I have been in survival mode for the past six weeks—far too sensitive to engage my emotions, far too busy to reflect in writing. You see, in the service of ever-improving, I’ve started my first job ever, at where else but Five Seasons!
I am working at the Member Service Desk—the front desk—alongside some great people. To the incoming member, it may seem like we just greet and check people in, exchanging car keys for locker keys if required (This forever member was guilty of thinking this). But when members go on to do their business we’re billing lessons, answering questions, taking and delivering messages, selling snacks and drinks, signing members up for club events, swimming lessons and tennis classes, making gallons of coffee, and keeping the lemon water jug filled in addition to the shear horror that can be fielding phone calls.
Time passes quickly when we are busy, and it gets crazy during the rushes of the day. The biggest rush I consistently work is the 6 o’clock dash. A lot of people get off of work and congregate at the club; on some days the large tennis programs meet and the front drive is a parking lot of parents dropping off their lil’ tennis players. I remember walking with this flow last year thinking, “This is something!” Working opposite this flood I think, “This is nuts!”
I can do little but check-in from memory familiar faces as everyone hustles past the desk, but the phone rings as well and at times it rings consistently enough that the three holding lines fill, and still it rings! Then a kid wants a Powerade and I retrieve his desired flavor and his account number, while a member is waiting for his car keys with a look that may not be impatience, but mimics it because they’re tired from working out and ready to go home, and you pick up a hold that you imagine is hating you for making them wait for five minutes only to hear it’s a swim class signup you know will take another five, and you take deep breaths, telling yourself that you’re doing as well as one can and you don’t suck at your job, only to look to your side to see that Powerade’s buddy decides he wants one as well, quick and now as he is late for practice! It’s a wonderful, breathless pandemonium, and I feel like a quarterback constantly calling audibles to prevent getting run over by the opposition.
But when you get the child signed up for swim lessons, and you record as many tennis kids that streamed by as possible, and you and your trenchmate work through the holds and no calls ring to replace them, you take a moment to realize that the rush is over. You thank your proficient training and your wits, the fellow standing next to you and the general patience and good nature of the members. You go replenish the water, clean up the lobby, and get ready for the next rush.
With a more subdued pace of activity in between the peaks of flow, a shift thus quickly passes. It is a great first job!