
Finally, when he heard about the social programme and socialising, the tension in his face disappeared. Marco thanked me for all the information given and left.
Weeks went by and one day I saw Marco again. It was a ‘lovely’ rainy Monday morning. He arrived at BLC with his suitcases and a big smile. On that day he started his course and his life-adventure at BLC.
Joanna Brachun | BLC Receptionist 2013