“People need to be made to feel comfortable when they get here and know that we are there to help them…”
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi my name is Remi and I’m from Dublin.
Where are you from in Dublin?
I’m from Carpenterstown in Dublin 15. It’s a small place. It just a shop and a pub and a coffee shop but it’s a grand spot.
How long have you been working here at City Language School?
I’ve been working here since April of this year. I studied Sociology and Philosophy in College but I decided I’d take a break and see what it would be like to work in Education and this opportunity came up to work at an English Language School in Dublin so I jumped at it.
What’s your typical day like?
I come in and I set up the school. I’m in here for eight o’clock every morning. It’s about forty or fifty minutes on the bus. And I’m at the front desk there on reception making sure I’m answering people’s questions and looking after people and getting their letters ready for them.
That’s a very important part of what we do at reception. People need to be made to feel comfortable when they get here and know that we are there to help them and we are in control on their behalf, at least for the first few weeks while they’re trying to find their feet.
So it can be questions about anything from opening bank accounts which we actually go and help them to do, or their GNIB, directions to good things to do in the evenings if we’re not providing something on the social programme.
But sometimes they just want to come and have a chat. We are often their first point of contact, their first point of trust so I think students sometimes find it reassuring to come to reception and chat to us.
It sounds like you’re a bit of a mother figure.
Almost, I suppose.
Is there any day in particular that’s busy?
Monday. That’s the day all the new arrivals come in and they’re collecting their books and getting their classrooms assigned and getting themselves orientated so it’s always busy.
What’s the most difficult part of the job?
I wouldn’t say it’s difficult but it can be demanding, particularly on those Mondays. So you have to be very organised and good at multi-tasking.
What’s the best part of the job?
Meeting new people and getting to know these different cultures. Getting to hear stories about their homes and how different it is for them here. I’ve even had an invitation to Brazil and Mexico so that’s cool. But I think the thing I really love is when people thank you and you can see that it’s really sincere and there’s a part of you that knows that you’ve made a difference, however small, to making them feel welcome in Ireland.