Montreal, May 4, 2010. At times it seems some people are made in Heaven. They’re angels sent down here to make our lives just a little easier, just a little more pleasant. Doreen Hamel, winner of the 2009-2010 Frontline Award, is one of those special people. And what better place to have an angel, than as the Receptionist in Student Services! As one of the employee recognition awards initiated by Director General Gilbert Héroux, the Front line Award recognizes and honours employees who are on the front line and who, by their actions motivate and inspire employees to excel in customer service.
“As Receptionist, Doreen has welcomed thousands of students to Student Services,” indicates Judy Macdonald, Coordinator Learning Enrichment and Support Services, Programs. “She greets each person with a warm smile; she listens carefully and respectfully to their request for assistance, and then calls on her large knowledge of the College to give the required information.” As one of Doreen’s co-workers puts it, “Doreen is a master at finding the right information at the right time!”
Having information is one thing; having patience is quite another, and Doreen has patience in vast supply. She treats each student as though their request is unique – even though she may have had the same request hundreds of times before, sometimes on the same day! “She also has a patient way about her as she deals with rude or aggressive students,” elaborates Judy. “She calmly quiets them down and then respectfully provides what is required.”
Her warm heart is always on call, as Doreen constantly goes beyond what is usually expected of a receptionist. She reaches out to students in difficulty, often caring for a distraught student until the nurse or a counsellor can see them. She also often gives up her lunch hour in order to keep Student Services open over lunch.
“Doreen has very high standards for students or replacement staff members who serve as receptionists,” says Judy. “We know the care and meticulous attention she gives to ensure that everyone is well trained and capable of doing the job of receiving students.” It’s a job Doreen takes very seriously, even putting her own health at risk as she met with students who were ill and possibly infected with the H1N1 virus, last fall.
Doreen thinks it’s important that the reception area appear warm and welcoming; an attractive atmosphere definitely helps insecure students gather up their courage and come into the service when they need help. So she rearranges furniture, displays material in an attractive fashion, and has set the goal of having an array of photos on the walls of Vanier students, in order to make everyone coming into Student Services feel at home.
“It would be difficult to find a more caring and respectful front line staff member than Doreen Hamel!” conclude her co-workers.