There are some fundamental rules and roles for reception on the Africa Mercy. The first rule of reception is quiet in reception.
I’m so glad you asked! It’s because one of the most important roles of the receptionist on the Africa Mercy is to watch the fire panel. When the prewarning alarm rings, it makes an almost inaudible beep one needs bionic ears to hear.
Now imagine a large crowd or even 2 people having a loud, boisterous conversation. Throw in some jack hammers for giggles because deck 3 is getting new floors and you have the making of a disaster of epic proportions because the receptionist cannot hear the fire panel!
Don’t you think you’re overreacting just a wee bit?
Um. NO! I’m responsible for the safety of every person onboard. I have to hear the alarm, acknowledge the alarm, and track down the duty officer to investigate the alarm. If there’s an actual fire or, God forbid, explosion, I have to sound the crew alert to get people off the ship!
So how do you get everyone to be quiet in reception?
Well we have a cute little desk bell of course, decorated in sparkly pink rhinestones. (I did find an air horn I’d like to blow some time.) The real trick to getting folks to simmer down is to exude friendliness and hospitality to each and every person who walks into reception by always radiating welcoming smiles to said individuals.
The irony is anybody who knows me knows I’m not always that charming. When I’m not smiling people think I’m downright intimidating and fierce looking which actually comes in quite handy for combat situations and loud reception area loiterers.
So today, the fire panel did its little beep. I looked up to see it was an actual warning. My heart skipped a beat. I contacted the duty officer. I gave the location of the alarm. Thankfully, it was an alarm in the crew galley. The nerve of those galley workers cooking dinner for us! (I love the cooks and thank them tremendously for feeding me 3 meals a day!)
Now you know why it’s important to be quiet in reception. Any questions?
the fire panel